by Romano Di Franco
KANATA, ON – The Nepean Raiders played their second game of the CCHL Showcase against the Carleton Place Canadians on Sunday. It was the second time in two years where the two teams first squared off in the Showcase. Last year the Raiders won the battle 3-0 and this year’s opening bout between the two teams was even more impressive.
Carleton Place came into the game with a 5-1 record good enough for top spot in the Robinson Division. The Raiders with their 0-5-0-2 record currently sit in sixth place in the Yzerman Division
Luca Sandu (0-1, 7.26 GAA, 0.853 SV%) was in goal for Nepean while Jackson Pundyk (1-0, 3.75 GAA, 0.853SV %) got the start between the pipes in the Canadians’ goal.
For the fifth time in seven games Nepean opened the scoring. This time out it was Luka Benoit with his third of the season from Tyler Melvin and Ryan Liverman. The goal came just 36 seconds into the game.
The Canadians stole the momentum with a couple of goals 72 seconds apart in the middle of the period to take a 2-1 lead. The goals came from Thomas Dickey and Derek Hamilton. Dickey’s goal came on the PowerPlay with Tyler Melvin in the box for Hooking.
Luka Benoit’s second of the period squared the score at 2-2 with just over a minute left in the first. The two teams went to the dressing room after a 20-10 shout advantage for Carleton Place.
It was the Joshua Reid story in the second period scoring a natural hat-trick that would chase Jackson Pundyk from the game. Joe Chambers came into the game in relief. The middle frame would end with the Raiders up 5-2 despite being outshot 12-7 in the period. Nepean goalie Luca Sandu picked up his first assist of the season on the second Reid goal.
Nepean continued to go full throttle into the third period with Luca Ricciardi scoring unassisted and Luka Benoit finishing off his hat trick as well.
It was the Raiders best effort of the season and the results matched. Ryan Liverman (3A), and Luca Ricciardi (1G | 1A) registered multi-point games while Wade Bolton picked up his point of the season.
Shane Moodie, Coleman Bennett, Tyler Melvin also registered points.
The Raiders PK was brilliant allowing just one goal on nine opportunities for CPC.
It was a Raiders sweep for game stars with Luka Benoit (3G | 1A) named the game’s first star. Josh Reid (3G) the second star and Luca Sandu (46 saves on 49 shots) captured third star honours.
Luca Ricciardi is named the Hardest Working Raider in the first win of the season for Nepean.
Nepean will be back at it on Monday as they close out the CCHL Showcase against the Navan Grads on Thanksgiving Monday for a 3:45 puck drop at the Bell SensPlex in Kanata.
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