Gatineau Hull-Volant are now in 3rd-place in the East Division of the National Capital junior Hockey League standings following a ruling on the signing and use of an innelligible player . . .
Friday, Jan. 16th - There is forever a sports story wth accusations of questionable practices. Almost always concerning the front-running teams. After all, when was the last time you heard the last place finishing team did something untoward to miss the playoffs.
Recently the hockey gab by those in the know in this area has been the outstanding performance of the South Grenville Rangers Junior C squad, 1st-place over-all in the National Capital Junior Hockey League. And the rise of the Gatineau Hull-Volant, not only to 1st-place in the East Division, but distancing themselves from the pack in that highly competitive group. Anyone taking an interest in the area Junior hockey, particularly the National Capital Junior Hockey League, would have noticed a sudden change in the regular season statistics listed on the league’s web page.
Earlier this week the Junior C East Division, made up of teams representing Gatineau Hull, Clarence Creek, Vankleek Hill, St-Isidore and Ottawa’s Bytown, was led by the Gatineau Hull-Volant (Flyers), and has been for a number of weeks. On Friday, with no games having been played, the Volant were suddenly in 3rd-place behind the Vankleek Hill Cougars and the Clarence Castors. And several teams had ‘wins’ added to their totals, including, most noticeably, the Morrisburg Lions.
On inside information afforded this hockey authority, anonymously, it was learned the Gatineau Hull-Volant has been using an illegal player. The NCJHL moved to take action immediately on learning of the league-wide embarrassment, stripping the Volant of seven victories and 14 points.
Games forfeited include Dec. 1st against St-Isidore, Dec. 6th against Bytown Royals, Dec. 13th against Vankleek Hill Cougars, Dec. 15th against Bytown Royals, Dec. 20th against Vankleek Hill Cougars, Jan. 5th against Morrisburg Lions, and Jan. 10th against West Carleton Inferno.
In an email, at our request, from NCJHL President Ian McRae, the situation was explained clearly by the league president, and bears significant weight that, quite simply, an error was made and the standings have been fairly rectified.
Mr. McRae’s email offered, “NCJHL has a League rule stating that a team can sign only 3 players per season that have had Jr. A experience. This rule has been put in place to avoid teams from stacking up on Jr A players. Unfortunately the Hull team signed four players that fall under this rule. The League had no choice but to rule on this situation. The player in question played eight games with the team, winning seven of these games, resulting in 14 points being removed from the Hull team and assigned to teams that they had played against.”
Mr. McRae’s note continues, “All players are shown on the HCR, (Hockey Canada Register), listing the history of all players, and where they played their hockey. It was an unfortunate error made by Hull. Now everyone must move on and get ready for fast approaching playoffs. Trust this answers your questions.”
Our thanks to Mr. Ian McRae for the information. It indeed clarifies the situation most politely.
It wasn't only the Morrisburg fans who noted the presence of Griffin Patterson in the Junior Lions game. The Morrisburg Minor Hockey graduate smartly drew the visiting Inferno checkers away from their defensive positions, playing a major role in the Lions rare victory . . .
Saturday, Jan. 4th - There was a noticeable difference in the arena atmosphere on Saturday evening at Morrisburg, particularly in the opening nine minutes of the Junior Lions hockey game.
The home team was leading 3-0.
Lions General Manager Kevin Casselman, who was on the home team’s bench in the absence of Head Coach Ken Turnbull, was hard-pressed to answer when asked if he remembered the last time his team held a 3-0 lead in a game.
The Junior C Lions are in last place in a so far dismal year in the National Capital Junior Hockey League's regular season race, having scored only a single victory previous to the game on Saturday night. The team owns both the highest number of ‘goals against’ statistic and the lowest number of ‘goals for’ statistic on the league scoreboard. It's been a frustrating year to day the least.
At the start of the current season the Lions had lined up several important acquisitions that caused rumor of a serious contender in the making. Injuries, failed commitment and more surfaced, and the unit never did materialize.
Recently the organization made changes to prepare for future teams with the added intention of developing a fan base by including the development of local players. Saturday evening South Dundas’ Griffin Patterson dressed for his first game with the Morrisburg Lions. The popular youngster not only was responsible for drawing a number of local fans, he put on a heady display of talent and determination.
Patterson’s promising presence in turn kicked up the performance of teammates, including a 5-point night by Justice Brownlee on two goals and three assists, and a goal with a pair of assists by Jake Amo. Patterson too is no walk-away when the tough get going, delivering and taking some bone-shaking checks during the game.
Brownlee opened the scoring for the Lions less than four minutes into the game on an Amo set-up. Midway through the period Patterson unleashed two goals in exactly 20 seconds, both on a blistering wrist shot that cleanly beat West Carleton’s Alex Miotla.
The Inferno cut the lead with a goal late in the frame and added a pair late in the third period that did little to dent the Lions new found aggressive enthusiasm on this night. Brownlee, Amo, Wade Moak and Tanner Barnett each scored singles for the Lions to take the 7-3 win.
The Lions sat out six minor infractions in the game while the inferno were called on seven minors and a pair of misconducts. Riley Phillips was credited with the victory, stopping 45 of the 48 shots directed his way. The Lions hit Inferno netminder Miotla with 40 of the 47 shots fired on the West Carleton net.
The Lions next home game will be on Saturday, Jan. 11th at 7:15 p.m. when the Bytown Royals come to Morrisburg Arena.
Although the atmosphere graduated to near euphoric as the time clock wound down, the Lions taking a victory for only the second time this season, GM turned coach for the night Casselman never did come up with the last time his team led 3-0, but he assured everyone within earshot that he'll take all the 3-0 leads through the team's final seven regular season games they can put together.
Saturday, Dec. 14th - The Morrisburg Junior C Lions took it on the chin again over the past weekend. Playing a game at home on Saturday against the league leading South Grenville Rangers the Lions were outscored 14-1.
On Sunday the Lions fortunes didn’t improve much, although they did score a near season-high single game number of goals. This time around Morrisburg was on the short side of an 11-4 loss to the East Division 3rd-place Clarence Castors.
Unfortunately for the Lions, they will meet the Rangers again this coming Saturday at Cardinal. The team then returns to home ice where they will host the Metcalfe Jets in what just might be a more fan friendly game. These two teams settled a past game in overtime, the Jets winning 3-2.
A quick glance at the league standings coming up to the Christmas break shows the wide reaching lack of balance in the National Capital Junior Hockey League. There are three teams, and possibly a fourth, that truly belong on the same ice. And then there are six teams that are so-so. They won't beat anyone one of the top three squads on their best day. A hard sell to any hockey fan.
For instance, the top four teams in the league are running away with the top four positions. The difference between first and second place in the East Division is six points. Not that great a gap.
The difference between the first and second position in the West Division is drastic. Not only does South Grenville lead the overall league by a healthy five points at this near crucial time of the year, the Rangers have near double the points of the second place team in their division. And there’s not a chance in hell of anyone one of the four teams trailing the Rangers taking a challenging shot at the Division title.
All that being said, the Junior C hockey currently being offered at the Morrisburg Arena when the Lions schedule hosts home games, is in fact entertaining. The Lions do try to compete. The fact is they don’t have the necessary horses to run the race. But they do have the where-withall to make the game entertaining.
Over the past weekend the team was literally pounded on a two-game 25-5 score. But this coming Sunday, Dec. 22nd, the Lions host the Metcalfe Jets, a team not fairing so much better than the Lions, but one who will at least help ice a competitive game. The puck drops at 2:15 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 7th - Morrisburg’s Junior C Lions continue looking for their second win of the season following weekend action at home and in West Carleton where another pair of losses were recorded. In this case, competitive losses.
Playing at home to the East Division’s 4th-place St-Isidore Eagles on Saturday evening the Lions allowed the visitors a 4-1 opening period lead, which turned out to be insurmountable over the duration of the game. That combined with five penalty infractions, two of them 10-minute majors in the final eight minutes, Coach Ken Turnbull’s season long preaching about “You can’t win games in the penalty box!” has a certain ring of truth to it.
Pat Ranger and Kevin Howsen each scored in the opening five minutes for a 2-0 Eagles lead before Jake Amo beat St-Isidore net-mnder Josh Ivonski The Eagles then added a pair of goals before the period closed to take a 4-1 lead.
The two teams traded goals in the middle period, Amo with his second assisted again by Carter Tait and Justice Brownlee. For the Eagles Pat Ranger popped a pair, completing his hat-trick on the night before the end of the middle period.
The Lions outscored their visitors in the final frame when Tait netted two power-play counters, both with the aid of Brownlee and Amo. Kevin Howsen scored his second of the game for the Eagles.
The Lions recorded nine penalties, including the two majors, while the much more disciplined and winning team were called on just four minor infractions. Kamden Sabourin, playing between the pipes for the home team Lions, facing 43 shots on goal while the Eagles Ivonski turned away 37 shots.
Morrisburg is heading toward the Christmas break with two games this coming weekend, the first on Saturday, Dec. 14th, at home against the over-all league leading South Grenville Rangers. The following day, Sunday, Dec. 15th, the Lions travel to Clarence Creek where they will be hosted by the East Division 3rd-place Clarence Castors. Fans who enjoy great hockey skills are reminded the Saturday night visiting Rangers from neighboring South Grenville are the class of this league. They have accumulated 19 victories and just two losses in 20 games, and they are six full points ahead of their nearest competitor, the East Division leading Gatineau Hull-Volants. The rangers have a league leading 115 goals for, an unbelievably stingy 35 goals against in a very high scoring league, are on a 9-1 record over their last 10 games, and are running with a win percentage of .900.
We're not convinced as yet to cheer on the Rangers over our Lions, but we do appreciate good hockey, and this game should provide just that. Good, even great hockey.
Saturday, Nov. 23rd - The largest crowd of the season came out to see the Morrisburg Junior Lions host the National Capital Junior Hockey League South Grenville Rangers at Morrisburg Arena. And although local fans would have loved to see their team topple the front-runners, the two teams certainly did not disappoint.
The league’s over-all leading South Grenville team is a big draw, and for good reason. In the Lion’s favor, it doesn’t hurt to have a sprinkling of local players on the team in Kayne McCadden, Owen Fetterly, Josh Broad, Justin Shay, to name a few.
The two teams played a spirited, although statistically lopsided game. And the intent was a draw. The Lions played a tough 60 minutes. However, it just happens that the Rangers are the class of the league in talent, and they aren't shy about proving it every time out.
Hosting South Grenville is a daunting challenge to say the least. They are currently standing in 1st-place over-all with 14 wins and two losses in 16 games. South Grenville is 8-0 at home, and they have three players, Jordie Dodge, Brayden Forstell and Matthew Berry, in the league’s Top Ten Scoring race. The Rangers own a goaltending duo led by Xavier Dusablon leading the league goaltending stats, boasting a 1.63 GA. On top of all that, they are big, fast and relentless.
Matthew Berry opened the game scoring eight minutes into the 1st-period in this game, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead on an unassisted snap shot that caught the Lion’s netminder Phillips off guard. Less than a minute later the fans came to the edge of their seats when Justice Brownlee slapped a Wade Moak/Jack Ingram set-up past Ranger’s back-up goaltender Anthony Kervin to tie the game.
The Lions were put to the toughest test of their season to date while the visitors racked up the next five consecutive goals, one on a power-play. Phillips faced 58 shots on the Lions net while his team-mates accumulated 24 shots on the South Grenville cage.
Jordan Poulin notched a pair for the Rangers while singles went to Brayden Forstell, Jacob Servage and Cooper Kingston. Jack Ingram scored the Lion’s second and final goal in the last minute of play.
The Rangers sat out seven minors while the Lions were nailed on nine minors and a 5-minute major.
On Saturday, Nov. 5th the Lions travel to Vankleek Hill to meet the East Division, 2nd-place Cougars. The team returns to the Lions den on Sunday, Dec. 1st to host the North Dundas Rockets in a 2:15 p.m. start. And that should be a very good game. Last time out they finished in a 3-2 score.
Kane McCadden clears the crease and goaltender Sabourin's line of vision . . .
Saturday, Nov. 16th - A playoff position continues to be a diminishing light at the far end of a very long tunnel for the Morrisburg Junior C Lions. After two weekend games in which the team allowed 20 goals against and retaliated with four counters of their own, fans aren’t holding out much hope of a turn-around. And rightly so.
The Lions, after 17 regular season games, boast a single point they earned early in the current season against the Bytown Royals. Just a week ago the Morrisburg team dropped a pair of 3-2 losses to 2nd-place North Dundas and 3rd-place Metcalfe in exceptionally good hockey games. Both impressive to say the least.
This past weekend the Lions took a giant step backward, losing a 9-2 decision to the same Jets and a 10-2 decision to the same Rockets. The latter in front of their biggest crowd of the season.
Yet, all is not lost in the entertainment value of this hockey. Most recently the team has been dressing South Dundas Minor Hockey, 16-year-old graduates Kane McCadden and Owen Fetterly, both of who are drawing the attention of hockey folk. McCadden seems to be on the scoreboard of near every game he has played and both players have shown a physical presence the opposition has been quick to be aware of.
On Saturday evening at Morrisburg the Lions fell behind 3-1 in the opening period, distanced themselves from the winners circle on a 7-2 count after two periods and were shut out 3-0 in the final 20 minutes. Having been called on four minor infractions in the 1st-period the Lions allowed a single power-play goal, Then allowed a short-handed goal on one of the Rockets six minor infractions.
The home team not only got off to a bad start, they allowed 57 shots on netminder Kamden Sabourin, near twice the number they returned at Sebastien Moreau.
The North Dundas Rockets are a team on top of their game. They are fast, quick to crowd the opposing slot, and willing to rough house. And mean it. And they love to score goals, holding 3rd-place in the league in that category. The Morrisburg Lions could have been described in the same words at either of the two aforementioned games. What a difference a week makes, as they say.
This coming Saturday, Nov. 23rd, at Morrisburg Arena, the Lions are hosting the league leading South Grenville Rangers who sport the best 'goals for' and 'goals against' records in both league divisions, and have a most impressive 12-2 win/loss statistic. With 19 games remaining in their 2019-20 regular season schedule, the Lions still have a chance to turn things around. And an all out, 60-minute effort against the top team in the league would be the perfect place to start with the small things plaguing this team.
Sunday, Nov. 10th - The Morrisburg Junior C Lions are approaching mid-season. After 13 games they show a single win, a single tie and a whopping 13 losses.
However, as the barker argued, what we are now witness to is profound change in the making. In two games over this weekend, the recent acquisition of several new players, including very young local players from South Dundas, the Lions dropped a possible four points in a pair of 3-2 losses. One of them an overtime thriller at Chesterville against the second-place Rockets. Two games of the best hockey entertainment at this level to date.
On Saturday evening in Chesterville the Lions held the fast skating Rockets off the scoreboard in the opening period while taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by Aiden Daly who completed a Justin Shay, Braden Kehoe set-up. In the middle frame the Lions continued to outplay their hosts but did allow a tying goal midway through the frame when Nicholas Carroll beat Morrisburg netminder Riley Phillips with assists from Cole Hodges and Brett Cannen. Phillips, at that point half a game, had faced 36 shots on his net.
In the final period the speed and play increased in tempo with the Rockets pouring on all they had. However, it was the Lions turn to move ahead. Justice Brownlee gave Morrisburg the lead at 9:35 when affiliate Owen Fetterly led Jack Ingram at the blueline and Ingram, in turn set up Brownlee for the goal against North Dundas' Emmerson Hunt.
In the final period the Lions and the Rockets each had powerplay opportunities and each advantage stretch came up scoreless on this goaltender’s night. Late in the period the visiting Lions allowed the Rockets into scoring position and Josh Tapp tied the game with 1:58 remaining in the third period. Jarrett Williams and Brad Nash each drew an assist on the marker.
Into overtime the two teams battled back and forth until the final 90-seconds when the Rockets Brett Cannen wired a shot that Phillips initially stopped, but then allowed to slip through and dribble over the goal line. A 3-2 victory for the home team Rockets.
Phillips had faced 63 shots in the game while the Lions directed 35 shots at Hunt in the North Dundas net. The home team sat out six minor penalties while the Lions were called on eight occassions.
Repeat 3-2 loss to the Jets . . .
On Sunday at Morrisburg Arena the home team Lions hosted the West Division, 3rd-place Metcalfe Jets to a game that resulted in the identical score as that played the previous evening. This time around however there was no overtime period. The Lions came out on a quick start and jumped into a lead, outplaying their guests by a wide margin. Metcalfe rallied in the middle frame to cut the home team’s lead and outplayed their hosts in the final 20-minutes on a 2-0 note to take the game on a 3-2 score.
Arron Smith scored the game’s first goal putting the Lions in front on a 1-0 count before five minutes had elapsed in the contest. Brennan Markell and Tyson Sherrer drew assists on the goal.
Play continued in the Jets zone for most of the opening period and the Lions went up 2-0 with less than a minute remaining when Jake Amo slammed the puck past Metcalfe netminder Josh Legault. Tyson Sherrer and Markell drew the assists on this counter.
In the middle period the Jets slowly took the momentum from the Lions and turned the attack in their own favor. Cutting the Morrisburg lead early Alexander MacNeil beat Phillips when Mike Armstrong handed him the shot deep in the Lions zone. Alexandre Cloutier drew the second assist on the goal.
Final period action saw both teams open up the pace with shots on goal over the 20-minute stanza comparably close to those normally recorded over the course of a full game. MacNeil fired his second counter five minutes into the period on a pass from Rocco Barresi to tie the game and midway through the period Mark Brosseau scored the winner on a short-handed, unassisted play for the 3-2 victory.
The two teams were called on an unheard of Junior C hockey total of eight infractions over the course of the game, while shots on goal were counted at 46-35 in favor of the Jets.
The Lions next home game will be played at Morrisburg Arena on Saturday, Nov. 16th at 7:15 p.m. when the North Dundas Rockets are in town for a return match. And it promises to be a barn-burner . . .
West Carleton Inferno's Joe Shrubsok mixes it up with the Junior Lion's defence on Sunday afternoon at Morrisburg Arena. The Lions addition of new faces and an all out effort scored the team's first victory of the season . . .
Sunday, Nov. 3rd - The 'zero' is finally gone from the Morrisburg Lions Junior C win/loss/tie column of the National Capital Junior Hockey League standings. The Lions doused any sparks in the West Carleton Iferno on Sunday at Morrisburg Arena with their first victory of the season. The four recent additions to their roster iced a game team throughout a pair of home and home encounters with the Inferno on the weekend, the first at Ottawa where they dropped a 4-2 decision in the last half of the third period. Then a resounding turn-around at Morrisburg on Sunday afternoon with the 5-1 victory.
Newcomers to the team include goaltender Kamden Sabourin (released by the Charlan Rebels), Jordan Serson (Brockville), Connor Hum (Cornwall) who Lion’s Coach Ken Turnbull deems a 'find', and Malcolm Cooper (Cornwall).
“We’re making changes to address our shortfalls,” Turnbull said on Sunday before the game, “And these guys are the first of the changes we’ll make to get our team going.”
At West Carleton on Saturday evening Justin Brownlee and Jack Ingram combined for the pair of goals by the Lions with Tyson Sherrer and Aaron Smith each drawing single assists. Morrisburg, falling into the same trap they have over the opening eleven regular season games, were called on more than two periods of infractions, 42-minutes in all, but somehow managed to stave off any power play goals against, until the final three minutes of the game. Corbin Vennor beat Sabourin for the game’s insurance marker as the clock ran down.
Turning it around at home . . .
Returning to Morrisburg Arena for their Sunday afternoon game the two teams opened the first period with more hitting than hockey action. The Lions were called on a single minor penalty while the visiting Inferno recorded five infractions, one of them a misconduct. Neither team managed to put the puck into their opponents net although the 14-12 shots-on-goal kept Riley Phillips (Lions) and Alex Miolata (West Carleton) active throughout.
Morrisburg opened the game scoring in a rough and rowdy, 11-penalty, middle period during which the Lion’s Tanner Barnett was bounced for charging and an intense version of ‘face-masking from behind' as the accompanying photo shows. Barnett was the target of Roy McCole following the charging incident, and unfortunately for McCole, Barnett does have the talent to defend himself.
Late in the middle period with the Inferno’s Noah Jesson in the box for slashing, the Lions power play was successful in beating Miotla when Tyler Rae dropped a pass to Justice Brownlee and the young Morrisburg sniper wired a rising wrist shot over the glove of the Inferno goaltender and into the top corner.
Third period action went in the Lions’ favor with Phillips putting in a strong performance between the home team’s pipes. The Morrisburg power play took command of a failing West Carleton effort. Following an early tying goal by Ben Medyaski for the visitors, Aaron Smith fired his first of two counters from Jake Amo and Justin Shay; Greg McMullen made it 3-1 when he and Aiden Daly combined for a power play counter; Smith notched his second from Tyler Rae, and Brownlee with his second closed out the scoring from Tyler Rae and Jack Ingram for the 5-1 victory.
The Lions outshot the Inferno in this action packed, high speed game on a 40-36 count.
Morrisburg has two games coming up on Remembrance Day weekend. On Saturday the team travels to Chesterville to meet the 2nd-place North Dundas Rockets, and on Sunday return to Morrisburg to host the 3rd-place Metcalfe Jets to a game at 2:15 p.m. More exciting changes could be coming for this team.
Lions netminder Justin LeClair gets backup support from his teammares in this Castors attack n Saturday night. Lelair was pulled midway through the middle period, after four Clarence Castors goals, and replaced by Riley Phillips, who also allowed four goals against . . .
Saturday, Oct. 19th - Is there a single victory under the faded rainbow that years ago sparkled off the Junior hockey trophies at Morrrisburg Arena. Hockey fans are doubting it simply by not showing up to cheer on their once beloved Morrisburg Lions.
Three years ago the local Junior C team completed the regular season with a 9 wins - 21 losses - 2 ties record. The following season, 2017-18, the team posted an 11 - 20 - 2 ties statistic. Last season a 6 - 27 - 3 record.
The current edition of the Junior Lions, plagued early by injuries and rumored, although unsubstantiated, departures, have not registered a victory to date. They did tie a game early in the season against the league's second-last place team Bytown Royals on a 1-1 score on Friday, Oct. 11th. To date the team has lost six games. They've been outscored 22-7 in their past three outings.
But credit where credit is due! The next two games for the Morrisburg Lions are against the top two teams in the league. The West Division front running, league leading South Grenville Rangers host the Lions at Cardinal on Saturday, Oct. 26th at 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 27th, the Lions travel to St-Isidore for a match against the East Division second place Eagles. That's some tough competition.
In their most recent game at Morrisburg Arena the Lions sat out seven minor penalties, a misconduct penalty and a game misconduct penalty, a problem that plagues the team most games. The Clarence Castors, who won that contest on an 8-1 score and who hold last place in the East Division of the National Capital Junior Hockey League standings, sat out 11 minor infractions. The Lions lone goal on the night was scored by Justice Brownlee from Jack Ingram and Greg McMullen.