by Romano Di Franco
NEPEAN, ON – The Nepean Raiders were back at home after three-straight on the road. The league-leading Ottawa Junior Senators made the cross-town trek to the Nepean Sportsplex as the two teams matched off for the second time this season. OJS prevailed 5-2 in their first battle-of-Ottawa game back on September 25.
The Raiders are 2-3 in their last five coming off a loss to Carleton Place while the Junior Sens are 3-1-1 in that same span. OJS has scored 18 goals in their last five games compared to 23 goals for the Raiders.
William Desmarais (9-2, 1.91 GAA) got the start in goal for Ottawa while Evan Martin (1-5, 4.76 GAA) was between the pipes for Nepean.
The Junior Senators got off to a quick start with two goals in the first two minutes of the game to make it a 2-0 game but the Raiders showed great composure as they stormed back with four straight goals to take a 4-2 lead.
It was Louis Chabot who got the Raiders on the board back-handing a Jack Hillier rebound into the top shelf. Zachary Lefebvre had the second-assist on the goal. Costa Touliopolous had the game-tying goal as he found himself with a wide-open net after on a Todd Northgrave shot from the point was turned aside. It was Northgrave’s first point of the season and Hillier had the other helper. Hillier then put the Raiders ahead after the ensuing face-off for their third goal in just two-and-a-half minutes. He deftly deflected home a Zachary Lefebvre past Desmarais. Touliopoulos would get his second of the game again off another Todd Northgrave blast from the point.
After a wild first twenty minutes the Raiders went to the dressing room with a 4-2 lead with both teams registering 15 shots.
Any question on whether the second period would be as action-packed as the first were answered quickly. It was. This time it was the Junior Senators who would score consecutive goals in bunches. OJS had six goals in the second to up 8-4 after forty minutes. This time it was OJS who chased a starting goalie as Connor Shibley came on to relieve Evan Martin. The Junior Sens roughed up both goalies equally in the middle frame with each goalie being victimized three times. OJS dominated the shots in the second as well outshooting Nepean 19-7 to take an overall 34-22 lead.
The third period was a carbon-copy of the second with the Raiders scoring another six goals to make it a 14-4 final.
The three stars selection was a sweep for OJS with Thomas Freel (3G), Robbie Stewart (5A) and Mark McPhee (3G) going 1-2-3.
Costa Toulipoulos (2G) was named the hardest working Raider with honourable mentions going to Jack Hillier (1G | 2A) and Todd Northgrave (2A).
The Raiders start their December schedule on Friday with a meeting with the Rockland Nationals. Puck drop is at 7:30pm at the Rockland CIHA – Arena 1.