What would turn out to be a dominant win over the Pembroke Lumber Kings didn’t start out that way. Despite Patrick Lanthier scoring within the first 30 seconds, the Nats finished the first period down 3-1 after Pembroke scored three in the span of just over a minute.
But a break between periods was all the Nats needed to collect their thoughts and snap back to form. Tim Cousineau, Yanic Crête, Patrick Lanthier and Kai Stothers would all grace the score board in the second period, giving the away team a two-point lead heading into the final 20 minutes. Crête and Guillaume Labre (empty net) both scored to lock in the Nats win, with the Lumber Kings getting one more of their own to finish the game 7-4 for the Nats.
Facing off against the Ottawa Junior Senators, the league’s overall winner, on Friday, March 10, for the second time in six days, the Nats didn’t want a repeat of the 6-2 away loss they suffered on March 4.
At first the Nats looked like they could pull it off, keeping the game scoreless in the first followed by a lone powerplay goal from in the second from the Nat’s Tim Cousineau. A second powerplay strike from Cousineau gave the home side a 2-0 lead in the fourth minute of the third period, but the Junior Senators would answer by scoring two of their own in the seventh and 16th minutes.
A scoreless overtime meant the Nats were in store for another shootout, but they were unable to pry the win from Ottawa’s gloves, missing both of their first shots. Ottawa scored both of theirs and added another two points to their already impressive tally for the year.
A similarly devastating fate awaited the Nats when the Renfrew Wolves came to town.
Nicolas White, the team’s top scorer, gave the Nats what would be a 50-minute lead after scoring in the ninth minute of the first until a Wolves equalizer would yank away the win with less than a minute on the clock.
Once again, a scoreless overtime led to Rockland missing their first two penalty shots, giving Renfrew the opportunity to steal the win.
With just one week and three games left on the schedule, the Nats are vying for the last playoff spot sitting behind the Cornwall Colts by just three points with two games in hand. The Nats next games are against Hawkesbury, Smiths Falls and Pembroke on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.