by Romano Di Franco
The Nepean Raiders took on the Navan Grads in the middle frame of the Fall Showcase at the Bell Sensplex. Both teams entered the game after losing their previous game. The Grads lost 5-3 to the Carleton Place Canadians. Navan centerman Blake Hall registered two goals in the loss. The Raiders were shutout by the Pembroke Lumber Kings in their previous game.
The Raiders have historically played Navan very evenly. They sport a record of 9-9-0 versus the Grads over the course of the last five seasons
Evan Martin got the start in goal for the Raiders while Nathan Loisel got the assignment between the pipes for Navan.
The Grads struck first on a PowerPlay goal by Danyk Drouin. The goal came just 35 seconds into Ryan Liverman’s Boarding minor. The lead was short-lived however as Tyler Melvin took the puck up the ice, made a nifty pass off the boards to himself and then found Rylan Iwachniuk at the top of the crease. Iwachniuk made no mistake and put it past Loisel to tie the game at 1-1 just 74 seconds after Navan had taken the lead.
The Raiders went out in front on a PowerPlay goal of their own as Carter Vollett deflected a Coleman Bennet blast from the point sending Nepean up 2-1 for their first lead of the game. Ryan Liverman picked up his third helper of the season on the play. Gabriel Crete would even the score again just 44 seconds later right off the faceoff to the right of Martin. The first period ended at a 2-2 stalemate with Navan holding a slight edge in shots at 13-10.
Nepean started the second period with a great scoring chance but Loisel came up big. The Grads then took the momentum back with two goals coming from Owen Parsons and Crete with his second of the game one-timing a quick feed from behind that Evan Martin had chance no on. The period ended with Navan out in front 4-2 despite Nepean outshooting them 13-11 in the second.
The Raiders Chase Campeau scored his first of the season on a harmless looking shot from a sharp angle that somehow found an opening on the short side. The play was started by Nolan Mozer who dished the puck off to Stef Mellios. Mellios head-manned the puck up to Campeau who streaked down the right side before snapping it home to make it a one-goal game.
Danyk Drouin replied almost immediately cutting short the Raiders celebration to just a mere 20 seconds restoring Navan’s two-goal cushion making the score 5-3. Navan LW Cayden Faust then scored late in the game to kill any chance of a Raiders come-back.
The Raiders PowerPlay was 1-for-6 on the afternoon.
The first star of the game went to Navan LW Daynk Drouin (2G | 1A). The second star honours went to Gabriel Crete (2G) while Raider forward Chase Campeau earned the third star.
Tyler Melvin was named the hardest working Raider.
The next game for the Raiders will be October 11 as they face the Carleton Place Canadians in the finale of the CCHL Showcase. The game will be played at the Bell Sensplex – Canadian Tire Arena with a 12:00pm puck drop.