Sunday, Sept. 10th - South Dundas hockey fans may be in for a treat this coming season as the Morrisburg Junior Lions preparations to ice a team are showing early promise. In their initial pre-season outing the Lions travelled to Westport to meet the Rideaus on Sunday afternoon where the locals recorded a come-from-behind, final period scoring rally and a 6-3 victory.
“We may have started off a little slow,” reported Coach Jamie Smith, adding, “It was our first game without having a single practice so the boys didn't get going until into the middle and third periods before they really started shooting the puck.”
Morrisburg carried three-goaltenders, rookies Aiden Hutt and Owen Villeneuve, and veteran Andrew Brooks onto their bench for the game. With Hutt between the pipes for the opening 20-minutes the Lions played shut-out hockey, but too were shut out themselves.
Thru the middle frame the game action rose several notches a both ends of the ice. The Lions stole a 1-0 lead six minutes into the frame when Ben Lapier relayed a Rylan Iwachniuk/Ashton Adams play into a goal to kick off the game scoring. That goal was followed by a 45-second defensive lapse that saw the Rideaus beat Villeneuve for a pair of counters to post a 2-1 lead.
Landen Sinfield tied the game from Lapier and newcomer defenceman Eammon McSwissan before the home team Wesport squad carried a 3-2 lead into the final 20-minutes.
“Defensively we played reasonably well although we do have a few small things to work on,” Coach Smith said.
Smith’s remarks were backed by GM Kevin Casselman who said “I believe our defence played responsibly in our end of the ice and our added size in those positions certainly showed up.”
The Lions took over in the final 20-minutes, attacking relentlessly and scoring four counters while Andrew Brooks shut-out the Rideaus.
Alex Bergeron scored a pair for the Lions in the final frame with Iwachniuk drawing 4 assists. Tristan Ethier, Bowen Saceta, Ashton Adams and Owen Fetterly all drew single helpers.
“All in all we’re pretty pleased with the team on this one,” GM Casselman said following the game. “It's great to see the players pushing each other for roster spots and ice time.”
“We played a more disciplined game which is important in this league,” added Coach Smith.
The Lions did show a building promise of a talented power-play, scored three goals in this game.
Ben Lapier notched two power-play counters with the extra man and Rylan Iwachniuk added a single extra man goal.
The Morrisburg Lions will be hosting the Almonte Inferno at Morrisburg Arena in their pre-season opener on Sunday, Sept. 17th at 2:15 p.m. Hockey fans are urged to come out and support South Dundas’ 2023-24 Junior Hockey entry in the National Capital Junior Hockey League.