by Romano Di Franco
HAWKESBURY, ON – The Nepean Raiders started their final road trip of the season visiting the Robert Hartley Sports Complex to take on the Hawkesbury Hawks. The Hawks came into the game 3-1-1 in their last five while the Raiders were 1-4 with the lone win coming in an impressive win over the Robinson Division-leading Brockville Braves.
It was the fifth and final meeting between the two teams. Hawkesbury was looking for the season sweep after going 4-0 and outshooting Nepean 22-8 in that span.
Connor Shibley (7-12-1, 0.866 SV%, 5.05 GAA) got the start in the net for Nepean while Matthew Tovell (13-3-2, 0.924 SV%, 1.99 GAA) was between the pipes for Hawkesbury. Tovell’s 1.99 GAA ranks second-best in the league.
The Hawks opened the scoring after Kerfalle Toure jammed home a rebound from the left side of the crease. The goal came on the PowerPlay with Adam Cater in the box for Interference. With that, the Hawks had scored first in every game against Nepean this season.
Thomas Cusson made it 2-0 Hawks with his 17th of the season before Jakson Kirk added another PowerPlay goal, this time with Rylan Iwachniuk in the box for Boarding.
After 20 minutes the Hawks had a 3-0 lead and had outshot the Raiders 13-6.
There was just one goal in the second period. Mark Cooper made it 4-0 with the Raiders trying to kill off a 5-minute Major for a Check from Behind assessed to Coleman Bennett. The captain was given a Game Misconduct for the play as well.
After 40 minutes the Hawks led by four and held the advantage in shots at 27-15.
Josh Spratt and Thomas Cusson added goals to make it 6-0 Hawkesbury before Chase Campeau spoiled Tovell’s shutout bid. Campeau’s fifth of the season came from a great behind-the-net pass by Ryan Liverman to a wide-open Campeau in the slot.
The third continued to be a wild one with two more goals by Hawkebury. Thomas Cusson completed the hat-trick while William Gendron made it an 8-1 final.
Thomas Cusson (3G) was named the game’s first star, Josh Spratt (1G | 3A) got the nod as second star. Ryan Liverman (1A) earned the third star.
Chase Campeau (1G) was named the hardest working Raider.
The Raiders have their penultimate game in one week’s time when they visit the Smiths Falls Memorial Centre to take on the Bears for a 7:30pm puck drop.