Brockville Braves Carleton Place Canadians Cornwall Colts Hawkesbury Hawks Kemptville 73s Navan Grads Nepean Raiders Ottawa Jr Senators Pembroke Lumber Kings Renfrew Wolves Rockland Nationals Smiths Falls Bears

Fontaine Helps Raiders to Point on Road

by Romano Di Franco

SMITHS FALLS, ON – The Raiders made their first trip of the year to Smiths Falls to take on the Bears in Friday night action. The Raiders come into the game having played some of their best hockey recently. They came into the game with a 3-2 record in their last five games and have scored 17 goals in that span. The three wins included an overtime win against the Cornwall Colts and a shoot-out win over the Kemptville 73s.

The Bears have had some struggles recently and took a 1-4 record in their last five. They have given up 23 goals in their last five.

Connor Shibley (4.22 GAA) got the start in goal for Nepean while Adam Yost (5.14 GAA) was between the pipes for Smiths Falls.

The Bears had the first great scoring opportunity of the game when Conor Ronayne had a break-away but was hauled down when Harris Hilfiker attempted to swat the puck away from behind. Ronayne was awarded a penalty shot and went wide to Shibley’s left before coming back and making one-move-too-many and lost the puck just in front of the crease.

It was the Raiders that scored first in the game and it was the fourth time in their last six games that they have struck first. Nepean has won every game where they scored first. This time around it was Rylan Iwachniuk finishing a 3-on-2 after a perfect pass by Louis Chabot. Samuel Beaulne had the other helper.

The Raiders pelted the Bears with 20 shots in the first 20 minutes of play. Shibley was solid in goal turning aside all 10 shots he faced.

The Bears dictated the pace in the second and had four straight 2-on-1s capitalizing on the last one. After Alex Hamady shot one just inside the post and may have even hit the post before going in making the score 1-1. The Raiders got into some penalty trouble late in the second with both David Fontaine (Roughing) and Adam Cater (Check from Behind) went into the box allowing the Bears a 5-3 opportunity. Cater also was assessed Game Misconduct.

The Raiders got a PowerPlay of their own that carried over into the third and recorded half of their shot count for the period with the Bears having outshot the Raiders 11-6 in the second.

The teams skated to the dressing room tied at 1-1.

In the third period the Bears scored two goals in the first six minutes to go up 3-1. Lleyton McLean snapped the go-ahead goal over Shibley’s shoulder from distance while Sean James went five-hole from in close. Tyler Melvin got the Raiders within one with about five minutes left in the game with a shot from the slot on a pass from Ryan Liverman. The Raiders continued to press and were the moving the puck well in the Bears’ zone when Zachary Lefebvre tipped home a shot from Samuel Bealne. David Fontaine got the helpers on the last two Raider goals.

Regulation time would end with the Bears carrying a PowerPlay into the overtime period when Nolan Mozer went to the box for Hooking.

The Raiders would kill off the penalty but played 4-on-4 instead of the usual 3-on-3 OT due to the quick play resulting in no whistles.

In the end it would be the home team that would win when Own Watson took the puck up the right wing before crashing the net and sliding it past Shibley to give the Smiths Falls Bears the victory and the first of the season for Adam Yost.

The Bears ended up outshooting Nepean 37-36 on the strength of a 4-0 shot advantage in overtime.

Owen Watson (1G | 1A) was named the game’s first star. The Raiders D-man David Fontaine (2A) was selected the second star while Sean Hames (1G) earned the third star.

Zachary Lefebvre (1G) was named the hardest working Raider.

The Raiders next game is Sunday afternoon for the back-end of a home-and-home series against the Smiths Falls Bears for a 2:30pm puck-drop at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena.