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Hollingsworth Powers Raiders to SO Win

by Romano Di Franco

KEMPTVILLE, ON – The Nepean Raiders travelled down the 416 to face off against the Kemptville 73s at the North Grenville Municipal Centre for some Friday night hockey. Jeff Taylor the former long-time 73s forward made his debut in a Nepean Raider jersey.

The Raiders come into the game off an impressive 3-0 shut-out victory over the Carleton Place Canadians while Kemptville came into the game with a decisive 6-1 win of their own over the Cornwall Colts.

Evan Martin got the start in goal for Nepean and he will face former Raider netminder Tyler Laureault and his sparkling 2.20 goals-against average for Kemptville.

For the second time in two games, a player playing his first game in a Raider jersey opened the scoring. On Monday afternoon, it was Owen Hollingsworth and Friday night it was Jeff Taylor drawing first blood. Zachary Lefebvre took the puck off the boards and found a streaking Taylor who split the defense and put it glove-side past Laureault. Costa Touliopoulos had the other helper. Kemptville almost tied it when Ty Whyte put a backhand off the crossbar from close range with just 30 seconds to go in the first.

After 20 minutes the Raiders were out in front 1-0 despite before outshot 9-7.

The two teams traded chances in the second but both goalies came up large. The period would have to wait until the 16.14 mark before either team could find the back of the net. The Nepean PowerPlay would extend the lead to 2-0 on Owen Hollingsworth’s second goal in as many games. The Raiders had great puck movement with Coleman Bennet dishing to Ryan Liverman who found Hollingsworth in great position to one-time the puck past a sliding Tyler Laureault.

The Raiders were outshot 18-10 in the second period but once again had the advantage where it counted and that was on the scoreboard.

Kemptville found themselves on the PowerPlay near the end of the period but Evan Martin continued to stand on his head turning aside everything thrown at him including robbing Ethan Esposito on a rebound from point-blank range.

After 40 minutes the Raiders registered their fifth straight period of scoreless hockey for the first time since January 17-22 in 2016. Chase Lammi ended the 105:18 streak of shutout hockey by the Raiders by pouncing on his own rebound and sliding the puck past Martin during a delayed penalty.

Kemptville poured on the pressure in the back half of the third and Evan Beaudry tied the game at 2-2 when he blasted a low shot from the point by Evan Martin. Martin had to go the bench for an equipment issue which brought Connor Shibley into the game for 28 seconds. Shibley faced no shots and Martin quickly returned to the Raider goal.

After 60 minutes nothing was decided so the two teams headed for overtime. The Raiders trailed in the shot department 40-26 but were the better team for the majority of the game. It was the Raiders first time this season playing 3-on-3 hockey and dominated the fourth period including Ryan Liverman’s glorious chance with 1 second left.

The shootout featured terrific saves by both goalies and it went to extra shooters before either team could score. The hero of the game would be Owen Hollingsworth when he got the loan goal of the shootout after Devon Savignac was unable to reply for Kemptville.

Coincidentally, the last time Nepean went to a shootout was also a victory against Tyler Laureault who played for the Ottawa Junior Senators during Developmental Scrimmage action last season. The win was well-deserved by the entire Raiders team. The PowerPlay went 1-for-4 and the PK was perfect.

There were no surprises in the Three Stars of the game. Hollingsworth (1G + SO winner) nabbed the first star. Evan Beaudry (1G | 1A) earned the second star while Nepean Raider netminder got the third star (40 saves on 42 shots).

Ryan Liverman was named the hardest working Raider.

The next game for the Raiders will be October 17 as they host the Hawkesbury Hawks at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena for a 2:30pm puck drop.