Inferno find scoring touch in NCJHL pre-season

WEST CARLETON – Last year, the West Carleton Inferno’s first in the National Capital Junior C Hockey League (NCJHL), was a struggle for wins and a struggle for goals.

Two games in to the NCJHL pre-season and it looks like the Inferno have found their scoring touch.

In two pre-season games the Inferno have scored nine goals winning one game and losing another.

Last year’s season unfolded like a lot of first-year hockey teams. It was a struggle to score goals and get wins. In 36 NCJHL games the Inferno won two, lost 31 and tied three. The team scored a league worst 55 goals, 50 less than the second lowest-scoring team in the league. The team allowed 185 goals. The Inferno will be looking to improve all those numbers in year two.

And so far, the team has found its scoring touch.

The Inferno played its first pre-season game on Sept. 10 against the Morrisburg Lions at the Finch Community Arena. A five-goal second period led to a 7-4 comeback win for the Inferno.

Morrisburg took a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period when Tanner Barnett found a way past West Carleton netminder Julien Wilson on the power play. The Lions led until two minutes into the second frame when the Inferno blitzed goalie Justin Leclair for three goals in under two minutes and took a 3-1 lead.

Morrisburg captain Brennan Markell cut West Carleton’s lead to one two minutes later, but the Inferno answered back with two more goals late in the second period. Aaron Smith from Jack Ingram and Justice Brownlee scored with just over two minutes left in the period. The Lions trailed the Inferno into the third period 5-3.

Tavares’ had a breakaway goal early in the third period, bringing Morrisburg back to within one goal. Near the halfway mark of the period, the Inferno restored its two-goal lead and added one goal with three minutes remaining, for the win.

On Sept. 14 the Inferno faced the Clarence Castors in Clarence Creek. It was a 5-2 win for the Castors giving the Inferno a 1-1 pre-season record.

The pre-season is over, and the regular season starts tomorrow as the Inferno participate in the Junior Hockey Showcase tomorrow (Sept. 21) at the Guertin Arena in Gatineau. All 10 NCJHL teams will be in action with the Inferno taking on the South Grenville Rangers at 11:30 a.m.

The Inferno’s first home game of the season will be Saturday, Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the W. Erskine Johnston Arena against the Metcalfe Jets. They also play Sunday, Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. against the North Dundas Rockets.

The opening day roster features lots of local talent heading in to the 2019-2020 NCJHL season. Four players call Carp home including forwards Alex Romain and Cory Symington and defencemen Brandon Armstrong and Nicolas Savasta. Dunrobin defenceman Rob McCoy is also on the roster. The team has lots of nearby talent as well featuring players from Kanata, Carleton Place and Almonte.