By Don Valade
The Mattawa Recorder
Sunday, March 18, 2018
The DC and Marvel Super Heroes weren’t around, but actually they were, in the form of the Mattawa Atom Rockets, as the club put on a super effort in becoming overall champions on Super Sunday.
After taking the crown of the East Division Championship the weekend before, the Atom Rockets went undefeated in the battle of the best on the weekend of March 3 and 4 in Astorville.
The other clubs in the event included the Temiskaming Shores Puckhounds (an all-girls team) who captured the North Division Championship, the West Nipissing Sting who topped the West Division Championship, and M&M Food Market of North Bay who took the Central Division Championship.
Henry Wunsch fired the empty net clinching goal and had an assist, and Noah Backer potted the winner late in the second period as the Rockets doubled the Temiskaming Shores Puckhounds 4-2 in the championship final.
Teams were tied 1-1 after one period with Mattawa leading 3-2 after two frames. The Rockets held on to that lead, and with 37 seconds remaining scored the clincher when the Puckhounds removed their goaltender for an extra attacker. Other Rocket tallies were scored by Leah Chenier and Aedan Leadston. Joshua Neddo chipped in with an assist. Three penalties were called in the contest, two of them going to Mattawa.
Other members of the gold medal Rockets included Rylan Yule, Peyton
Whalley, Logan Morin, Pearson Martel-Groulx, Owen Williams, Kai Meilleur, Hailey Belanger, Kurt Guignion, Bradlee Bernard, and Madison Rodgers. Coaching staff included Brandon Neault (head coach), Brett Neault (assistant coach), and Sherri Brouse (manager/trainer).
In games before the championship, the Rockets downed M&M Food Market 4-1, stung the West Nipissing Sting 7-5, and chained the Puckhounds 3-1.
Wunsch was in on all Rocket goals in the first game, scoring the hat trick and adding an assist on the winning counter. His second goal in the second period was scored while the Rockets were killing a penalty, as Mattawa was hit with five of the seven penalties whistled down in the contest. Mattawa led 2-1 after one period, 4-1 after two frames, with the third stanza going scoreless. Whalley scored the eventual winning tally with 1:07 left in the first period.
Wunsch again was a force in the second contest, as he was in on six of the seven tallies, scoring five times and adding an assist on the winning goal. He fired a shorthanded counter in the first period. Morin had the other two red lighters including the winner with 3:42 left in the second period. Teams were tied 3-3 after one period with Mattawa leading 6-4 after two frames. The clubs traded goals in the final stanza. Other Rocket assists went to Martel-Groulx, Chenier and Williams. Mattawa received two of the three penalties called.
Neddo had a goal and an assist, and Morin had a pair of assists to lead the way for the Rockets in the third matchup. Wunsch rifled the winner early in the third period while Backer scored the clincher with 2:43 left. The Puckhounds had taken a 1-0 lead after the first period but the Rockets tied it at 1-1 after two frames. Each club received one penalty.