Close 6-5 win for Rangers over Lions

MORRISBURG – The continuing series between the Morrisburg Lions and South Grenville Rangers saw the closest game between these two river rivals so far this season. The two met November 6 at the Morrisburg Arena, keeping fans on the edge of their seat for most of the game.

The last time the two teams met it was an 8-5 loss for the Lions. Since then, roster changes and a bench change for Morrisburg reduced the penalties taken by the team, and improved goal production.

South Grenville’s Ethan Wooller opened scoring less than a minute into the game, and Owen Webster made it 2-0 at the 13 minute mark. Morrisburg took advantage of a late power play, seeing Curran Gilmour and Connor Manderson set up Keon Troccolli-Riok for his first of a four-goal haul in the game. The Rangers quickly answered that goal resulting in the Lions trailing the Rangers 3-1 as the teams headed into the second period.

Troccolli-Riok scored twice on power plays early in the second period. The first goal, two minutes in, from Justice Brownlee and Manderson, was followed four minutes later – this time assisted by Gilmour and Rylan Iwachniuk. The Lions and Rangers were tied 3-3. That tie did not last long, as Zach White scored go-ahead and insurance goals for the Rangers two minutes later. Jacob McGonegal added a sixth goal with three seconds remaining in the period. Morrisburg trailed South Grenville 6-5.

Third period action got underway with new Lions’ newcomer Bowen Gaceta opening his account with the team 25 seconds into the third period. Gaceta joined the Lions from the Brockville Tikis organization.

Troccolli-Riok cut the Rangers’ lead to one goal, scoring two minutes into the period. Lions continued to trail the Rangers 6-5.

Morrisburg’s defence kept South Grenville to just four shots in the third period. It was not for a lack of effort by the Lions throughout the period as the team fired 15 shots at Rangers goalie Andrew Cristea, but the team could not get that tying goal. South Grenville defeated Morrisburg 6-5.

The Lions out shot the Rangers 51-26 and picked up only 10 penalty minutes this game – none of which occurred in the third period where the team normally draws the most infractions. The Rangers earned 20 penalty minutes.

The win moves the Rangers into third place and keeps the Lions in seventh place in the NCJHL standings.

Morrisburg will host the Metcalfe Jets November 12 at the Morrisburg Arena (7:15 p.m. start) before travelling to St. Isidore to face the Eagles November 13.

South Grenville will host the Westport Rideaus in Cardinal November 12 (8:15 p.m. start). The Rangers will travel to Clarence Creek to take on the Castors the following day.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader