CHESTERVILLE – It’s that time of the year, the days are getting shorter, there is a heavy dew on just about everything early in the morning, and there is a bit of a chill in the air. It can only mean one thing: it’s almost hockey season!
This year, there is something different though. The North Dundas Rockets have, for the past two seasons, been crowned the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League champions. They will very soon begin their pursuit of a third championship, a three-peat! This year, everyone knows who the Rockets are, and the other teams in the league will be gunning for them. There is a special sort of satisfaction in defeating the champion. The Rockets may have something to say about that though. They have always been tough on the road, but especially so in their own barn in Chesterville.
The Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League is a Senior Men’s “A” League for those who still want to play competitive hockey. Games are fast paced with body contact and the odd “tussle”. Make no mistake about it though: every team in the league is there to play hockey. It’s fast and it’s physical.
The League is made up of 15 teams, 8 teams in the east and 7 in the west. Teams are located as far west as Deseronto to as far east as Glengarry. The teams play a 20-game schedule with 10 home games and 10 away games. This year the regular season format has changed so that the Rockets will not be facing any teams from the west until the playoffs roll around.
The Rockets’ team is comprised of the Elite level hockey players who on average range in ages between 25-35. The team is led by their captain, Chesterville native Derek Froats, and is made up of players who still want to play competitive-level hockey. The Rockets’ 25 player roster boasts 12 players that have played professionally, whether it be in the AHL, ECHL or overseas in Europe. Also returning this year is #66 Brett Gustavsen, last year’s EOSHL regular season MVP and top forward winner. Gustavsen, who is a native of Toronto tallied 67 points last season in 17 games and is described as a crafty forward who “gets under the skin” of every one of his opponents. The Senior Rockets are also pleased to announce that last year’s playoff MVP Mike Mcnamee has committed to returning to play this year. Mcnamee, who is no stranger to the spotlight has spent time in both the American Hockey league as well as playing overseas in Denmark. Over the past two seasons, Mike has tallied 21 goals and 19 assists in 14 games with the Rockets.
Regular season games are scheduled on Saturday afternoons, with the much-anticipated home opener vs. the Cornwall Prowlers on Oct 7 with a 2:15 puck drop. Along with great hockey to watch, fans can also enjoy a cold beer in “Gossip Corner” where regulars flock to talk about what’s new and exciting about their hockey club. But wait, there’s more!
The North Dundas Senior Rockets’ Hockey Club is thrilled to announce that they have partnered with Lannin Home Hardware Building Centre for a chance to have one lucky fan win $25,000 at each home game. The two-time defending EOSHL Champions want to give back to their dedicated fans and make every home game an experience to remember. Tickets for the shoot-out will be sold at all 10 Rockets’ home games ($5 per ticket, or 3 for $10). During the second intermission, the fan whose name is drawn will get one shot at the “Rockets Shoot Out Board”. If the puck crosses the goal line and into the net, that lucky fan will be going home with $25,000 in their pocket.
For more details on what is happening around the rink, please visit and follow the North Dundas Rockets’ Senior Hockey Club Facebook page. We’ll see you at the game!
Terry Tinkess is a professional photographer, educator and journalist. He has been making a living with a camera and keyboard since 1999 and has been featured in such publications as The Ottawa Citizen, Cornwall Standard Freeholder, The Globe and Mail, The Miami Herald, Ottawa Construction News, The Ontario Construction Report, Ontario Home Builder Magazine, Reed Construction Data, Canadian Potato Business and most recently, The Record and Eastern Ontario AgriNews. Terry lives in Ingleside, Ontario with his wife Brenda, Mia the anxious Pittie and cats Wally and Chubbers.