By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Before Rocket scores are revealed in the hockey files, there are a few things to go over.
First of all, a mistake was written in a recent hockey file story and this writer intends to correct it.
The mistake was in the paragraph; “Dissappointingly, the result that the Mattawa contingent wanted, didn’t arise, as the Express quashed any vision of victory quickly, scoring the winner 37 seconds into overtime in front of almost 60 spectators.”
In fact, it should have said, “Dissappointingly, the result that the Mattawa contingent wanted, didn’t arise, as the Express quashed any vision of victory, scoring the winner with only 37 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, in front of almost 60 spectators.”
This writer apologizes for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
Second of all, Annie Gariepy-Thompson, head coach of the Atom Rockets, has nominated Mattawa for the Kraft Hockeyville contest. The prize is an NHL game, and $250,000 to fix or rebuild an arena. Annie encourages everyone in the area to visit the Kraft Hockeyville Community Rally Page for Mike Rodden Arena register, and vote, vote, vote for Mattawa.
Mattawa Men’s Hockey League (MMHL)
Last of all, the Mattawa Men’s Hockey League (MMHL), which was comprised of four clubs for the 2019/20 season, is currently into the playoffs. All four teams have many MMHA (Mattawa Minor Hockey Association) graduates, and people in the area are encouraged to come out and see some great action.
Once upon a time, in the good old days, games between the “Belanger 81’s” and “IGA” would attract arena full crowds, and boisterous at that, especially in the playoffs.
And now back to Rocket game results.
A six-goal output by Colton Sarrazin and the hat trick by Bryson Carrier led the Novice Rockets to a 12-1 win over the East Nipissing Vipers #2 on Jan. 12 in Mattawa. Other counters went to River Walters with two and Dominik Pellerin. Mattawa led 3-1 after one period, 7-1 after two frames, and added five tallies in the third stanza. Sarrazin was credited with the winner.
Recent games involving the Pee Wee Rockets saw the Mattawa club lose a close 4-3 decision to the Royals in the Quebec town of Temiscaming on Feb. 8, and win two outings versus the Amalguin Gazelles 8-2 and 5-1 in Mattawa on Feb. 1. On Jan. 12 in Mattawa, the Rockets grounded the Powassan Hawks in a pair of matchups, 5-3 and 4-3.
The game in Temiscaming was a good exciting one, as the clubs were tied 1-1 after one period. Back on Jan. 19 in Mattawa, the Rockets were no match for the Royals and lost 4-1. The home side took a 3-1 lead scoring two goals 30 seconds apart late in the second frame. But the Rockets came back early in the third stanza scoring two quick goals of their own, exactly 30 seconds apart, to knot the score at 3-3. Good defensive plays was the name of the game the rest of the way, as defencemen on both sides, using stick checks, especially from Mattawa’s Madison Rodgers, made things hard for forwards to advance easily in either offensive zones. But, with 3:29 left, a seeing-eye puck fired from the point after a faceoff draw in the Mattawa end, found its way through legs and bodies and sticks, past screened goaltender, Rylan Yule, on the short side to give the Royals a 4-3 lead. The Quebec club held on to the slim lead despite extreme pressure from the Rockets’ red glare.
Owen Williams fired all the Mattawa tallies, while Noah Joly potted all the Temiscaming counters. The home side had the only penalty whistled down.
The week before, Williams had the hat trick, including the winner, and two assists to lead the Rockets in the first game victory over the Gazelles. Logan Morin fired two goals while Pearson Martel-Groulx, Joshua Neddo, and Patience Anderson had single tallies. Assists went to Morin with two, Peyton Whalley with a pair, Rodgers and Aedan Leadston. Mattawa led 2-0 after one period, 5-1 after two frames, and outscored the South River girls club 3-1 in the final stanza.
The second win over the Gazelles saw five different goal getters as Rodgers, Morin, Williams, Noah Backer and Kai Meilleur had red-lighters. Helpers went to Backer with two, Leadston, Whalley and Rodgers. Backer was credited with the winner, scored early in the second period. Teams were tied 1-1 after one period, with the Rockets leading 5-1 after two frames, two of those goals being scored in a 50-second span. There was no scoring in the third stanza.
Wins in January were both close, but Backer’s two goals and two assists were the difference for the Rockets in the first win. Other goals went to Rodgers, Morin and Meilleur. Meilleur was credited with the winning tally, scored early in the second period. Mattawa led 3-0 after one period, 5-1 after two frames, while being outscored 2-0 by the Hawks in the third stanza. No penalties were called in the match.
Backer was again a force in the second victory over the Hawks, scoring once and adding two assists, including a helper on the winning goal with 1:22 remaining in the game. Other goals went to Morin, Williams and Martel-Groulx. Whalley and Morin chipped in with assists. There was no scoring in the first period but Mattawa led 2-1 after two frames. The visitors fought back with a pair of counters and took a 3-2 lead with 3:45 remaining in the game, but Mattawa came back 41 seconds later to tie it at 3-3 and set up Martel-Groulx’s heroics 1:42 later. Both penalties called in the contest went to Mattawa.