One of the newest local stars for the Rockets is Winchester native Tom Fingler (above). who has been a force scoring 14 goals and 10 assists for 24 points in just 13 games. Fingler scored a goal in the game but the short-benched Rockets fell hard with an 8-2 loss to the league’s first-place Vikings.     O’Donohue photo

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

Vikings 8 Rockets 2: The Rockets travelled to the Aréna Stéphane Richer in Saint-André-Avellin, Que., on Sun., Jan. 28, to take on the Papineau Vikings in the NCJHL. Instead of a battle for first place, the Rockets will be fighting to stay in third place as both the Cumberland Bandits who beat the Rocket the previous night and the St. Isidore Eagles sit just one point behind them.

The Rockets got off to a rather sluggish start in this game as the Vikings scored five unanswered goals the first just 45 seconds into the game, then again at 3:26, 6:27, 7:31 and 14:01. The Vikings took a 5-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Rockets got one back at 4:30 of the second period as Justin Lefebvre snapped one home from Jace Legue to make it 5-1. The Rockets made it 5-2 when Tom Fingler buried one from Shawn Simms and Conor Roth at 4:51.

The Vikings added another goal at 10:02 on the power play and took a 6-2 lead into the second intermission. It was all Vikings in the third period as they scored at 6:37 and 10:51 and took the game 8-2, handing the Rockets their ninth loss of the season. With the loss and the Eagles’ win over the Bandits, the Rockets fell into fourth place.

They now sit in a quagmire of teams as there are only four points separating sixth and second place. Suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma.

Bandits 3 Rockets 1: The Rockets welcomed the Cumberland Bandits to the Chesterville Arena on Sat., Jan. 27, in the NCJHL. The Rockets went into the game in third place two points behind the Gatineau Hull-Volant and three points ahead of the Bandits and the St. Isidore Eagles who sat tied for fourth.

The Bandits have won their last four straight and looked to overtake the Rockets for third place. The two teams battled to a scoreless first period but the Rockets outshot the Bandits 12-5.

The Rockets opened the scoring just 51 seconds into the second period as Tanner Barnet pounded one home from Nick Sourges and Jack Van Kessel to take a 1-0 lead. The Bandits answered just three minutes later to tie the game at one and took their first lead of the game at 8:42.

The Bandits took the 2-1 lead into the second intermission. The Rockets tried to get the equalizer and with just under a minute remaining they pulled their goalie in favour of an extra attacker but that backfired as the Bandits scored into the abandoned cage with just 11 seconds remaining to make it 3-1.

Suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Reilly Tondreau.

Up next: Fri., Feb. 2, 8:30 p.m., Rockets vs. Jets, Larry Robinson Arena, Metcalfe; Sat., Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m., Rockets vs. Morrsiburg Lions, Chesterville Arena.