Rockets win the East in five games

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by Murray Link

In what seemed like a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions, the North Dundas Senior Rockets have been crowned the EOSHL Eastern Conference Champions. The Rockets needed all five games to beat out their biggest rivals, the South Stormont Mustangs 3-2 in a series that saw home ice advantage become the deciding factor. The Mustangs, who play out of Long Sault, were the only team in the regular season to beat the Rockets and are considered one of the best teams in the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League.

The first game of the series took place on March 9 in front of a full house at home in Chesterville.  Penalty trouble for the Mustangs resulted in 3 power play goals for the Rockets in the first period. With a final score of 6-1, the Home team won in easy fashion and took to the road the next day back in Long Sault.  

In game 2 of the series, the visiting Rockets had their own penalty issues when they accumulated 69 minutes worth of penalties in the game. As a result of being short handed most of the game, the Mustangs scored 6 power play goals to go on to beat the visiting team 9-5 at home and even the series up 1-1.

The Rockets were back at home on March 15 in a rare night game which saw the biggest crowd of the year. In an evenly matched game, both teams tallied 46 shots a piece and goaltender #25, Matt Jenkins proved to be the deciding factor as the Senior Rockets won 5-0.

In game 4, the Rockets were back on the road in Long Sault, where a win would have closed out the series. In a twist of fate, it was the Mustangs goalie Adam Russo who turned the tables on the visiting team by only letting in 2 goals on 45 shots, allowing the Mustangs to win the game 4-2 and force a game 5 back in Chesterville.  

In the third game of the weekend on Mar 17th, both the Rockets and Mustangs would be relying on a little St. Patrick’s Day luck to boost their team into the EOSHL finals. Once again, the faithful fans from North Dundas filled the rink, hoping to cheer their team onto victory. The Mustangs struck earl, scoring two goals in the first six minutes and taking a 2-0 lead. It wasn’t until late in the first period that a shift in momentum occurred and the Rockets scored two power play goals, evening up the score at 2. Four more unanswered goals for the home team would give the Rockets a win, a final score of 6-2, and a chance to play for the EOSHL championship.

The Rockets will take on the Gananoque Islanders in the finals which will start Saturday, March 23rd at 2:15 in Chesterville. This will be a rematch of the past two finals where North Dundas has defeated the Islanders both times. To keep up to date with the Rockets, visit them, and follow on their Facebook page.

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