MORRISBURG – A spot in the playoffs is a real possibility once the hockey season resumes for the Morrisburg Jr. C Lions.
The National Capital Junior Hockey League is currently paused due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the Ontario government. That pause is expected to end on January 26, pending approval by the province. When the pause on the season is lifted, the Lions will hit the ice in seventh place with a five point cushion in the standings.
Morrisburg began the season with a win and currently have five marks in the win column. The team broke a six-game losing skid December 12, beating the Almonte Inferno 7-3.
At the break, the Lions have a 5-14-0 record for 10 points, eight points behind the Vankleek Hill Cougars.
NCJHL officials have not said what modifications to the schedule will happen once league play resumes, but the team has 13 games left in the 32 game season. The regular season is scheduled to end on February 20. If the season is cut short or the league immediately moves into the playoffs, the seventh-place Lions will be in the playoffs for only the second time since joining the league in 2015. The only time Morrisburg was in the playoffs was in the 2016-17 season when they were swept four games straight by eventual championship team, the Embrun Panthers.
Elsewhere in the league, the South Grenville Rangers hold top spot in the league with a 15-3-2 record. One point behind them in second place are the 15-3-1 Clarence Castors.
The North Dundas Rockets have a 12-6-1 record and hold third place while three points behind them in fourth place are the Gatineau Hull-Volant. Gatineau has an 11-5-0 record, but two points behind them in fifth place are the resurging St. Isidore Eagles, who are 9-7-2 this season.
Trailing St. Isidore are the Cougars (9-9-0) and the Lions (4-15-0).
After starting the season with an 11-game winless streak, the Metcalfe Jets began to take off in December, and lifted off out of the league basement to eighth place with a 2-15-1 record. The 1-17-1 Inferno have sole possession of last place.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader