The North Dundas Senior Rockets won the EOSHL championship for the second year in a row with a 9 – 4 win over the Gananoque Islanders on April 2.  Courtesy Photo

CHESTERVILLE – For the second year in a row, the North Dundas Senior Rockets’ Hockey Club enjoyed back-to-back Eastern Ontario Senior Hockey League, (EOSHL), Championships. The Rockets were able to win the cup in a 4 game contest with the Gananoque Islanders in the Islanders’ rink on Sun., April 2.

The final score in a penalty filled game was 9 for the Rockets and 4 for the Islanders.

On Sat., April 1 the Islanders found their groove, and pummeled the Rockets by a score of 10 to 2. The Rockets made it clear that in the deciding fourth game they would not be taking anything for granted, especially their own ability and determination.

Robyn Sadler is an executive with the senior Rockets and their general manager and head coach.

He could not say enough about how his team rallied to finish off the Islanders.

He said, “Gananoque is an awfully good hockey team. I would be lying to you if I said I was not worried going into the series.”

He suggested the loss in the third game was the result of over confidence on the part of the Rockets and the Islanders were able to take advantage of that.

“We started to take some bad penalties,” he said.

“No one thought we had played very well on Saturday and we did not think we had played very well. We were definitely hungry on Sunday.”

When the Rockets became a bit distracted and off their game that was all the Islanders needed to take the Rockets’ game away and hold off their own elimination.

Sadler said, “Gananoque is a skilled enough team, that if you are not paying attention to hockey, they will make you pay.”

Sadler mentioned that winning back-to-back championships was special but another historic note about the game was the return of 50 year-old Chesterville native and veteran hockey player Todd Marcellus to the Rockets, which was a thrill for fans to be able to see.

The four-game final featured a Rockets’ win on March 25 of 9 – 2, then another win on March 26 with a 7 – 2 Rockets’ win. On April 1 the Islanders threatened to stop the Rockets’ run with a 10 – 2 win in Chesterville. On Sun., April 2 the Rockets took the championship with a 9 – 4 win, winning the best of a five series, 3 – 1.

In the final contest the Rockets opened up a 2 – 0 goal lead in the first period.

In the second period the Islanders came back with 3 goals of their own, but the Rockets kept up the pressure with 4 more of their own to secure a 6 – 3 lead.

In the third period, the Islanders began to rally with a fourth goal, but the rockets came back with 3 of their own for a cup-winning total of 9.

The Rockets outshot the Islanders 49 – 28.

The 3 stars were Michael McNamee and Brett Gustafson for the Rockets, and the third star was Brock Higgs of the Islanders.

Penalties were 7 – 12 for the Islanders, including a too many men on the ice call for the Islanders.