Team shakes off the rust; Simms notches fifth hat trick in six games

The Rockets’ Launch Pad

by Rob Sadler
North Dundas Rockets General Manager

We kicked off the new year in Vankleek Hill Saturday night and to put it mildly, the month layoff was evident.  Both teams started slow and the game lacked pace to say the least — reminded me of an old timers hockey game.   Needless to say we got down early in the game, and failed to capitalize on multiple power play opportunities that ultimately ended up being the difference in the game.   We mounted a comeback in the third but it was too little, too late.  One bright spot was yet another hat trick by Shawn Simms.

We were without Chris Marchand (work) and Josh Trapper (suspension) this weekend.

Sunday night we were in St Isidore to play the Eagles, and we shook some of the rust off, winning 9 to 6.  Focus and effort were the keys to winning in St. Isidore, a back-and-forth game that we simply did not give up in.  Brandon Mulling lead the way with eight pts, and Simms snipped four goals, making that five hat tricks in six games, totalling 17 goals.   He is now leading the league in goal scoring.

Positives from the weekend:

  • Shawn Simms continues his assault on NCJHL goalies, with another seven goals in two games this weekend;
  • Brandon Mullin with a 9-pts weekend;
  • Great goaltending from Buma;
  • We welcomed two new additions to the lineup in Joey and Cam Dykstra who are going to fit in nicely, and bring a winning work ethic to our team.
  • We got really good efforts out of two affiliates Sunday night in Bailey Norman from Finch, and Tanner Barnett from Kemptville.  Bailey has played with us a couple games already, and Tanner Barnett made his debut, both, in my opinion, have bright futures with our team should they choose to pursue the option next year.

As GM it is safe to say that I have come to terms with the amount of goals being scored in our games, despite the scores our defense was much better and continue to work hard. I am looking for another defenseman at the deadline (Jan. 10, 2017) and have at least one, maybe two irons in the fire.

Every weekend moving forward for us is now a big weekend if we want to climb in the standings, I don’t remember a junior season I have been involved in that has had such a log jam throughout the entire league.  It’s exciting, interesting and makes for great hockey.

Next up we have the Rockland Nationals at home in Chesterville, 7:50 p.m. puck drop, and then travel to Gatineau on Sunday afternoon.  Both teams are ahead of us, although we have games in hand.  Obviously important points for us.