CHESTERVILLE – A return engagement with the powerhouse South Grenville Rangers and a tight affair with a division rival turned out to be a mightier challenge than anticipated as the shorthanded North Dundas Rockets managed a split in their weekend games.
Rangers 5 – Rockets 2
A Friday night visit to Cardinal was circled on the calendar as the Rockets attempted to measure up to the league-leading Rangers.
With only two losses on the season, the Cardinal-based squad is far and away the best team in the NCJHL with a 14-2-0 record, but it took a pair of third period goals to put away the hard-working Rockets.
Justin Lefebvre and Aidan Whynot provided the only offence with Sebastien Moreau taking the loss in net.
Despite coming up short once again against the Rangers, GM and coach Rob Sadler was satisfied with the effort.
“I thought the 13-player effort in Cardinal was pretty good to be honest. With [Jarrett] Williams, [Brodie] Barkley, [Pierce] Egan injured, three kids getting called into work at the last minute and a kid away at a family event, we went with what we had available and I felt the effort was there,” he said. “The guys who played in this game left everything they had on the ice. Will Watson played through a shoulder injury and our defence led by Brett Lannin and Cameron Brown really rose to the occasion logging a pile of minutes.”
Jordan Dodge and Dylan Sharpley each had a goal and two assists for South Grenville.
Rockets 4 – Jets 3
Less than 24 hours after their commendable effort in South Grenville, the Rockets were faced with a determined Metcalfe Jets (5-9-1) squad looking to make up ground in the division.
A scoreless and somewhat listless first period gave way to a four-goal second period as the Rockets took a 3-1 lead to the dressing room.
The final frame saw the Jets get a pair, but Xavier Langevin scored the game winner and collected his first junior goal in the process for a tight 4-3 win for North Dundas.
Brown had a goal and an assist, while Nicholas Carroll and Brad Nash also scored for the Rockets. Sadler leaned on veteran netminder Moreau, who picked up the win in his second start in as many days.
“We are happy with both guys [Moreau and Emerson Sadler] we just felt that with the depleted lineup we would go with the veteran goaltender,” said Sadler.
North Dundas will head down the 401 once again in a rematch against the South Grenville Rangers Sat., Nov. 30 to close out the month. They will open their December schedule on the road Sun., Dec. 1 as they take on the basement dwelling Morrisburg Lions in South Dundas.