The Rockets’ newest defenseman Matt Cowley (15) has been a proven performer and picked up four assists in the game to help the Rockets defeat the Rangers 11-5. The 6’ 3” 220 lbs. Ottawa native has one goal and six assists in just six games.    O’Donohue photo

Jeff Moore
Record Staff
CARDINAL – The North Dundas Rockets played two games this past weekend.

Rockets 11 Rangers 5: The Rockets travelled to the Cardinal Arena on Sun., Jan. 21, to take on the South Grenville Rangers in the NCJHL. After dropping their previous game to the second-place Gatineau Hull-Volant the previous night, the Rockets looked to get back to within two points of the Volant after falling four back. The Rangers were coming off a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Morrisburg Lions in their previous outing as they looked to catch the Lions in the standings.

The Rockets opened the scoring just 3:10 into the first period as Tom Fingler pounded one home from Matt Cowley and Brodie Barkley to take a 1-0 lead.

The Rockets made it 2-0 when Shawn Simms batted one home from Justin Lefebvre and Connor Roth at 5:39 and 3-0 when Nick Sourges slapped one to the back of the net from Simms and Roth at 14:06. The Rockets kept the ball rolling as Simms scored his second of the game from Roth and Lefebvre at 16:34 but the Ranger got that one back when Carson Pickup scored from Travis Marshall and Tyler Cayen with just 1:07 remaining in the opening frame.

The Rockets took the 4-1 lead into the first intermission. The Rockets added two more goals to open the scoring in the second period as Landon Veenstra potted one from Brad Stitt and Barkley at 4:19 and again at 5:23 as Lefebvre rifled one to the back of the net from Cowley and Veenstra.

The Rangers answered with a goal at 9:09 as Kris Laushway scored from Cameron Dillon and Pickup but the Rockets responded with a pair at 12:22 as Roth scored an unassisted goal and again at 13:39 as Lefebvre scored his second of the game from Simms and Cowley to make it 8-2.

The Rockets added another one at 16:19 as Veenstra scored his second of the game from Fingler and Stitt. The Rangers scored another late period goal with just 54 seconds remaining in the middle frame as Tyler Manderson scored from Dillon and Pickup but the Rockets took a 9-3 lead into the second intermission.

The Rockets made it 10-3 at 7:57 as Barkley snapped one to the back of the net from Fingler. The Rangers answered with a goal at 8:07 as Cayen scored an unassisted goal but the Rockets got that one back right away as Roth scored his second of the afternoon from Cowley.

The Rangers added a late goal at 12:26 as Marshall scored from Manderson but it was too little too late as the Rockets took the game 11-5 and moved to within two points of second place. Picking up the win in the Rockets’ goal was Reilly Tondreau.

Volant 5 Rockets 4 (OT): The Rockets welcomed the Gatineau Hull-Volant to the Chesterville Arena on Sat., Jan. 20, in the NCJHL. The Rockets went into the game in third place just two points behind the Volant in second place and eight points behind the Papineau Vikings in first. The Cumberland Bandits and the St. Isidore Eagles both sat just three points behind the Rockets in a fourth-place tie.

The Volant surprised the Rockets early by scoring just 33 seconds into the first period to take a 1-0 lead but the Rockets were able to get that one back as Jace Legue snapped one home from Shawn Simms and Justin Lefebvre at 9:04. The Rockets outshot the Volant slightly 12-11 in the first period but the two teams headed to the dressing room for the first intermission tied at one.

The Volant came out of the dressing room strong in the second period lighting the lamp two more times at 4:20 and 5:15, taking a 3-1 lead. The Rockets got to within one when Lefebvre snapped one to the back of the net from Simms and Connor Roth on the power play at 13:57 but the Volant took a 3-2 lead into the second intermission.

The Volant jumped out to a 4-2 lead at 9:20 of the third period but after a whole lot of rough stuff the Rockets scored a power-play goal at 13:35 when Bryden Van Kessel sniped one from Brodie Barkley again on the power play to make it 4-3.

The Rockets knotted the affair at four when Legue scored his second of the game from Lefebvre with 4:33 remaining in regulation. Neither team was able to score before the final horn sounded so the game headed to a four-minute four-on-four overtime period.

In the extra session, the Rockets took a penalty late in overtime and the Volant took advantage scoring with 1:20 remaining to take the game 5-4. Suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma making 28 saves on 33 shots.

Up next: Sat., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m., Rockets vs. Cumberland Bandits, Chesterville Arena; Sun., Jan. 28, at 3:30 p.m., Rockets vs. Papineau Vikings, Arena Stephane Richer, St. André Avellin.