by Romano Di Franco
RENFREW, ON – The Nepean Raiders were at the Ma-Te-Way Activity Center to take on the Renfrew Wolves on Saturday night. It was the front half of a home-and-home series that concludes Sunday afternoon. Nepean came into the game off a 6-4 win over the Pembroke Lumber Kings to improve their record to 3-1-1 in their last five games. Meanwhile, Renfrew came into the game off a 7-3 loss to the Carleton Place Canadians giving them a record of 2-2-1 in the same span. It was the third meeting of the season between the two team with Renfrew having come away victorious in each of the two meetings.
The Raiders rewarded U18 goalie Domenic Amodeo (8-4, 2.71 GAA, 0.909 SV %) with his first regular season CCHL start this season between the pipes for Nepean while Sebastian Resar (13-7-1-1, 2.93 GAA, 0.907 SV%) defended the net for the Wolves.
Noah Vom Scheidt picked up his 11th of the season scoring on a rebound from close range to send Renfrew up 1-0 in the first minute of play.
The Wolves exploded for three goals in three minutes starting at the 5:50 mark as Elvis Slack, Trent Scullion, and Joey Kennelly gave the home team a 4-0 lead.
The Raiders best chance of the period came after a long lead pass by Nicholas Larkin to Jack Matsukubo who went in all alone on Resar but rang the shot off the left post.
After 20 minutes Renfrew led 4-0 despite both teams putting 14 shots on the opposing goalie.
Owen Hardy got the Raiders on the board with his seventh of the season burying a nifty pass from Luke Posthumus. Joshua Reid picked up his 13th assist of the season on the goal.
Luca Ricciardi was assessed a Charging Major and a Game Misconduct for Nepean and Renfrew made the visitors pay dearly as Brock Mierzejewski, former Raider Tyson Tomasini, and Joey Kennelly all scored PowerPlay goals to make it a 7-1 game. The Kennelly goal would ultimately chase Dominic Amodeo who finished the period as Luca Sandu would come on to start the third period.
After 40 minutes Renfrew was out in front 7-1 outshooting Nepean 20-8 in the middle frame.
Renfrew came out in the third buzzing as Tomasini rang a shot from the slot off the left post. Joey Kennelly completed his hat-trick five minutes later taking a beautiful saucer pass from Jace Letourneau and beating Sandu to the far post.
Nepean thought they had their second of the game after Jordan Graham swept around the left side put a shot on goal that he thought sent in. Referee Maxime Frost was perfectly position and determined that the puck had rang off one or both posts and did not cross the line. The call would later be reversed and Graham was awarded his fifth goal of the season. Jacob Dupont and Tristan Caldwell had the helpers.
The game concluded with a final score of 8-2 with shots 46-34 in favour of Renfrew. Sandu stopped 11 of 12 shots that he faced.
Joey Kennelly (3G | 1A) was named the game’s first star. Noah Vom Scheidt (1G | 3A) was the second star and Owen Hardy (1G) captured third star honours.
Jordan Graham (1G) was named the Hardest Working Raider.
The two teams square off in a Sunday matinee at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena as they close out the home-and-home series. Puck drop is at 2:30pm.
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