by Romano Di Franco
The Nepean Raiders returned to action Wednesday night as they travelled to the Jim Durrell Arena to take on the Ottawa Junior Senators in the third game of the four game developmental scrimmage series. It was a rematch in goal for former OJS netminder Bryan Landsberger and Felix Schnell who battled each other one week ago.
Landsburger looked sharp in the first robbing Curtis Fabbro on the most dangerous scoring opportunity each team would have. The shots after 20 minutes were 17-9 in favor of the Junior Sens. The series has been very close with the two previous games each being decided by one goal including a 4-3 OT win by OJS. The first period saw both teams have time on the PowerPlay and the Raiders killed off the two OJS chances while the Raiders PK was perfect.
For the third time in the series, the Raiders opened up the scoring as Eric Conley notched his second of the season with helpers by Zachary Lefebvre and William Venne. The goal came just 48 seconds into the second period. Last season the Raiders scored tallied first in only one of the six meetings between the two teams.
Stacey had a great effort fifteen minutes into the second period as he muscled the puck through three Ottawa Junior Senators and put a shot on Schnell that he somehow managed to keep out of the net.
Isaac Lambert replied for the Junior Sens on a delayed penalty call when he finished off a 3-on-2 with Ethan Mulhearn and Braeden Bowman. The Raiders would get the lead back just two minutes later when Colin Stacey snapped a pass in the slot from Louis Chabot past Felix Schnell.
The Raiders had the better chances but penalties caught up with them in the second as the Junior Sens top line capitalized on the game’s only PowerPlay goal with Braeden Bowman picking up his 3rd of the season. Isabelle and Mulhearn got the assists on the equalizer as the game was knotted up at 2-2 after 40 minutes.
Will Venne had the first quality chance of the third period taking a pass into the OJS crease and crashing into Felix Schnell. The play resulted in offsetting minors with Venne and Lukash Matthews headed to the box with Roughing penalties.
Adam Cater had a near-breakaway but the puck just ran away from him with eight minutes remaining in the third. Braeden Bowman picked up his second of the game to give OJS a 3-2 lead. The Raiders pulled Landsburger for the extra attacker and the risk paid off as Louis Chabot tied the game with just over a minute to go in the game. Just as it appeared that the two teams were headed for OT for the second straight game, Braeden Bowman completed his first CCHL hat-trick with just five seconds left on the clock to make the final score 4-3.
Nepean’s PowerPlay was 0-for-1 while the PK killed off four of short-handed situations.
Bryan Landsberger made 42 saves on 46 shots for the Raiders while Schnell turned aside 19 of the 22 shots sent his way.
Braeden Bowman was named the game’s first star for his hat-trick including the game-winning goal whiling adding an assist to his total. Lukash Matthews earned the game’s second star for hit two-assist effort. Colin Stacey (1G, 1A) got the nod as the game’s third star in his Raiders debut.
The Raiders next contest is Saturday, March 6 as they conclude their four game series against the Ottawa Junior Senators. Puck-drop is at 8:30PM at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena.