Todd Marcellus, on a strong second effort scores the North Dundas Rockets fifth goal of the game. The Rockets would go on to win the first game of the series against South Stormont Mustangs 6-1. Tinkess Photo

SOUTH STORMONT – As the North Dundas Rockets and Long Sault Mustangs began their best-of-five quarter-final series on Saturday, they both probably hoped that the series could be settled in as few games as possible, and in their favour as well.

As game two of the series wrapped up on Sunday evening, it was clear that no one was going to get their wish, and that both teams had work to do if they wanted to advance.

In game one, played in Chesterville on Sat., March 9, the visiting Mustangs seemed to have as their game plan hit everything that moved and to play with a chip on their shoulder. That strategy seemed to work in the regular season to some degree, as the Mustangs were the only team to defeat the Rockets.

On Saturday, not so much. The Mustangs ended up giving the Rockets three powerplay goals in the first period on the way to a 6-1 victory.

It wasn’t so much the number of penalties; The Mustangs had six for 12 minutes while the Rockets had four for 8 minutes, but the Mustangs more than once ended up playing five on three, which doesn’t work well against a team that only lost one game during the regular season.

Alex Gudbranson (Michael Mcnamee, Marc-Andre Labelle), Derek Froats (Gudbranson, Mcnamee), and Ryan Lough (Brett Gustavsen, Labelle) handled the scoring for North Dundas in the opening frame.

In the second period it seemed for a while that it was time to settle down and play hockey, but by the end of the middle frame the Rockets had been assessed 14 minutes in penalties to the Mustangs two. Brett Gustavsen (Fabian Walsh, Lough), and Todd Marcellus (Mcnamee) added to the Rockets goal total before a poorly timed line change late in the period gave the Mustangs a three on none opportunity that Brendan Jacome on a pass from Parker Krol converted for South Stormont’s only goal of the game.

The chippiness returned in the third period with the Mustangs being assessed 14 minutes in penalties to the Rockets six, but Tanner Williams (Shawn Moors, Dean Byvelds) provided the only goal, giving the Rockets a 6-1 victory.

Rockets goaltender Matt Jenkins, with 35 saves was the first star, while Michael Mcnamee with three assists picked up the second star and Brendan Jacome with the Mustangs only goal was the third star.

In game two, played in Long Sault, it was the Rocket’s turn to implode. They learned, though not too quickly, that when playing a team as relentless as the Mustangs can be, you can’t give them extra opportunities, or they will make you pay. The Mustangs did just that, scoring a total of six powerplay goals, five of them unanswered in the second period on their way to a 9-5 win.

Things were pretty even till about the midpoint of the game. Fabian Walsh from Brett Gustavsen and Craig Baxter opened the scoring for the Rockets, but less than a minute later Isaac Barr on a strong second-effort tied things up (unassisted.)

Brendan Jacome (Thomas Vezina and Jonathan Jasper) and Vezina, unassisted put the Mustangs out in front 3-1. The Rockets pulled within one before the end of the first period thanks to Marc-Andre Labelle from Ryan Lough and Gustavsen.

Fabian Walsh from Shawn Moors pulled the Rockets even near the midpoint of the second period before the Mustangs went on a tear, scoring six unanswered goals, five of them in the second period and five of them on the powerplay. Kevin Hope (Barr, Zachary Poirier), Noah Konink (Jacome, Evan Huntley), Barr (Hope, Dillon Clemen), Jacome (Vezina, Tanner Spink), and Konink from Spink scored the second period goals for the Mustangs.

Konink from Poirier made it 9-3 for the Mustangs early in the third period. Jack Nevins (Chris Kushneriuk, Evan Dehaan) and Walsh, with his third of the game from Lough and Derek Froats wrapped up the evenings scoring.

Mustang Brendan Jacome with three goals and an assist was the first star while Noah Konink with two goals was the second star.

Fabian Walsh, with three goals, was the third star for the Rockets.

The two teams return to the ice with game three scheduled for Fri., March 15 at 8:00 p.m. in Chesterville, game four on Sat., March 16 at 6:30 p.m. in Long Sault, and game five (if necessary) on Sun., March 17 at 2:30 p.m. in Chesterville.