By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, March 17, 2019
“Championships can only become a reality if there is hard work and determination,” said head coach of the Mattawa Rocket Peewee club, Dean Backer, adding, “these players displayed both qualities this year.”Read More...
“We as a coaching staff always emphasized to the team that there may be players that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do,” Mr. Backer pointed out.
Indeed, the Peewee crew started the 2018/19 season on a slow note but under the tutelage of Mr. Backer, his brother D’Arcy, and Robbie Jones, who has a lot of success in minor hockey coaching in the past, the team not only captured championship honors in an Orillia tournament, but came out on top of their Nipissing District Hockey League (NDHL) division battle, beating out their nemesis , the Temiscaming Royals, and then became the cream of the top, after the dust cleared in the battle of the best on Super Sunday weekend.
The Peewee Rockets were one of the the two clubs from the Mattawa Minor Hockey Association (MMHA) to make the Super Sunday festivities, but only the Peewees were crowned champs. The Novice Rockets failed to win a medal in Super Sunday. The Atom and Bantam Rockets did not qualify for Super Sunday. There was no Midget Rocket club from the MMHA this season, and the Tyke division does not compete in playoffs as there is a Fun Weekend for them to finish off the season.
Anyway, after losing a close 3-2 decision to the Iroquois Falls Eskimos earlier in preliminary play of the Super Sunday tourney in Verner on March 2 and 3, the Rockets buckled down and beat the same club in the Gold Medal final 5-3, based on the hat trick, including the winner, by Denver Landriault, the three point (one goal-two assists) effort by Henry Wunsch, and the three-assist effort by Noah Webster. The other tally went to Connor Ross while other assists went to Cole Neault-Dupuis and Pearson Groulx.
The Eskimos led 1-0 after the first period, and kept that lead until there was a flurry of goals in the second frame. Mattawa tied it at 1-1 with 4:24 left but Iroquois Falls regained the lead 2:08 later. But that didn’t faze on the Rockets, as the club struck for a pair of tallies in 33 seconds, the tying goal with 1:38 left and go ahead counter with 1:05 remaining in the second. The Eskimos did manage to knot things up at 3-3 with 5:41 remaining in the game, but the resilient Rockets with warp speed took the lead again, and for good this time, 49 seconds later, and added an insurance goal with 18 seconds left. Mattawa took two of the three penalties called in the matchup.
Other results in preliminary games saw the Rockets double the Verner Bulls 4-2 and hammer the Marten River Trapper Trading Post 7-2.
Wunsch and Landriault both had one goal-one assist efforts in the first match. Ross and Webster had the other tallies while Casey Jones and Tara Maxwell chipped in with assists. Landriault was credited with the winner.
Landriault fired the hat trick including the winning counter in the second contest. Webster and Owen Williams both rifled a pair of tallies while assists went to Wunsch with a pair, Haley Belanger also with two, and Neault-Dupuis.
In the loss to the Eskimos, Webster scored both Rocket goals while Logan Morin chipped in with an assist.
Before the Peewee Rockets qualified for Super Sunday, the club had to battle in the division championships on Feb. 22, 23 and 24 in Temiscaming, Quebec.
In preliminary action, the Rockets dulled the East Nipissing Skaters Edge Vipers 9-0, clipped the Powassan Hawks 3-1, blanked the East Nipissing Perron’s Freshmart Vipers 7-0, and lost a close 4-3 decision to the host Royals club.
Based on their records in preliminary play, the Rockets and Royals were destined to meet in the final. The Rockets came up with an outstanding defensive effort and backed by Tanner Barnes’ shutout goaltending, blanked the host team 2-0. Webster fired the winning tally with 7:31 remaining in the first period. The insurance goal was scored by Henry Wunsch with 2:38 left in the first frame. There was no scoring in the second and third stanzas. The Royals received three of the four penalties whistled down in the match.
Also part of the Peewee roster was Bradlee Bernard and Peyton Lamirante.
The coaching staff was very, very pleased with the season with the head coach saying, “After 22 practices, 37 games and countless memories, I’d like to congratulate all the players and their parents on a memorable season of hockey.”
The head coach added, “Also big thanks to Robbie Jones and D’Arcy Backer for the time and dedication to the program.”
And as an afterthought, “Well done Peewee Rockets—-your success will forever be displayed with a championship 2018-2019 banner at the Mike Rodden Arena,” said Mr. Backer.
The Peewee and Novice Rockets played in the 2019 House League Super Weekend Finals on March 1st-3rd.
Both teams played exceptionally well all weekend. The Novice team lost the bronze medal game.
The Peewee team brought home GOLD!
Way to go Rockets!
The 2018-19 NDHL Divisional Finals were played this past weekend, Feb 22 to 24, 2019.
The Novice and Peewee Rockets brought home GOLD!
Way to go Rockets!
By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, February 24, 2019
Last weekend (Feb. 23 and 24), the Rocket Novice club came up with a superb effort, winning four games to take the Eastern title of the Nipissing District Hockey League’s (NDHL) Novice Division, and by virtue of this now have a chance to take the overall championship this weekend in the “Super Sunday” festivities.Read More...
Colton Sarrazin fired the winning goal with 4:42 left in the second period and had an assist on Owen Marcotte’s tally in the first frame to lead the Rockets to a low-scoring 2-1 decision over the Powassan Hawks in the championship game for the Eastern title.
Teams were tied 1-1 after one period with Mattawa leading 2-1 after two frames. The third stanza was scoreless as the Rocket defense of River Walters, Dominik Pellerin, Rain Meilleur and Bryson Carrier were unpenetrable.
The Hawks, who had only seven skaters but put on a valiant effort, were outshot 24-10, unofficially, in the matchup. Marcotte’s steady effort in the game earned him Mattawa’s MVP. The Rockets were nailed with the only penalty called in the game.
On their way to the final match, the Rockets blasted the Clean Water Solutions Vipers 9-2, clipped the Powassan Hawks 5-2, and defeated the Nailed It Roofing Vipers 3-1.
Sarrazin rifled five goals, including the winner, and Marcotte added a pair of tallies to lead the way for Mattawa in the first contest. Other goals went to Owen Smith and Mason Chenier. Assists went to Chase Rodgers with a pair, Kaydence Indenbosch, Carrier and Smith. The Rockets led 2-1 after one period, 5-1 after two frames, and outscored the Vipers 4-1 in the final stanza. No penalties were whistled down. Andy Neault was named Mattawa’s game MVP.
Carrier’s steady defensive play, which earned him Mattawa’s game MVP, and the hat trick by Sarrazin, led the Rockets in the second match. Other counters went to Marcotte and Smith. Assists were earned by Carrier and Meilleur. Teams were tied 2-2 after one period, with Mattawa leading 4-2 after two frames, and adding one more tally in the third stanza. Sarrazin was credited with the winner. No penalties were called.
Steady goaltending by Reid Backer, which earned him game MVP honours, and a pair of tallies by Smith, led the Rockets to victory in the third matchup. The other goal, which turned out to be the winner, was scored by Marcotte. The Vipers led 1-0 after the first period, but the Rockets stormed back to tie it in the second frame, and then win the game on two tallies in the third stanza, the winner coming with 4:02 remaining in the game. Only one penalty was whistled down in the game and it went to the Rockets.
Contact the coaching staff of Nico Walters, Dexture Sarrazin or Marion Pellerin on the times and venues for the Novice this weekend.
Also playing in Super Weekend are the Rocket Peewees, as they won their division series last weekend. Their games will be reported in future Mattawa Recorders.
The Orillia Minor Hockey Association is hosted the Recharge with MILK Family Day Weekend Festival on February 16 thru 18, 2019 in Orillia.
The Atom, Peewee, and Bantam Rockets participated in the tournament.
Congratulations to the Peewee Rockets for bringing home GOLD!
Great playing Rockets!
By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Soon, action in the House Leagues of the Nipissing District Hockey League (NDHL) will be coming to an end.
But before the hearing of Jimmy Morrison and The Doors’ tune, “The End”, there are still a few games left to play for the Rockets in every division, a few tournaments, and playoff runs, to report on in the Hockey Files.Read More...
The Novice Rockets as well as a few Tyke Rockets had a great opportunity to show off their skills recently during the second intermission of an OHL game in North Bay.
The game between the North Bay Battalion and the Windsor Spitfires was slated for Jan. 31 at Memorial Gardens in North Bay. Windsor eventually won the game 4-2, but not before the Rockets were on the ice in full gear, and performed before the regular crowd at Battalion games, as well as the Rocket players’ parents, families and friends in the section behind the homeside net.
Kudos to the Battalion organization for showcasing minor hockey associations from the area during their games. Minor hockey players get to meet Junior A players and staff, receive autographs and game programs, and tour the dressing rooms.
In Atom action, the Rockets sputtered and crashed as they were hammered 12-2 by a very good Temiscaming Royals club on Feb. 10. The team from Quebec looked more like an “A” club than a House League franchise as the contest was so one-sided. There were 12 goals scored by Temiscaming, but the scoring was pretty well spread out through the whole roster, as only one player had more than one goal (two), and only one player had three points (one goal and two assists).
Anyway, both Mattawa goals were scored by Noah Backer. The Rockets took three of the four penalties called by on-ice officials, Carter Bangs and Ethan McLean.
Peewee action saw the Rockets defeat the Blue Sky Orthodonist Peewee club 7-4 in Mattawa on Feb. 2.
Henry Wunsch recorded the hat trick and Owen Williams scored twice to lead the way for Mattawa. Other goals went to Logan Morin and Denver Landriault. Assists went to Casey Jones with a pair, Peyton Lamirante, Tara Maxwell, and Hailey Belanger. Morin was credited with the winner., scored with only 6.3 seconds left in the second period. Mattawa led 4-1 after one period, 5-2 after two frames, with the clubs adding two goals apiece to their total in the third stanza. No penalties were whistled down.
The Bantam Rockets ventured to Deep River on Feb. 2 to take part in a one-day tournament and returned home as “B” champions.
Eoghan Drumm was the hero in the B final as he scored the winning tally with 4:34 remaining in the game to give the Rockets a 6-5 victory over the Fort Coulonge Comets. Faidge Janveaux, who had a pair of tallies in the contest, assisted on the winning goal.
The first two periods of the game was a seesaw affair as the lead changed a number of times. The teams were tied 2-2 after one period and 5-5 after two frames, before the heroics of Drumm in the third stanza. Other goals went to Maddox Backer with two, and Cari Bernard. Assists went to Noah Webster, Backer, and Drumm. The Comets took two of the three penalties called in the matchup.
Before the championship game, Mattawa lost 4-1 to the Deep River Knights, and defeated the Petawawa “3” club 3-1.
Drumm scored the lone goal for Mattawa in the loss, while Bryant Elliott earned an assist. Deep River led 2-0 after one period, 3-1 after two frames, and added a single tally in the third stanza. The Rockets took one of the four penalties whistled down in the match.
The next matchup saw goals by Janveaux, Webster and Backer, and the victory enabled the Rockets to advance to the B championship game.
In two regular season NDHL matches on Feb. 3 in Mattawa, the Rockets came away with a 3-2 loss and a 3-1 win versus the Temiscaming Royals.
Backer and Bernard had the goals in the loss; Backer also had an assist. The visitors led 2-0 after one period and 3-2 after two frames, with no scoring in the third stanza. Mattawa took five of the seven penalties called in the game.
In the victory, the Rockets were led by Janveaux who had the winning tally early in the third stanza, and assisted on the clincher by Backer with 34.6 seconds remaining in the game. Drumm had the other counter while Colton Laplante and Elliott chipped in with assists. The Rockets picked up the only penalty in the contest.
Upcoming Hockey at Mike Rodden Arena
A Bantam Major AA game is scheduled at the Mike Rodden Arena in Mattawa on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:40 pm. The Nickel City Jr. Sons will play the North Bay Trappers. Admission is free with a donation to the Mattawa Food Bank. Everyone is urged to come out and support this cause. Featured in the game will be a Mattawa product in the name of Dallas Landriault who suits up for the Trappers. This is another reason to come out and support this event.
Coming up is a Men’s Hockey Tournament hosted by the Mattawa Figure Skating Club (MFSC). It is slated for March 1, 2 and 3 at the Mike Rodden Arena.
Included in the tourney are two age divisions, “Open” and “35+”. A dance is scheduled for the Saturday night (March 2) with music provided by “DJ Mitchell”. For more info contact Lucie Desrochers at 705 744-2311 or Jason Belanger at 705 358-2097. “Come out and have fun,” said Desrochers.
Also coming up are two Novice Rocket games on Feb. 16 at 10am and 1 pm at the Mike Rodden Arena. The Rockets will host the Temiscaming Royals.
By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Hopefully, it is extinct now and gone the way of the dinosaur.
That is ……… the half-ice play (no whistles, no penalties, no off-sides or icing, no scorers indicated on official game reports, and especially no time for celebrations after goals . . . no wonder the Europeans, Russians and Americans are catching up and beating us at “OUR” game) that the Novice hockey teams in the area, including the Rockets, had to endure for a good portion of the 2018/19 Nipissing District Hockey League (NDHL) season.Read More...
Anyway, there was one more half-ice game to report in the Hockey Files.
The Novice Rockets and an unnamed club (on the scoresheet) played to a chess game stalemate 2-2 tie on Jan. 13 at the Mike Rodden Arena in Mattawa. The visitors led 1-0 after one period and 2-1 after two frames. The Rockets tied it at 2-2 early in the third stanza, and both goaltenders from both clubs refused to give an inch in allowing another goal the rest of the way.
After a successful return to full-ice action in a tournament the weekend before, the Novice Rockets took to the ice for two regular season games in Astorville on Jan. 26.
Mattawa rinsed the Clean Water Solutions Vipers 8-1 in the first game, and then blanked the same club 4-0 in the next match.
Colton Sarrazin fired four goals, including the winner, and Owen Smith had the hat trick to lead the way for the Rockets in the first game. Owen Marcotte had the other tally. Assists went to Smith, Mason Chenier, Bryson Carrier, Andy Neault, and Rain Meilleur. Reid Backer’s bid for a shutout was broken in the middle period. The Rockets led 2-0 after one period, 6-1 after two frames, and added two more tallies in the third stanza. Shutout goaltending by Backer and the hat trick by Sarrazin carried the Rockets to victory in the next matchup. Marcotte had the other goal, which turned out to be the winner, while Smith chipped in with an assist. No penalties were called in either contest.
Two games recently involving the Atom Rockets saw them go into the win column, as Mattawa doubled the North Bay Ice Boltz Atom C club 4-2 on Jan. 26 at the Pete Palangio Arena in North Bay, and then iced the same crew 3-1 in Mattawa the next day.
Noah Backer was in on all four counters in the first game, notching the hat trick and adding an assist to lead the way for the Rockets. Kenzy Huard had the other tally while Madison Rodgers chipped in with an assist. Backer’s winning goal, a shorthanded effort, was scored with 7:47 left in the game, and then he added an insurance goal 30 seconds later to complete the hat trick. North Bay led 1-0 after one period, and was leading 2-1 late in the second frame when Huard’s lightning bolt goal tied it at 2-2 with 58 seconds remaining. Mattawa received the only penalty whistled down in the match.
The hat trick by Backer, including the winner, and a two-assist effort by Huard led the way for the Rockets in the second matchup. Amaya Thompson and Joshua Neddo chipped in with assists. The visitors opened the scoring in the first period but by the end of that period Mattawa led 2-1. There was no scoring in the second frame, while the Rockets added an insurance tally about half-way through the third stanza. The Ice Boltz took two of the three penalties whistled down in the contest.
Peewee & Bantam
If the Peewee and Bantam Rockets want their games reported in the Hockey Files, please drop the score sheets off at Mattawa Minor Hockey Association (MMHA) office, or drop them off at the Mattawa Recorder, or hand them off to the Files reporter.
Next action for the MMHA in the NDHL is slated for Feb. 2 at 2 pm when the Peewee Rockets entertain West Ferris.
On January 31st, 2019, the Mattawa Rocket Novice team played a 5 minute mini game at the North Bay Battalion game half time.
Check out the action….
Ninety-five (95) Rocket family and friends attended the game!
From the Rockets and MMHA to all attendees…
By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, January 27, 2019
I’m back. As the Terminator would say.
Full ice play was back for the Mattawa Novice Rockets, who had to endure the controversial half-ice concept for most of the 2018/19 NDHL season, and they did it with a bang as the club started normal play in a tournament in Sturgeon Falls last weekend (Jan. 18, 19 and 20).Read More...
And the Novice did quite well finishing with a two-win, one loss, one tie record. Although the club did not make the final, the Rockets did make it to the semi-finals where they lost a close, heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the Pizza Hut Trappers on Sunday the 20th in Sturgeon Falls. Goaltender Reid Backer kept the Mattawa crew in the game with a number of sound saves, and earned the well deserved MVP honors after the contest.
The coaching staff was very proud of the club’s play during the tournament with team manager Marion Pellerin saying that “the team did surprisingly well going from the half-ice play to the full-ice competition.”
On their way to the semis, the Rockets tied the Gridline Trappers 2-2, edged the Verner Bulls 2-1, and stung the Sting Three 7-1.
Unofficially, the Rockets were outshot 18-5 in the first game on Friday the 18th in Sturgeon Falls but some nifty pad saves by Backer, and fine defensive plays by Chase Rodgers, Colton Sarrazin and Rain Meilleur enabled Mattawa to stay in the game, and at one point led 2-1 with the first two shots, both by Sarrazin, resulting in goals. The Trappers tied the game early in the third period as Mattawa scored twice in the second stanza, after the Trappers led 1-0 in the first frame. Sarrazin was named the MVP for the Rockets.
Bryson Carrier and Sarrazin were the marksmen in the second game on Saturday in Verner. Teams were tied 1-1 after one period and the same after two frames. Sarrazin fired the winner with 3:41 remaining in the match. Rodgers was selected as Mattawa’s MVP.
Mattawa’s offensive prowess was on display in the third game on Saturday in Verner as Sarrazin rifled four goals while Owen Smith scored twice. Dominik Pellerin had the other tally. Rodgers chipped in with two assists. Smith was credited with the winning goal. Defenseman Meilleur was named the Rockets’ MVP. After there was no scoring in the first period, the Rockets led 3-0 after two frames,span and outscored the Sting 4-1 in the final stanza.
In Atoms action, the Rockets tied the Vipers 5-5 on Jan. 13, edged the North Bay Ice Boltz Peewees 4-3 on Jan. 19, and slammed the other East Ferris Vipers 8-2 on Jan. 20. All games were in Mattawa.
Noah Backer scored the hat trick and added an assist in the first game to lead the way for Mattawa. Madison Rodgers and Leah Chenier had the other goals while the other assist went to Rodgers. The Rockets led 2-1 after the first period and 5-3 after the second frame. The visitors outscored Mattawa 2-0 in the third stanza. The three goals by the Rockets in the second period were scored in a 1:34 span. Each club received one penalty.
Backer was once again a one-man wrecking crew as he fired the hat trick and assisted on Rodgers’ winning tally with only 25.4 seconds remaining in the second game. Teams were tied 1-1 after one period, 2-2 after two frames with Mattawa out scoring the visitors 2-1 in the final stanza. The Ice Boltz led 3-2 early in the third period but the Rockets tied it with 4:21 left on Backer’s third tally, and setup Rodgers’ heroics. Mattawa received the only penalty whistled down in the contest.
Once again Backer came through with Justice League strength, as he punched in five tallies blazing the way for Mattawa in the third matchup. Kenzy Huard with two and Rodgers were the other marksmen or in this case markswomen. Assists went to Blake Belanger and Peyton Whalley. Mattawa led 3-1 after one period, 5-2 after two frames, and added three more goals in the third stanza. The Rockets received the only penalty called.