ALMONTE/GATINEAU – The Morrisburg Lions dropped back into eighth place in the National Capital Junior Hockey League after losing two games on the road this weekend.
November 6 saw the Lions take on the Almonte Inferno. When the two teams met on Halloween, Morrisburg soundly defeated Almonte 6-2. This time around the Lions gave up a one goal lead in the second period, then were undone by a Zamboni.
Jordan Serson (from Jeremy Brooks) put the Lions on the scoreboard late in the first period to give Morrisburg a 1-0 lead.
Almonte forward Nolan Nesbitt scored two goals in the second to book-end the period, to give the Inferno a 2-1 lead in the game. A mechanical failure caused the Zamboni to stop working on the ice between the second and third periods, resulting in damage to the ice surface. Subsequently, the referee called the game, awarding the two points to the Inferno.
“We got off to a slow start in the game,” said head coach Lance Hodgson.
“The team got into some penalty trouble in the second period and it cost us the lead.”
Hodgson said he was disappointed with the game being called between the second and third period, but agreed with the decision.
“The ice wasn’t safe with the damage from the Zamboni. It was absolutely the right call made by the ref.”
Less than 24 hours later, the Lions were back on the ice, this time in Gatineau to take on the high-flying Hull-Volant.
Nearly one-third of the way through the season, Gatineau had the third-best record and were three points out of first place.
Morrisburg had a 2-1 lead until the final minutes of the first period thanks to goals from Serson and Noelan Spink. Gatineau responded late in the frame, scoring twice to overtake the Lions at the end of the period. The Hull-Volant added two goals in the second period and one in the third to win the game 6-2.
“We were short on our bench in the game but the boys played well out there,” the coach said. “Gatineau is a good team – one of the top teams – and we had a lead in the first.”
Hodgson said that penalties continued to cause the Lions trouble.
“That’s something we are working on with the team,” he said. “We just have to keep it simple on the ice.”
Despite having more losses than wins so far this season, Hodgson said the team is keeping a positive outlook.
“The energy is there in the locker room and on the ice. We keep looking forward working together. There are a lot of first year players to the team and it takes a while.”
Looking ahead, Hodgson said that the team is improving and expects good results in upcoming games.
The pair of losses sink the Lions back into eighth place in the nine-team league, one point behind the Inferno and three points out of the NCJHL basement.
Up next, the Lions host the St. Isidore Eagles November 13 at the Morrisburg Arena. Puck drop is at 7:15 p.m.
The Lions will travel to Clarence Creek to take on the league-leading Clarence Castors the following day.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader