CHESTERVILLE – The North Dundas Rockets left the past behind with a pair of victories last weekend.
With the 2018 portion of the schedule ending on a sour note for the Rockets (a 6-3 loss to the South Grenville Rangers two days before Christmas), North Dundas came back swinging.
The Metcalfe Jets were in Chesterville Sat., Jan. 5, with the Rockets skating to a 5-2 win. In Morrisburg the next day (Sun., Jan. 6), North Dundas had more than enough firepower to dump the lowly Lions 9-5.
There was no doubt a little bit of scoreboard watching, as the Rockets (14-8-1) chase the Rangers (16-5-2) for first place in the West Division. South Grenville posted a tie and loss on the weekend, leaving North Dundas just five points back of the leaders.
Rockets 5 – Jets 2
Metcalfe came into Chesterville reeling from a home loss to the last place West Carleton Inferno a night earlier.
There was no solace to be had, however, as North Dundas fashioned a 2-1 lead in the first period, and increased the stranglehold to 5-2 in the second. Period three was scoreless.
Jack van Kessel (from Curtis Bowman) opened the scoring for the Rockets, and 17 seconds after the Jets tied the contest, Connor Roth (from Tom Fingler) restored the Rockets lead.
Roth (unassisted) put North Dundas ahead 3-1 early in the second, while Metcalfe’s Evan Mantha cut the lead to a goal not long after, making good on a defensive breakdown by the Rockets.
Though Justin Lefebvre (from Brad Stitt) soon doubled the lead for North Dundas, Winchester native Tom Fingler (from Lefebvre and Roth) put the game out of reach.
Reilly Tondreau was the winning goaltender.
Rockets 9 – Lions 5
The first period Jan. 6 featured an offensively sound attack from the Rockets.
Roth (from Jarrett Williams and Dylan Robinson) and Cameron Brown (from Hugo Lusignan and Fingler) put North Dundas up 2-0.
In the second period, defence disappeared on both sides of the ice as the Rockets and Lions racked up eight goals total.
North Dundas got markers from Robinson (from Roth and Matthew Cowley) and Carter Tait (from Will Watson and van Kessel), as well as pair from Roth.
Stitt and Lefebvre scored for the Rockets in the third, as did Roth, with his fourth marker of the game.
Tondreau worked the nets for his second win of the weekend.
News and notes
• Tomorrow (Thurs., Jan. 10) is the deadline for team’s to move players, and Rockets general manager said the team is looking to add in some capacity, “but nothing is set in stone at the moment.”
• North Dundas did make a pair of moves in late December, shipping Sebastien Roy to the St-Isidore Eagles and adding Mike Plazek from the South Grenville Rangers. Plazek, a forward, has three goals and two assists in five games this season.
• Sadler, meanwhile, is enthused about the addition of Jarrett Williams, a former pick of the CCHL’s Kemptville 73s, and Tom Fingler, a returnee from last year’s squad and onetime draft pick of the Brockville Braves of the CCHL. Fingler also skated with the Winchester Hawks for a season.
• Lefebvre, meanwhile, is still in the hunt for the league’s scoring title, bagging 25 goals and adding 34 assists for 59 points to date. He sits third right now, one point back of Clarence Creek’s Patrick Lemay and seven back of St-Isidore’s Jakob Brunette.
• Up next for North Dundas is a pair of road games. Fri., Jan. 11 the Rockets are in Gatineau to take on the Volant, and on Sat., Jan. 12 head to Vankleek Hill to face the Cougars.
• North Dundas’ next home game in Chesterville is set for Sat., Jan. 19 when the Morrisburg Lions come to town.