Cougars win big in bounce-back weekend

The Vankleek Hill Junior “C” Cougars got back into the win column this weekend, taking both of their games to keep pace in the National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) standings.

On Saturday, the Cougars welcomed the North Dundas Rockets to town, hoping to nab their first win of the early 2019 calendar year. The game would start out in a deadlock, with neither team able to find the net in the first, resulting in a 0-0 score to end the frame. However, the scoreless contest would eventually break open in the second, with the Cougars potting two to the Rockets’ single tally to hold a 2-1 advantage heading into the third. Things would stay tight right to the end, as both teams added goals in the final frame. Ultimately, the Cougars would squeeze by 3-2 to pick up their first win of the new year. Ryan Allen, Jonathan Lacroix, and Trystan Lavoie would score for Vankleek Hill, while Lavoie, Vincent Huneault, and Danny Plourde-Grenon added assists in the victory. Alexander Labrèche would get the win to remain undefeated in three starts on the season.

In their next game, the Cougars took to the road for a Sunday evening matchup against the West Carleton Inferno. Unlike their previous outing, there would be little doubt in the result of this game at any point throughout the contest. The Cougars would score early and often against the NCJHL’s last place team, holding a 3-1 lead by the end of the first. It would not get any better from there for the Inferno, as Vankleek Hill would add another three in the second, then four in the third to take the game by a final score of 10-3. Fourteen different Cougars had points in the victory, with alternate captain Allen leading the way, tallying two goals and two assists for four points on the night. Justin Labrosse (2g, 1a), Keean McEachern (3a), Lacroix (2g), Zacharie Leblanc (2g), Lavoie (2a), Tyler Doperlhamer (2a), Nikolas Ayotte (1g), Victor Jacob (1g), Samuel Lacroix (1a), Nicolas Castonguay (1a), Caleb Elliot (1a), Huneault (1a), and Charles-Olivier Portelance (1a) rounded out the lengthy list of point-getters for the Cougars. Frederick Durocher would take home the win in goal.

The Cougars’ next game will see them host the first place Clarence Castors in Vankleek Hill on Saturday, January 19.

The Cougars currently sit at 38 points, five back of the Castors’ 43 points for top of the East Division standings.