by Romano Di Franco
CARLETON PLACE, ON – The Nepean Raiders continued their three-game road trip on Friday night for a battle with the Carleton Place Canadians. It was the second meeting of the season between the two teams with the Raiders having come away with a 3-0 shutout victory in their first meeting.
The Raiders were 2-3 in their last five coming off a loss to the Pembroke Lumber Kings while the Canadians were 1-4 in that same span and came into the game having been shutout in their last two games.
Brady McEwan (0-3, 3.03 GAA) got the start in goal for Carleton Place while Connor Shibley (5-6-1, 4.64 GAA) manned the Nepean goal.
Carleton Place put an end to their goal-scoring drought just three minutes into the game as Liam Goreski tipped home a Marc-Antoine Ducharme shot to give the Canadians the 1-0 lead. Goreski struck again after pouncing on a rebound off to send Carleton Place up 2-0. Shibley saved the first shot but Goreski was johnny-on-the spot to bury the puck.
The Raiders had chances of their own but came away empty being outshot 15-6 in the first period by a Carleton Place squad looking for revenge.
Carleton Place came into the game second in the league in penalties and Nepean came in at fourth in the league so both teams were going to get some time on the PowerPlay. It was the Raiders who would strike first on the man-advantage after Jack Hillier would bury an Owen Hollingsworth rebound past McEwan on a play set up by Samuel Beaulne. It was Hillier’s second of the season. Djibril Toure restored Carleton Place’s two-goal cushion with his first CCHL goal to make it 3-1. Marco Iozzo and Carleton Place got a PowerPlay goal of their own after some pushing and shoving between Djibril Toure and Adam Cater. Cater was given Roughing and Cross-Checking penalties. Alex Bergeron served the penalties for Cater who was ejected from the game. Toure went off for the Canadians. Jackson Hay would later make it 5-1 and that gave Connor Shibley an early night from the game as he was relieved by Evan Martin who made his first appearance since November 3.
Liam Goreski completed the hat-trick to give Carleton Place a 6-1 lead and after 40 minutes the Canadians also held the advantage in shots at 29-18.
The Raiders carried the man-advantage into the third period after Cole Bowditch went off for Holding with a minute and a half left in the second. They cashed in just 31 seconds into the third when Jack Hillier fired home his second of the game. Ryan Liverman got the assist and Louis Chabot got the uncredited assist with a screen in front of McEwan.
Zachary Lefebvre blocking a pass with his skate midway in the third to spring himself on a break-away but was stoned by McEwan. The Raiders got another PowerPlay moments later when Brandon Walker was sent off for Interference. Zachary Lefebvre scored his sixth of the season one-timing a Coleman Bennett pass behind McEwan. Lefebvre added another goal just three minutes later after Marco Iozzo fell down and coughed up the puck in front of the Canadians net that Lefebvre made no mistake on. Suddenly the 6-4 game got a lot more interesting.
The Raiders pulled Martin for the extra attacker but it was Carleton Place who would strike as Bill Gourgan delivered the empty netter to ice the game for the Canadians.
Liam Goreski (3G) powered his way to be named the first star, Marc-Antoine Ducharme (4A) got the nod as second star while Jack Hillier (2G) was selected the game’s third star.
Zachary Lefebvre (2G) was named the hardest working Raider.
The Raiders close out their November schedule against the Ottawa Junior Senators at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena for a 2:30pm puck-drop.