The North Dundas Rockets have outscored Paugan Falls 15-6 in the first two games of their best of three quarter-final series and could wrap things up on Sat., March 2 in Chesterville. Game time is 2:15 p.m. Tinkess Photo

CHESTERVILLE – It was a good start to the 2023-2024 playoff season for the North Dundas Rockets as they picked up two wins, 8-3 and 7-3 over the Paugan Falls Rapids.

The two teams opened their semi-final series on Sat., Feb. 24, in Chesterville. It was a tame first period with the two teams exchanging goals. Derek Froats opened the scoring for North Dundas from Deric Boudreau and Michael Mcnamee, while Ryan Peck replied for Paugan Falls with assists to Carter Peck and Raphael Lajeunesse.

In the second period the Rapids took the lead on a goal from Dakota Ostrowski, assisted by Jeremy Giroux-Maisonneuve and Keyshawn Francis. It was short lived though, as the Rockets responded with four unanswered goals. Alex Gudbranson scored on the powerplay from Mcnamee and Brett Gustavsen, Froats added his second from Evan Dehaan and Boudreau, Mcnamee added another powerplay marker from Froats, and Marc-Andre Labelle wrapped up the second period scoring with Ryan Lough and Gustavsen adding assists.

North Dundas continued the onslaught in the third period, adding three more goals while only allowing one. Labelle added his second of the game from Lough and Gustavsen, Mcnamee added his second of the game, again on the powerplay, from Lough and Gudbranson, while Lough wrapped up the scoring from Shawn Moors and Matthew Cowley.

Alex Lafreniere from Sam Mclaughlin and Nicholas Carroll scored the final Rapids goal.

Each team picked up 18 minutes in penalties, but the Rockets made their opportunities count as they scored three of their eight goals on the powerplay.

Matt Jenkins stopped 33 of 36 shots for the win for North Dundas. Aidan Foley faced an incredible 91 shots, stopping 83.

Final score, North Dundas 8, Paugan Falls 3.

The two teams got right back at it on Sun., Feb. 25 in Paugan Falls, and the Rapids didn’t fare much better than the day before.

The Rockets put four on the board in the first period. Fabian Walsh opened the scoring from Gustavsen and Lough. Mcnamee then scored twice, 35 seconds apart. Froats assisted on the first while Boudreau and Gudbranson chipped in on the second. Lough wrapped up first period scoring for North Dundas, with assists to Gustavsen and Walsh.

Nicholas Carroll, from John Mahoney and McLaughlin scored the lone first period goal for the Rapids.

The Rapids got as close as they would get in the second, with two goals, the first from Mclaughlin, assisted by Carroll and Cole Peck, and the second from Carter Peck from Ryan Peck.

The Rockets added one: Gustavsen from Boudreau and Mcnamee.

The Rockets handled all the scoring in the third period. McNamee picked up his third for the hattrick from Froats and Jack Nevins while Nevins scored the game’s final goal with an assist from Gudbranson.

It was a chippy game at times, with the Rockets picking up 23 minutes in penalties while the Rapids accumulated 31 minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct to Dakota Ostrowski. Penalties were again costly for the Rapids as North Dundas scored three of their seven goals on the powerplay.

Matt Jenkins stopped 22 of 25 shots for the win for North Dundas. Aidan Foley stopped 41 of 48 shots for Paugan Falls. Final score, North Dundas 7, Paugan Falls 3.

On a less positive note, the Rockets have lost the services #14, Deric Boudreau who broke his leg in three places. Boudreau was scheduled to see a specialist on Monday. Deric is a hockey instructor, and because of this injury he will be unable to work for a few months. To try and help him out, the Rockets have designed white rally towels that will be sold  for $10.00 each at the game on Sat., March 2, with all proceeds going to Boudreau. They will also be passing the boot around the crowd to help him out.

The Rockets could punch their ticket to the eastern semi-final with a win on Sat., March 2, in Chesterville. Game time is 2:15 p.m.