Double losses drop Morrisburg Jr. Lions to second last

WESTPORT/ALMONTE – The Morrisburg Lions fell two spots in the National Capital Junior Hockey League standings after earning only one point last weekend.

Morrisburg was on a two game road trip, avoiding the heavy snow that blanketed the region. They played the Westport Rideaus November 18. So far this season, the teams have won one game each in their four-game season series.

The Lions took a two goal lead halfway through the first period. Justice Brownlee and Rylan Iwachniuk each scored and assisted in the other’s goal. Westport tied the game shortly after, then took a two goal lead of their own. Keon Troccolli-Roik brought Morrisburg back to within one goal with two minutes remaining in the period – Lions trailed the Rideaus 4-3.

Troccolli scored his second of the night, short handed and unassisted, halfway through the second period to tie the game 4-4. The Lions’ penalty kill allowed the Rideaus to retake the 5-4 lead minutes later, which Westport held into the third period.

Iwachniuk tied the game for Morrisburg early in the third period. The teams see-sawed their way through the period each scoring two more goals – Troccolli-Roik kept the Lions in it, tying the game 7-7 with 2:40 remaining on the clock.

Heading into overtime, it took only eight seconds for Westport forward Matthew Leaver to score the game winner as the Rideaus won 8-7. Morrisburg earned a point in the OT loss.

While the game was a loss for the Lions, Troccolli-Riok added five points to his account (four goals, one assist) in the NCJHL Leader Stats.

The Lions travelled to Almonte November 20 to take on the Inferno and until the third period, Morrisburg kept control of the game.

A pair of power play goals from Brownlee late in the first period saw the Lions overcome a 1-0 lead and remain in the driver’s seat through the second period.

Troccolli-Riok continued his points production in the game, adding a goal four minutes in. Brownlee completed his hat-trick of power play goals four minutes later. The Lions led the Inferno 4-1. Almonte and Morrisburg traded a goal each late in the period.

The Inferno notched a shorthanded goal 30 seconds into the third period but Connor Manderson restored the Lions’ three goal lead two minutes later. Morrisburg led Almonte 6-3. A minute later, Almonte scored the first of its five unanswered goals in the period. The Lions saw the game slip away with goals scored against them more frequently as a clock wound down, the final two scored in the final minute-and-a-half of the game. Almonte won 8-6.

Another three point night from Troccolli-Riok (two goals, one assist) put him at the top of the leader board in the league with 20 goals scored. Troccolli-Riok is tied for first place with 37 points in the league and is averaging 2.47 points per game. He also stands third in the league for most penalty minutes.

The one point weekend drops Morrisburg (3-10-0-2) to ninth in the league standings with eight points as the team’s losing streak extends to five games. Almonte’s win leapfrogs the team into seventh place. Westport is tied with Morrisburg in points, but against each other the Rideaus have won twice, the Lions once.

Morrisburg has one game on tap for this weekend. The team hosts the North Dundas Rockets November 26 at the Morrisburg Arena – puck drop is at 7:15 p.m.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader