Rockhounds gaining a sense of southern Ontario opponents
by Randy Pascal
Come time for the provincial championships in August, the Sudbury Novice Rockhounds will be nothing if not battle tested.
Participating in a single day tournament in Stayner earlier this month, the locals posted a record of 1-2, with both defeats coming in games that were
very much up for grabs.
The Novice Rockhounds opened play against the Kawartha Lakes Fury, and were 3-2 heading to the third period. The Fury would come on like
gang-busters in the end, deadlocking the contest at 3-3 with 8:21 remaining and scoring three more times to double the Sudbury lads 6-3.
Jeremy Rheaume scored twice in a losing cause, with Keegan Adair adding the remaining Sudbury marker. Looking to build some confidence,
offensively, the northern Ontario reps exploded to the tune of a 9-2 triumph over the Centre Wellington Mohawks, with Caleb Mead pacing the
attack with a hat-trick.
Jeremy Rheaume added a pair of tallies, with singles coming courtesy of Josh Bell, Keegan Adair, Allaura Peltier and newcomer Liam
Hagen. The team also remained extremely disciplined, registering a penalty free game in the process.
Slotted into the consolation final against the very well-matched Owen Sound Northstars, the Rockhounds opened up a 2-0 first period lead, as
Rheaume hit the mark twice, including once with just a single tick remaining on the clock.
Penalty problems curtailed any momentum the Sudbury novices may have enjoyed, as a single goal by Mead in the middle stanza was not enough to stop the
Owen Sound contingent from grabbing a 4-3 lead, with one period to play.
A wild third period featured a hat-trick from Mead and the expulsion of a Sudbury player (total penalty minutes), with the teams heading to overtime
knotted up in a 6-6 tie.
The Rockhounds just barely missed capitalizing on an early power play, as Alex Rietze fired just wide, with the Northstars making the most of
even strength, netting the game winner less than a minute later.
"The team showed great growth on both offence and defence over these games and are quickly seeing what is required to keep up with southern Ontario
teams that play lacrosse right throughout the week," noted Rockhounds' head coach Brendan (B.J.) Adair.
The Sudbury novice roster also included Braeden Paradis, Koda Peltier, Zeebin Ashawasegai and Andrew Roney.