22 Mar 17

Panthers draw first blood, Rockets tie series at home

The Embrun Panthers welcomed the North Dundas Rockets to the Palais des Sports on Fri., March 17, for game one of the best of seven NCJHL championship series. The Panthers’ Josh Renaud (14) celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal of the night taking a 2-0 lead over the Rockets. Renaud and the Panthers doubled the Rockets 6-3 to take a 1-0 series lead. Renaud finished the game with two goals. Moore photo

Jeff Moore

Record Staff

CHESTERVILLE — The North Dundas Rockets began the NCJHL championship series against the Embrun Panthers on Friday for game one and then welcomed the Panthers on Saturday night for game two.

Rockets 4 Panthers 1

The North Dundas Rockets welcomed the Embrun Panthers to the Chesterville Arena on Sat., March 18, for game two of the best of seven NCJHL championship series. The Panthers drew first blood in the series with a convincing 6-3 win the previous night at home.

The Rockets hadn’t played in over a week and looked a little rusty in the first two periods of that game. The Rockets looked to find their legs in this game. The Panthers opened the scoring at 4:36 of the first period just after the Rockets killed off a long five on three power play as Adam Fillion slapped one home from Cody Lavictoire to take a 1-0 lead.

The Rockets responded at 7:17 as Chris Marchand sniped one from Bryden Van Kessel and Joe Dykstra just five seconds into their first power play tying the game at one.

The Rockets took their first lead of the game when Brandon Mullin fired home a rebound from Landon Veenstra and Josh Hansen with only 14 seconds remaining in the middle frame and took the 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The Rockets made it 3-1 when Cam Dykstra blasted one home from Marchand and Joe Dykstra with just 1:42 remaining in the second period.

The Rockets took the 3-1 lead into the second intermission. The two teams battled in the third period but it was the Rockets’ Mullin putting the icing on the cake at 14:05 from Jack Van Kessel and Bryden Van Kessel.

The Rockets stymied the Panthers for the rest of the third period taking the game 4-1 and knotting the series at one game apiece. For the Panthers it was their first loss in the playoffs.

Picking up the win in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma making 30 saves on 31 shots and suffering the loss in the Panthers’ goal was Danik Gervais making 34 saves on 38 shots.

Panthers 6 Rockets 3

The North Dundas Rockets travelled to the Palais des Sports in Embrun to take on the Panthers on Fri., March 17, for game one of the best of seven NCJHL championship series.

The Rockets arrived to the finals by knocking off the Cumberland Bandits in six games and then the Vankleek Hill Cougars in a sweep while the Panthers swept both of their series against the Morrisburg Lions and the Gatineau Hull-Volant.

The Panthers opened the scoring just 35 seconds into the first period as Cody Lavictoire slapped home a pass from Justin St. Germain and Adam Fillion to take a 1-0 lead. The Panthers made it 2-0 at 4:10 as Josh Renaud fired one to the back of the net from Sebastien Roy and St. Germain.

The Panthers made it 3-0 when Michael Cogan scored while diving across the crease on the power play at 10:11 from Fillion and Nathan Bols. The Rockets finally got on the board when Chris Marchand hammered home a perfect feed from Liam Morrow and Brandon Mullin at 17:28 on a power play.

The Panthers took the 3-1 lead into the first intermission. The Panthers regained their three-goal lead when Martin Carrière sniped one from Fillion at 3:39 of the second period.

The Panthers took a 5-1 lead at 4:11 as Renaud scored his second of the game from Cogan and St. Germain but the Rockets answered as Brandon Mullin fired one home from the high slot at 9:16 from Marchand and Bryden Van Kessel to make it 5-2. The Rockets got the score to 5-3 when Mullin scored his second of the game from Shawn Simms and Van Kessel at 10:57.

The Panthers put an end to the Rockets’ momentum as Bols slid one home from Fillion and Lavictoire with just 19 seconds remaining in period two. The Panthers took the 6-3 lead into the second intermission.

The Rockets and Panthers traded shots, hits and scoring chances in the third period but neither was able to capitalize on their chances as the Panthers hung on for the 6-3 victory taking a 1-0 series lead. Picking up the win in the Panthers’ goal was Reilly Tondreau and suffering the loss in the Rockets’ goal was Jason Buma.

Up next

The Embrun Panthers welcome the North Dundas Rockets to the Palais des Sports for game three on Fri., March 24, at 8 p.m. The Rockets then welcome the Panthers to the Chesterville Arena for game four on Sat., March 25, at 7:30 p.m. Game five will be in Embrun on Sun., March 26, at 1:30 p.m.