Rockland Sustain Winning Record

Par Joseph Coppolino
Rockland Sustain Winning Record
Despite a loss to the Hawks over the weekend, the Rockland Nationals kept their overall winning record thanks to a commanding win over the Kemptville 73’s on Friday, November 3. (Photo : Patrick Bergeron)

A strong start to the 2023-2024 season is giving the Rockland Nationals an edge on keeping their record above 500, despite trading wins and losses in recent weeks, the latest being a 5-3 win over Kemptville followed by a loss with an inversed scoreline against Hawkesbury. 

The Friday, November 3, home game against the Kemptville 73’s put more points in the win column for the Nats and padded the teams states with five goals on the board at the end of the night. 

Assistant Captain Kyle Leonard eared his seventh goal of the season and opened the scoring with a first period goal just after the six-minute mark, followed by second from Captain Xavier Laurent eight minutes later, letting the Nats finish the period two up on the visitors. 

Anthony Hall extended that lead to 3-0 thanks to a powerplay effort in the first two minutes of the second period, but the 73’s found the net in two consecutive efforts, bringing the visitors within one of the Nats. Alex Kelloway gave the home side a little extra cushion before the period was up, however, heading into the third 4-2. 

Another early in the period powerplay gave Samuel Dumont the space to get his seventh goal of the season and the Nats final goal of the game. A late third period goal wasn’t enough to bring Kemptville ahead of Rockland, letting the Nats come away with a well-earned two points. 

Hawks get the best of Nats 

A visit to Hawkesbury the following Sunday, November 5, did not prove as fruitful for the Nats, despite sprinting to a 3-1 lead by the early minutes of the second period. Jeremie Ndeffo got his first of the season and the first of the game, but the Hawks quickly equalized. Jack Treacy and Kyle Leonard gave the Nats the edge early in the second period, but a powerplay goal from the Hawks set off a cascade of scoring from the homes time. 

The descent started with the 11th minute powerplay goal in the second period, quickly followed by three 13th minute goals in a span of less than 40 seconds, at 12:14, 12:22, and 12:50. 

The Nats were unable to bring it back, but not for a lack of trying. Rockland out shot the Hawks 38-20, with 17 shots in the second and 14 (to the Hawks’ four) in the third, but Hawks goalie Caleb Chabot’s outstanding performance between the posts earned him the player of the game. 

Regardless of the loss, the Nats remain in third place in their division on 22 points (which would put them in second place ahead of Kemptville in the Robinson division), and fourth overall in the league.  

Rockland heads to Smiths Falls Bears Friday, November 10, and then welcomes the Bears to the Clarence-Rockland Arena on Remembrance Day, Saturday, November 11.  

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