Lions challenge front-runners, then bomb . . .

1st-place overall Clarence Creek Castors here on Saturday evening . . .
1st-place overall Clarence Creek Castors here on Saturday evening . . .

Saturday, Dec. 8th - Morrisburg's Junior C Lions were within a single claw of at least tying the division front-running South Grenville Rangers on Saturday night at Morrisburg Arena. The difference in this one came down to a Ranger' power-play. The following evening the Lions bombed in Gatineau playing the Hull Volants. The home team at Robert Guertin Arena recorded an 8-3 victory.

        On Saturday evening at Morrisburg Arena the home team more than held their own in a fast and rough hockey game. Jensen Tysick, recently acquired from Perth, took a major and a game penalty in the third period, as did the Rangers Jodie Dodge later in the same period. The Lions sat out a dozen infractions while the visitors were called on 13 occasions. The Lions outshot their opponents on a 49-33 count.


        Mathieu Giroux opened the game scoring in the last five minutes of the first period when he beat the Lion's Riley Phillips on a bullet shot. John Mahoney set up the play. The visitors then went up 2-0 five minutes into the second period when Jodie Dodge was credited with a goal, from Cole Edgey and Tristan Leomis, while Lion's Captain Zach Leblanc sat out a minor for boarding.

        The Lions got that one back midway through the second frame Devon Burns captured a Jensen Tysick break-out pass and embarrassed the South Grenville defence on a short-handed score that made Ranger's goaltender Lee Spurgeon near invisible. Jared Fenlong made it a 3-1 game late in the second period.

        Midway through the final period the home team Lions cut the lead to 3-2 when Graham Robertson took a Leblanc/Cal Bilmer set-up and beat Spurgeon for the goal. Unfortunately a bad bounce allowed the Rangers a break the visitors made good on, Cam Dillon beating Phillips with Drew Holmes and Cole Edgey picking up the extra points, in this 4-2 Rangers victory.

        This week the Lions travel to Metcalfe on Friday evening to face the west division 3rd-place Metcalfe Jets. They host the overall 1st-place Clarence Creek Castors on Saturday evening at Morrisburg Arena in a 7:15 start. Should be some fast and furious action on that one.

Junior Lions make cuts - bring defence . . .

The Morrisburg Lions have announced the addition of four new faces to be in the line-up for this week's upcoming game against the West Division, front running South Grenville Rangers on Saturday evening at Morrisburg Arena. Gone on the December 1st trade deadline was forward Kage Hallet, defenceman Brennan Revell, and goaltender Morgan Penwell. Hallett and Revell were not easily recognized by local fans but goaltender Penwell had at least earned the more familiar, "Oh, you mean that really tall kid!" recognition. The goaltender, who has returned to the Athens Aeros, stood in the 6' 7" thin air space range, but unfortunately his vertical stature did not impress.

        The Lions this week are icing a 580 pound trio of bonafide heavy weights on their defensive corp in Gananoque's Logan Leonard, Lanark's Dylan Adrian and Perth's Jensen Tysick, all dressing for this Saturday evening's fracas with the Rangers. The move of goaltender Penwell has brought in Brockville's Paolo Suppa (out of Toronto) to play between the pipes. Seventeen-year-old Suppa will team with current net-minder Riley Phillips, who with a lacking defence has been bombarded since he dressed in a Lion's jersey. Suppa's first game, that last Sunday against the Cougars, was a bit of a rough introduction.

        Recent action for the Lions saw the team manage a tie against the West Carelton Inferno and then take a pounding at home on Sunday afternoon, following which the team quietly left the building after an embarrassing 11-3 loss to the high-flying Vankleek Hill Cougars.

       The Lions and invited guests celebrated their annual Christmas gathering last Sunday at the Morrisburg Golf Course clubhouse following the debacle with the Cougars. The evening was celebratory and jovial with the team's extended family all taking part in the laughter and wonderful meal. Management and staff remain united in their efforts to ice a competitive Juior team.

       This week the Lions get to show off their most recent acquisitions on Saturday evening at Morrisburg Arena in a 7:15 start against the Rangers. On Sunday the team gathers in Gatineau to face the cellar-dwelling Hull Volants of the East Division.

Rockets flare out Lions here . . .

Excuse me, cumin' through . . . Lion's Cal Bilmer is in hot pursuit of the puck (??) in Sunday's game at Morrisburg Arena . . .


Sunday, Nov. 25th - Had the Morrisburg Junior C Lions been as wide awake in the opening period as they were in the last two periods of Sunday’s game against the North Dundas Rockets they may have posted an additional two points in the win column of the league standings. The locals outscored the visiting North Dundas Rockets over the final two periods of the game, making the idea of a possible win quite clear in the minds of fans who did come out for what turned out to be an incredibly exciting game.

        The idea that the standing roster, up until Sunday's game, of the Junior Lions is the best the team can ice became slightly unclear. That thought was certainly muddied when Morrisburg dressed two locals, including 15-year-old Kane McCadden and 17-year-old Brady Smith, to play defence. Smith is playing this season with the South Dundas Midget House Lions. McCadden, who currently patrols the blue line for the Kemptville Panthers Minor Midget Reps, looked right at home with the Junior Lions.

        The opposition Rockets are not a target anyone is going to bowl over easily. The team is in 2nd-place in the East Division of the National Capital Junior Hockey League (5th-place overall) with a 9-5-1 record, and they are in the top four teams in goals scored. The Lions, by comparison, are 3-12-1, and have been light on the defensive side of their game.

        Changes are continuing in the Lion’s dressing room. Goaltender Morgan Penwell is leaving for Athens where that team is short a man between the pipes. And they do own Penwell’s rights. We wish him well. That leaves Riley Phillips in the net and an opening on the dressing room bench for a newcomer.

        “We’re hoping to address the defence,” ac  somewhat frustrated coach Ken Turnbull said between the first and second periods on Sunday, his team trailing 3-0. Turnbull added, “Until some strength at the back end becomes available we’ll have to live with a strong work ethic and hope.” 

        Sunday’s game was fast, a challenge the locals seem to be attracted to when the opposition picks it up. Brad Stitt fired a pair of goals four minutes apart and Justin Lefevre notched a single in the opening 20 minutes, giving the Rockets a good start.

        The Lions came around in the middle period, outscoring the Rockets on a 2-1 count with goals from Aaron Smith and Zach Leblanc, leaving the visitors lead at a single counter. Conner Roth gave the Rockets the 2-goal advantage late in the frame when he  added the fourth North Dundas goal.

        In a rough and tumble final 20 minutes the Lions matched the Rocket output again. Graham Robertson took a McCadden pass and drilled it past Rielly Tandreau, cutting the lead to a single marker. Unfortunately, while pressing for the tie late in the game the Rockets Cam Brown stole the puck and beat Phillips on a clear break to close the game scoring with two minutes remaining.

        The Lions were called on eight infractions while the Rockets sat out 14 calls. Morrisburg outshot North Dundas on a 45-35 count.

        On Sunday, Dec. 2nd the Lions face the Vankleek Hill Cougars who are presently challenging for 1st-place over-all in the league standings. The Cougars have 24 points along with the St-Isidore Eagles, and the Clarence Creek Castors have top spot with 25 points. The puck will be dropped at 2:15 p.m.

Another long weekend for Junior Lions . . .

Sunday, Nov. 18th - After suffering an 18-3 two-game weekend seven days gone, the local Junior C Lions were back at it on Saturday night at home and Sunday evening in St-Isidore, Qc. The East-division 4th -place Bytown Royals bounced the home team Lions 7-4 on Friday night by taking advantage of a late scoring opportunity and potting two counters. The Lions had pulled Morgan Penny in an effort to tie the score late in the game when they were trailing 5-3. The move ended up with the Royals adding a pair of goals and the Lions scoring a single.

        The Royals took charge early in this one when Will Lachapelle notched a pair of goals, Sam Constantineau drawing both assists, to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Cal Bilmer set up Devon Burns to cut the lead to a single goal, closing the first period scoring.

        Bytown doubled down in the second period when they again outscored the Lions on a 2-1 count. Lachapelle completed his hat trick night early while Greg Nighton added the second goal. Martin Laframboise, Gino Peloso and Alex Dionne drew assists on the two goals. Zach Leblanc fired the lone Morrisburg goal with help from Devon Burns and Kyle Oulette.

        The visitors outscored their hosts again in the final period, this time on a 3-2 count, in a fast and exciting 20 minutes, the Lions showing they are without the firepower to make a sustained  comeback. Peloso put the Royals up 5-3 three minutes into the period on an unassisted play. Then Bilmer scored eight minutes in, on a Leblanc set-up, setting the stage for any and all possibilities. 

        The Lion's Devon Burns rifled a short past Ty Agardy to close the gap to 5-4 with three minutes remaining and the door was open. Zach Leblance and Graham Robertson assisted on the two third period goals. The Lion's went on the attack, and the move back-fired when Alex Dionne intercepted a pass and turned the play into a break away. Dionne scored to make it 6-4. The Lions pulled goal tender Penwell in the dying seconds and the Royals hit the empty net on a clearing attempt to close the game with a 7-4 victory.

        Each team had 39 shots on net in this game with the Lons serving eight infractions while the Royals were called six time.

        On Sunday evening the Lions were hosted by the East-division (and overall) 1st-place St-Isidore Eagles, losing that one on a 9-2 score. The Eagles fired three goals in the opening period, outscored the Lions 5-1 in the middle frame and shared a single with the visitors in the final period for the victory.

        In comparison, St-Isidore has 12 victories and three losses, near opposite of the Lon's record. Opposition teams have score against the Eagles 55 times in 15 games. The Lions are very close to breaking the 100 'goals against' mark in the same number of games. The greatest difference however is in the 'goals for' categories where the Eagles have the lead by a massive 60 goals over the Morrisburg shooters.

        On Sunday, Nov. 25th the Lions host the always entertaining 2nd-place North Dundas Rockets in a 1:15 start. Should be some fast and furious action in this one.

Lions bombed by the Jets 12-3 . . .

Heated goal-mouth hockey . . .
Heated goal-mouth hockey . . .

Sunday, Nov. 11th - The Morrisburg Lions Junior C hockey players are doing little to attract a fan base. In fact, the team was outscored 18-3 in their two most recent games. And that makes it a good thing that the West Carleton Inferno hasn’t won a game as yet this season. Otherwise the Lions, who are in desperate need of some consistency, would be holding that basement position.

        After falling to the North Dundas Rockets on an embarrassing 6-0 score a week previous the Lions hosted the Metcalfe Jets at Morrisburg Arena on Sunday afternoon.  The teams were, previous to that game, tied and or very comparable in the standings across the board. This week the Lions are behind by 2 points, 18 back in goals for, 19 back in goals against, but they do have a game in hand. 

        Metcalfe came out with four goals in the opening period, chased Morgan Penwell from the net in a three goal second period, and on this Remembrance Day shelled back-up Riley Phillips for five more goals before the game ended. 

        Morrisburg took 14 infractions in the game, most credited to frustration. 

        This coming Saturday evening, Nov. 17th, the Lions host the Bytown Royals at Morrisburg Arena in a 7:15 p.m. game start. The Royals hold last spot in the 5-team east division of the National Capital Junior Hockey League.On Sunday evening the Lions travel to St-Isidore for a game against the Eagles who hold 1st-place in the east division..

Covering up in the crease . . .
Covering up in the crease . . .

Lions steady improvement on track . . .

South Grenville Ranger's Jordie Dodge pulls one around Lion's goaltender Morgan Penwell's glove for the winning goal late in the game on Saturday evening at Morrisburg . . .


Saturday, Oct. 20th - Ken Turnbull, the coach of the Morrisburg Junior C Lions, said following an October 14th loss, his team would beat the front running South Grenville Rangers  before the season was over. And Turnbull just might be correct. That is, if the season runs long enough.

Morrisburg Junior C Lions coach Ken Turnbull . . .
Morrisburg Junior C Lions coach Ken Turnbull . . .


        The 1st-place Rangers were in town on Saturday night to play the Lions in the third of the six regular scheduled games they have this season. The first was on September  30th when the Lions took it on the chin in a 9-2 loss. The two teams played again on October 14th, this time the Lions showing a minuscule improvement when they lost 9-3. Coach Turnbull, in the follow-up practices, continued to enforce a more concentrated work ethic on his players.

        This past Saturday night at Morrisburg Arena the Lions gave up two power play goals, the difference in the game, losing after 60 minutes on a 4-2 score. Aside from the infractions, a vast improvement in their work ethic. 

        When the Rangers and the Lions meet it would seem the norm is a rough contest. And Saturday night’s game ended in a 3rd-period outbreak that fans will talk about all week. The Lion's Francis Chartrand and Cal Bilmer were bounced from the game as was South Grenville’s Brody Ranger and Logan Baynham. The Lions served 48 minutes in penalties while the rangers won that score too, serving 54 minutes.

        The Ranger's Tristan Loomis opened the game scoring when he beat Morgan Penwell three minutes into the first period. Graham Roberston scored the Lions first goal to tie the contest four minutes later, firing a shot past Sam Limouges-Ring in the Rangers net.

        The Lions captured the lead going into the second period when Marc Antoine-Doyon completed a play from (brother) Charles Doyon and Zinon Biron. Jack Finnerty came back to grab a tie for the Rangers, beating Penwell on a three way play for the counter.

        Midway through the final period the Rangers instigated a small brawl that ended up in the game expulsions. They then  added a pair of goals, Jodie Dodge registering both markers. The Rangers were credited with 47 shots against the Lions while Morrisburg responded with 45 shots.

        The Lions next home game will see the  West Carelton Inferno make their first visit to the Morrisburg Arena on Sunday, Oct. 28th. Game time is slated for 2:15 p.m.

NCJHL officials don't show for game . . .

Sunday, Oct. 14th - Morrisburg’s Junior C Lions took it on the chin this past weekend in a number of ways. Travelling to Ottawa on Friday evening for the first of three weekend games the west division’s second place Lions were humbled in a 6-1 loss by the east’s second place Bytown Royals. On Saturday evening at Morrisburg Arena the Lions and the Hull Volants were set to play but the league scheduled officials didn’t show up. And on Sunday afternoon at Morrisburg Arena, in a home game for the visiting but rinkless South Grenville Rangers, the Lions had their leading scorer evicted from the game in the opening minutes, then grabbed a two goal lead. Unfortunately, the speed and precision passing of the undefeated Rangers wired the puck past Morrisburg netminder Penwell Morgan four times before the period ended.

        “We had a great game against the Royals on Friday night,” a member of the Lion’s coaching staff said, “And we know the score was lopsided but it was one of those games that we had the opportunities and didn’t get that final bit of good fortune to have the puck go in. But we did work to get the chances and we got them.”

        All of the Lion’s management was of the same opinion on the game against the Royals. The two teams traded goals in the opening period with Hayden Hoerner spotting the point for the Lions.  The Royals increased their lead in the second to 5-1 when they added a trio of unanswered markers while the Morrisburg players sat out nine minor penalties.

        In the final frame the home team Royals added the 6th and final goal of the game for the lopsided victory.

        On Saturday evening’s fiasco around officials not showing up, the league’s web site makes no mention of the mishap. And according to spokespersons from the Lion’s management team, it’s not the first time this season officials have not show up for a game. 

        On Sunday afternoon at Morrisburg Arena the South Grenville Rangers brought the best game, and this west division leading league entry isn’t in 1st place for any other reason but that they are a very good team. Their speed and precision passing is worthy of such remarks and there are numerous teams currently playing in area Junior B sweaters that would fall to the Rangers.

        The Lions opened the game with a ferocious checking attack, scored the first two goals, and immediately lost their leading scorer to a major for a head-check. Following the Lions 2-0 lead, they were outscored 9-1. A score sheet of the game was not made available at the time of this post.

        The Lions next home game will be on Saturday, Oct. 20th against those same South Grenville Rangers, on a 7:15 p.m. start. This one is a Morrisburg home game.

Lions lose one, win one for Thanksgiving . . .

Monday, Oct. 8th - The Junior C Lions hockey team stepped onto home ice at the Morrisburg Arena on Saturday evening and twenty minutes later appeared to be onto a sure victory. The team had scored just seven seconds into the opening period when Bailey Normad drew the opening face off onto the stick of line mate Zach Leblanc. A quick step and a snap shot saw Leblanc’s shot handcuff the St. Isidore Eagles goaltender Braden Penberthy and the Lions led 1-0. 

        At the opposing end of the ice the Lion’s Morgan Penwell turned away every shot the visitors directed his way in those initial 20 minutes. The Eagles swooped into the Lion’s zone time and again, firing from every angle and distance, including a pair of powerplay opportunities, while Penwell calmly appeared to be making the task look too easy. His goaltending opponent was pulled 16 minutes and 34 seconds in after allowing a pair of counters in the final six minutes of the frame, the first from Brandon Cameron and the Lion’s third counter from Marc Antoine Doyon.

        The locals added another single prior to the period ending when Francis Chartrand tapped in a Hayden Hoerner set-up, beating replacement netminder Lucas Deunes and closing the period in a 4-0 Morrisburg lead.

       Second period action remained strong both ways, with Penwell allowing a single goal in the dying minutes when Jacob Brunette snapped a power play bullet into the Lion’s net while Aaron Smith sat out a minor infraction. St. Isidore earned a 20-minute shut out.

        The visiting Eagles staged a scoring lesson in the final ten minutes of the third period. The puck went through the home team’s defence and past the goaltender six times.  Brunette added a pair to complete a hat-trick on the night while singles went to Zack Doujie, Tyler Druce, Ryan Wells and Miguel Crispin. The home team went down on a 7-4 count.


Edge the Jets 5-4

       Playing their second game in as many nights on Thanksgiving weekend the Lions hosted the Metcalfe Jets in a 21-minor penalty filled contest. After allowing the Jets a 1-0 in the opening period lead the Lions scored an unanswered pair of goals in the middle period and staved off a late bombardment by the Jets in the dying minutes for the victory.   

        Sebastien Roy opened the game scoring when he beat Lions goaltender Riley Phillips late in the period. William Lacharelle and Tristan Staff organized the play. 

        A pair of unassisted counters gave Morrisburg the lead in the second frame. Brandon Cameron and Zach Leblanc each won the puck in a tight checking frame and wired shots past the Jets backstop, Christian Bachman, to go ahead 2-1.

        Graham Robertson took a neat pass from Lion newcomer Zenin Biron and Kage Hallett to put the home team up on a 3-1 count just more than two minutes into the final period. The Jets Lacharelle cut the lead to a single three minutes later when he beat Phillips on a James Horvath set-up.

        Brandon Cameron scored his second of the night from Marc Antoine Doyon and Leblanc with seven minutes remaining in the game and the 4-2 lead. Not to be outdone Lacharelle returned for a second counter with three and a half minutes remaining, again cutting the Lion’s lead to a single at 4-3.

        Slightly more than two minutes remained when Cal Bilmer gave fans a moment to relax, beating Bachan  on assists from Kevin Doyle and Graham Robertson for a 5-3 lead and the clock favoring the Lions’ efforts. 

        The Jets pulled their net minder with just more than a minute remaining in the game, then swarmed the Lion’s net with Cameron Gallant pounding the puck past Phillips in what would be the final score of the game. The Lions gladly accepted the victory.

        The Lions travel to Bernard-Grandmaitré Arena in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 12th for their first meeting with the last-place Bytown Royals. On Saturday evening the team returns to Morrisburg Arena to meet the East Division, 3rd-place Gatineau-Hull Volant in a 7:15 start. On Sunday evening the Lions host the West Division leading South Grenville Rangers in the third game of the three-day weekend, an 8:10 start at Morrisburg Arena.