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.