And now the NCJHL playoffs be­gin

Vision (Canada) - - Sports - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN

Bea­ting the Mor­ris­burg Lions ear­ned the Vank­leek Hill Cou­gars their spot in the playoffs se­ries in the Na­tio­nal Ca­pi­tal Ju­nior Hockey League.

Now the Cou­gars are tra­ding wins and losses with the North Dun­das Ro­ckets af­ter the wee­kend ope­ning round of sche­du­led eli­mi­na­tion se­ries lea­ding up to the league fi­nals. The Saint-Isi­dore Aigles and the Cla­rence Creek Cas­tors are en­joying suc­cess so far, af­ter their first two games against their op­po­sing teams, the Cum­ber­land Ban­dits and the Ga­ti­neau Hull-Vo­lant.

The Cou­gars sent the Lions pa­cking for the sea­son, af­ter ta­king the pre­li­mi­na­ry playoffs eli­mi­na­tion se­ries of two games that the Na­tio­nal Ca­pi­tal Ju­nior Hockey League’s (NCJHL) exe­cu­tives de­ci­ded to sche­dule, to de­ter­mine which clubs would oc­cu­py the se­venth- and eighth-place berths in the league’s playoff se­ries.

The Fe­brua­ry 20 match in Mor­ris­burg saw the Cou­gars ou­troar the Lions 10-5 on their own home ice, then pull off a th­ree-all tie the fol­lo­wing night in Vank­leek Hill. That was en­ough to send the Cou­gars in­to the first round of the NCJHL playoff se­ries against the North Dun­das Ro­ckets for the start of a best-of-se­ven set of games.

Af­ter the Fe­brua­ry 24 wee­kend, the tal­ly is two games for North Dun­das and one for En bat­tant les Lions de Mor­ris­burg, les Cou­gars de Vank­leek Hill ont ga­gné leur place dans les sé­ries éli­mi­na­toires de la Ligue de hockey ju­nior de la ca­pi­tale na­tio­nale. Les Cou­gars ont échan­gé des vic­toires et des dé­faites avec les North Dun­das Ro­ckets, à la suite du wee­kend d’ou­ver­ture des sé­ries éli­mi­na­toires, pré­vues avant les fi­nales de la ligue. Les Aigles de Saint-Isi­dore et les Cas­tors de Cla­rence Creek ont connu le suc­cès lors de leurs deux pre­miers matchs contre leurs ad­ver­saires, les Ban­dits de Cum­ber­land et le Hull-Vo­lant de Ga­ti­neau. Vank­leek Hill, with both teams ear­ning their wins on home ice.

The first wee­kend of March has th­ree more games on the sche­dule with the Cou­gars hos­ting the Ro­ckets Fri­day night at the Vank­leek Hill Are­na, then off to Ches­ter­ville Sa­tur­day night for the fifth game of the se­ries. Re­sults of those two games will de­cide if the Ro­ckets re­turn to Vank­leek Hill Sun­day af­ter­noon for ano­ther re­match with the Cou­gars.

The Eagles and the Cas­tors

The St-Isi­dore Eagles and the Cla­rence Creek Cas­tors each en­joyed a pair of wins over the wee­kend against their op­po­nents in the league’s first eli­mi­na­tion round se­ries.

The Eagles got the drop 4-2 and 5-3 against the Cum­ber­land Ban­dits with the next game in their se­ries Fe­brua­ry 28 in Cum­ber­land, fol­lo­wed by the Eagles hos­ting the fourth game March 1. They head back to Cum­ber­land on March 3, and then will hostthe fifth game if nee­ded in the se­ries March 4. The sche­dule then has Cum­ber­land for a sixth match if that al­so proves ne­ces­sa­ry.

The Cas­tors clip­ped Ga­ti­neau 3-2 in both games of the se­ries so far. The sche­dule has the third game Fe­brua­ry 27 in Ga­ti­neau and on March 2, and in Cla­rence Creek Sun­day if that proves ne­ces­sa­ry.

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