CHESTERVILLE – The North Dundas Rockets extended their winning streak Sat., Dec. 16 at home with a 7-3 win over the St. Isidore Eagles.  Leading the offensive charge up front for the Rockets was local winger Brad Stitt with two goals and two assists.

The Rockets led 3-1 after the first period on goals from Bryden van Kessel, Landon Veenstra (Brad Stitt, Brodie Barkley) and Justin Lefebvre.

The Rockets continued their offensive output with Tom Fingler (van Kessel, Veenstra) and Stitt (Fingler, Veenstra) scoring to put the Rockets up 5-2.

The line of Stitt, Fingler and Veenstra connected again on the final two goals of the game for the home team.

“We got a big effort out of the Stitt, Fingler and Veenstra line Saturday night,” Rockets’ general manager Rob Sadler said. “Head coach Nik Paas assembled that line at the beginning of the winning streak when we beat Gatineau 8-2. They haven’t looked back since.” 

Saturday night also marked the debut of Matthew Cowley with the Rockets. A three-year veteran, who has played three years in the league, is the former captain of the Ottawa West Golden Knights.

“Cowley brings leadership, ability and size to our already deep blueline,” Sadler said.

Winning streak comes to an end

The Rockets travelled to Clarence Creek with only 11 skaters on Sunday (Dec.17) for their game against the Castors. The team’s winning streak would end at six games after a 6-4 loss. The Rockets opened the scoring in the first period when Matthew Cowley (Brad Stitt) beat Castors’ goalie Corey Camirand. 

The lead lasted only 13 seconds as the Castors evened the score. Matt Wilson (Matt Clement, Patrick Lemay) capitalized on a Rockets’ turnover and put the puck past Rockets’ goalie Jason Buma.

A Clement (Wilson, Lemay) goal gave the Castors the lead 10 minutes later.

Nathan Melee put the Castors up 3-1 to close out the first period.

North Dundas’ Tom Fingler (Brad Stitt) found the net in the opening two minutes of the second period only to have Patrick Lemay (Matt Wilson, Raphael Payant) put the Castors back up by two.

To close out the second frame, Shawn Simms (Bryden van Kessel, Justin Lefebvre) struck for North Dundas while Clarence’s Wilson completed his hat trick, scoring the final two goals of the period.

Shawn Simms (Matthew Cowley, Connor Roth) scored with a minute remaining in the Rockets’ final game before the league’s holiday break.

“As general manager, I would like to congratulate the guys on our team for a good six-game run and first half of the season,” Sadler said. “It’s unfortunate that [the streak] had to end on Sunday, but the reality is Clarence has been playing some good hockey lately.”

The Rockets travel to Blackburn Fri., Jan. 5 to take on the Inferno to begin the second half of the season. The Bytown Royals will visit the Rockets on Sat., Jan. 6 for North Dundas’ first home game of 2018.

Rockets’ notes

• 14-6-0 record is the best start in Rockets’ franchise history.

• 50 per cent of the team’s 18-player roster is local.

• Bryden van Kessel is leading the league in scoring (47 points).