The North Dundas Rockets welcomed the St. Isidore Eagles to the Chesterville Arena for Game 2 of the best of seven NCJHL semifinals on Sun., March, 11. The Rockets’ defenseman Matt Cowley (15) scored two goals including the game winner as the Rockets took Game 2 by a score of 3-0. The 6’ 3”, 220 lb. Ottawa native has two goals and seven assists in just six games in the playoffs. With the victory, the Rockets knot the series at one heading to St. Isidore.     Sawyer Helmer photo

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

Rockets 3 Eagles 0: The Rockets welcomed the St. Isidore Eagles to the Chesterville Arena on Sun., March 11, for game two of the best of seven NCJHL semifinals. The Rockets came out flat in their previous game and fell behind 3-0 early. They ran out of time as they tried to mount a comeback falling short 3-2. The Eagles looked to go up 2-0 in the series heading home for the next two games.

The Rockets opened the scoring at 15:48 of the first period as Matt Cowley pounded one home from the point from Brad Stitt on the power play to take a 1-0 lead. The Rockets peppered the Eagles’ goalie with 17 shots but settled for a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

The Rockets made it 2-0 when the same two combined again as Cowley rifled another shot from the blue at 15:44 of the second period from Stitt. The Rockets took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission. The Eagles got frustrated as the Rockets’ goalie Reilly Tondreau stopped everything they could throw at him.

The Rockets closed out the scoring when sniper Chris Marchand ripped one to the back of the net from Tom Fingler and Bryden Van Kessel at 13:50 of the third period. The Rockets hung on for the 3-0 victory knotting the series at one, heading back to St. Isidore Tuesday.

Tondreau picked up the shutout making 36 saves for the win in the Rockets’ goal and Philippe Roy suffered the loss in the Eagles’ goal making 36 saves on 39 shots.

Rockets 6 Eagles 5: The Rockets welcomed the St. Isidore Eagles to the Chesterville Arena on Fri., March 9, for game one of the NCJHL semifinals. The number two seeded Rockets made it to the semifinal by taking out the number seven seed Vankleek Hill Cougars in five games. The fifth-seeded Eagles had a more daunting task as they made it through a gruelling seven game series against the fourth-seeded Cumberland Bandits.

The Rockets struggled in the first period and couldn’t seem to find their wheels allowing the Eagles to open the scoring at 6:40 when Patrick Ranger scored from Jean Philippe Souligny to take a 1-0 lead. The Eagles outshot the Rockets 16-6 in the opening frame but settled for a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

The Rockets failed to launch in the second period and they lost their star defenseman Bryden Van Kessel, as he was assessed a two-minute minor for checking from behind and an automatic game misconduct at 8:15. The Eagles capitalized on the ensuing power play as Nicholas Souligny scored from Maxime Choquette and Jacob Belanger at 8:36 to take a 2-0 lead.

The Eagles scored their second power-play goal of the period as Nicholas Souligny netted his second of the game from Frederick Gagnier and Alexis Leclerc at 10:01. The Rockets picked it up defensively after the goal but could not find the back of the net as the Eagles took a 3-0 lead into the second intermission, outshooting the Rockets again 24-9.

The Rockets finally got on the board at 5:55 of the third period as Tom Fingler riffled one to the back of the net from Connor Roth to make it 3-1. The Rockets got to within one as Ryan Carbonette snapped one home from Shawn Simms and Justin Lefebvre at 10:14.

The Rockets outshot the Eagles in the third period 14-12 but couldn’t find the equalizer as the Eagles came into the Chesterville Arena and took a 1-0 series lead home with them. The Rockets needed to find their potent offence for game two or they would be in a deep rut.

Suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma making 49 saves on 52 shots and picking up the win in the Eagles’ goal was Philippe Roy making 27 saves on 29 shots.

Up next: Game 3 (of the best of seven NCJHL semifinals): Tues., March 13, 8 p.m., Rockets vs. Eagles at St. Isidore Arena; Game 4: Thurs., March 15, 8:30 p.m., St. Isidore; Game 5: Sat., March 17, 7:30 p.m., Chesterville; if necessary – Game 6: Sun., March 18, 7:30 p.m., St. Isidore; and Game 7: Tues., March 20, 8 p.m., Chesterville.