by Romano Di Franco
NEPEAN, ON – The Nepean Raiders hosted the Renfrew Wolves in the first of five meetings this season.
Both teams entered the game with identical 0-1 records after the Wolves fell 3-2 to the Carleton Place Canadians while the Raiders were on the short end of a 5-3 score to the Kemptville 73s.
Yacine Chemrouk was in goal for Renfrew while Gage Stewart got the start between the pipes in the Nepean goal.
Joey Kennelly got things going for Renfrew with his first of the season during a 3-on-2 depositing a wrist shot from the high slot over the blocker of Stewart. Dylan Paron made it 2-0 off a shot from the exact some spot in the high slot this time beating Stewart over the glove side.
The Raiders’ best chance came on a breakout with Luka Benoit taking the puck up the right side. His cross-ice pass to Reinsich was blocked before bouncing right to Luke Posthumus in the slot but he was denied by a Chemrouk’s glove save.
After 20 minutes it was the Wolves ahead 2-0 after outshooting Nepean 16-4 in the period.
Former Raider Tyson Tomasini put Renfrew up 3-0 pouncing on a puck that caromed off the boards behind the net and putting it past Stewart from an almost impossible angle.
Luke Posthumus responded a few minutes later to put the Raiders on the board with what can only be described as the prettiest goal of the game. It came just after Stewart came up huge when a Renfrew 3-on-1 turned into a 2-on-0. Ryan Liverman picked up the puck in the Raiders’ zone and sped up the left side and drop-passed the puck to Coleman Bennett who side-stepped a sprawling Bryan Gund and found Posthumus at the far post who was able to direct the puck into the yawning cage. That closed the gap to 3-1.
Renfrew restored their three-goal cushion on a PowerPlay goal with Nicholas Larkin in the box for Hooking.
The second period came to an end with Renfew up 4-1. The Raiders threw 13 shots at Chemrouk with some quality scoring opportunities among them.
The Raiders needed an early goal to get back into the game and Nolan Mozer delivered. Mozer went coast-to-coast snapping a shot from the Nepean logo in the Wolves zone. The unassisted goal made it a 4-2 game.
Jackson Barnes then closed the gap to just one tapping home a rebound from just outside the paint off a bad-angle shot by Luke Poshumus. It was the first career CCHL goal by Barnes with Nicholas Larkin adding the other helper.
Raiders would have to play the last 1:09 seconds down a man making the comeback a lot tougher after Nolan Mozer was assessed a penalty for Boarding. Renfrew would capitalize just 23 seconds into the PowerPlay with Elvis Slack picking up his first of the season to make the final 5-3.
Shots on net were 39-29 for the Wolves.
Joey Kennelly (1G | 2A) was awarded the game’s first star. Luke Posthumus (1G | 1A) captured Nepean’s only game honour earning the second star. Jamie Hylands (2A) got the nod as the game’s third star.
Jackson Barnes is named the Hardest Working Raider for his first CCHL goal.
Nepean takes to the road for their first game away from the Sportsplex this regular season. The team travels to the Ed Lumley Arena on Thursday to take on the Cornwall Colts for a 7:30 pm puck drop. It will be the first of back-to-back games in back-to-back days with Nepean travelling to Hawkesbury on Friday.
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