By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, February 9, 2020
The Novice Rockets were back to full ice play in a tournament in Sturgeon Falls, on the weekend of Jan. 17, 18 and 19.
The club fared quite well as it retreated home with a silver lining.
Mattawa rocketed to four straight victories in the preliminary round, before bowing out in a heart-breaking overtime match of the championship final, 5-4 to the Englehart Paradis Contracting Express at the Sturgeon Falls Arena on Jan. 19.
Winning all their preliminary games as well, the Express did the unthinkable, not allowing any goals against, so in essence, the Rockets would have their hands full against this club.
And of course they did, for two periods, as Englehart built up a 3-0 lead while the Rockets suffered a morale downfall, and it appeared the game was headed for another shutout. But the Rockets had other plans in mind, as they shifted into hyperdrive and renewed confidence, and rolled off three straight goals in less than three minutes early in the third period to tie it at 3-3. Although the Express did regain a one-goal with 2:07 left, the stubborn Rockets did not give up and tied it up at 4-4 with only 38 seconds remaining in the game, to force overtime in front of almost 60 spectators.
Disappointingly, the result that the Mattawa contingent wanted, didn’t appear, as the Express quashed any vision of victory quickly, scoring the winner 37 seconds into overtime.
Colton Sarrazin was a one-man B-17 Flying Fortress crewman, as he fired all four goals including the natural hat trick for Mattawa. Aubree Wilson, Andy Neault and Dominik Pellerin chipped in with assists. River Walters was named Mattawa’s most valuable player (MVP).
On their way to the championship matchup, the Rockets scratched the Rayside Balfour Tigercats 6-5, edged North Channel 4-3, tamed the Verner Bulls 11-3, and rocked Sudbury 8-1. The first two games were played on Jan. 17 in Sturgeon Falls, while the next two were slated for Jan. 18 in Verner.
Sarrazin scored four times including the winner, while Jude Neault and Owen Smith had single counters in the game against the Tigercats. Smith had the only assist. Mattawa led 4-1 after one period, 5-4 after two frames, with the teams trading tallies in the third stanza. MVP for Mattawa was Chad Michaud.
Again Sarrazin was a force for Mattawa as he had the hat trick and an assist against the North Channel crew. Smith fired the winner with 5:18 left in the game, and was named Mattawa’s game MVP. Andy Neault, Kaydence Indenbosch, J. Neault, Pellerin, and Tyke pickup, Andrew Harvey drew assists. Mattawa led 2-0 after one period, 3-1 after two frames, and was outscored 2-1 in the final stanza.
A five-goal output by Sarrazin, and the hat trick and an assist by Smith led the Rockets over the Bulls. Other tallies went to Barrett Chicquen with a pair and Pellerin. Helpers went to Harvey with two, Walters, Smith, Chicquen, J. Neault and Colton Champagne. Mattawa led 5-1 after one period, 10-3 after two frames, and added the only counter in the third stanza. Sarrazin was credited with the winner while Sylar Anderson was named Mattawa’s game MVP.
Both Smith and Sarrazin had four goal efforts in the victory over Sudbury. Wilson, Pellerin and Harvey added assists to the cause. Smith was credited with the winner while Kowen Indenbosch was named Mattawa’s game MVP.
The Rockets led 3-0 after one period, 6-0 after two frames, and outscored the opposition 2-1 in the third stanza.
Other members of the club included goaltender Bryson Carrier, head coach Dexture Sarrazin, assistant coach Nico Walters, and manager Marion Pellerin.
According to Ms. Pellerin, the players had fun in other activities during the weekend besides playing hockey, such as “meals together, bowling at Chatelanes, dressing room music, pictures, the hotel and the pool there, and GQ selfies.”
“Overall, a highlight experience for everyone so far this season,” she added, while also offering special thanks to Matthew Gardiner for his support to the team.