Weekend losses for Morrisburg Jr. Lions

MORRISBURG – It was not for a lack of effort, but against the top two teams in the National Capital Junior Hockey League, the Morrisburg Jr. Lions could not catch a break.

The Lions hosted the league leading Gatineau Hull-Volant at home Saturday night (October 29) and got off to a great start.

Late in the first period, Morrisburg took a 1-0 lead thanks to a power play goal by Rylan Iwachniuk, assisted by Curran Gilmour and Connor Manderson. The Lions’ lead did not last long as the Hull-Volant tied the game up a minute later, and scored two power play goals of their own late in the period. Morrisburg trailed Gatineau 3-1 after 20 minutes.

The Lions’ woes continued into the second period. The high-flying Hull-Volant scored twice – the first shorthanded, followed by a power play goal later in the period. Despite out-shooting Gatineau 26-19 through two periods, Morrisburg could not gain any traction against the league-leaders.

That changed a bit in the third period, where the Hull-Volant scored four goals, but the Lions also scored twice. The first by Ben Pilon (from Malcolm Cooper and Justice Brownlee), followed by a late goal from Brownlee (Owen Fetterly, Keon Troccolli-Roik).

Morrisburg out shot Gatineau 42-40 and were three-for-nine on the penalty-kill. The team also allowed three shorthanded goals in the 9-3 loss.

Sunday saw the Lions travel to Clarence Creek to take on the second place Castors and looking to avenge the loss from the teams’ opening day 7-6 overtime loss September 24.

Morrisburg took a 2-1 lead in the first period. Brownlee (from Manderson and Hudson Fetterly) scored on a Lions’ power play. Troccolli-Roik (Brownlee, Justin Lalonde-Cyr) added the second goal to put the Lions in the lead.

After the Castors tied the game early in the second period, Manderson (Iwachniuk, Lalonde-Cyr) scored on another Lions’ power-play. Alex Bergeron (Landen Sinfield, Iwachniuk) extended Morrisburg’s lead to 4-2 in the dying embers of the second period.

The Lions made it a 5-2 game early in the third period as Troccolli-Roik connected a pass from Lalonde-Cyr with the back of the Castors’ goal.

Morrisburg was in the drivers seat with 11 minutes remaining in the game – but then things went awry. Clarence scored four unanswered goals including three on the power play.

The game winner for the Castor was scored with five minutes left on the clock. A quick time out for a reset did not help the Lions, who lost 6-5.

Morrisburg sits in seventh place in the league, one point behind the Almonte Inferno, and one point ahead of the Westport Rideaus.

Morrisburg will host back-to-back home games next weekend. October 5 sees the Lions host the Rideaus (7:15 p.m. puck drop) followed by the South Grenville Rangers on October 6 (2:15 p.m. puck drop).

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader