By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, March 08, 2020
Four goals by Owen Smith, and stellar goaltending by Bryson Carrier, carried the Rockets to a 6-2 victory over the Powassan Hawks in the championship match of the NDHL’s Novice East Division playoffs last weekend (Feb. 28, 29 and March 1) at the Mike Rodden Arena in Mattawa.
By virtue of the win, the Rockets advanced to Super Sunday, and will compete against the other Novice division champions this weekend (March 7 and 8) in Temagami, for overall championship status.
The Novice was one of two MMHA teams to advance to Super Sunday, as the Bantam Rockets won its division title. The Atoms and PeeWees failed to qualify for Super Sunday festivities, while the Midget Rockets engage in their playoffs in a few weeks.
Anyway, Smith scored once in the first period as Mattawa led 2-0, fired a single tally in the middle frame as Mattawa led 4-2, and scored the only two counters in the third stanza.
But the talk of the Rocket contingent was Jude Neault’s goal in the second period. About halfway through that period, Neault fired a shot that bounced off the post while he continued into the corner of the rink, and realizing that the puck was still loose, he aggressively chased down the puck amid chaos and bodies around the enemy net and shovelled in the rebound. That goal turned out to be the eventual winner, and he also added two assists.
The other goal went to Colton Sarrazin who also added an assist. Other assists went to River Walters and Andy Neault. The Hawks received two penalties in the matchup, and one of Smith’s goals was on the powerplay. Carrier’s efforts in his goaltending duties earned him Mattawa’s game MVP.
On their way to the championship, the Rockets poisoned the East Nipissing (EN) Vipers #1 club 6-2, clipped the Powassan Hawks 3-1, and blanked the EN Vipers #2 crew 10-0.
Four goals by Sarrazin led the Rockets in the first win. Other goals went to J. Neault and Barrett Chicquen. Assists went to Smith with a pair, Andrew Harvey and Dominik Pellerin. Pellerin received the only penalty called in the contest. Mattawa’s game MVP was J. Neault.
The hat trick by Sarrazin led the Rockets to victory in the second game. Harvey was awarded Mattawa’s game MVP.
Four goals by Sarrazin, the hat trick by Smith, Harvey’s first two goals of the season as he was the last player on the team to register a goal, and Sylar Anderson’s game MVP play, earned the Rockets the win in the third match. Chicquen chipped in with a goal and an assist. Other assists went to Aubree Wilson, A. Neault and Colton Champagne, who had the only penalty whistled down.
Other players on the club included Kowen Indenbosch, Chad Michaud and Kaydence Indenbosch. Coaching staff included Dexture Sarrazin (head coach), Mathew Gardiner (assistant coach) and Marion Pellerin (manager).
The coaching staff offered their sincere thanks to all the parents and volunteers who made the weekend a “highly successful affair.” According to the manager, the crowds at the games were good, and the host Rockets club had many activities and plenty of food for all players and visitors.