by Romano Di Franco
NEPEAN, ON – The Nepean Raiders hosted the Carleton Place Canadians on a Sunday matinee showdown at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena. It was the first meeting between the two teams since the convincing 7-3 victory by the Raiders during the CCHL Showcase. The Canadians are 9-5-0-1 on the season and are 3-1-0-1 in their last five. Nepean entered the contest at 3-10-0-2 looking to halt a four game losing skid.
Jackson Pundyk (4-2, 2.70 GAA, 0.913 SV%) was in goal for Carleton Place while Luca Sandu (2-3, 4.76 GAA, 0.893 SV %) got the start between the pipes in the Raiders’ net.
It was Carleton Place that struck first with Matteo Disipio beating Sandu just under his left pad from the left faceoff dot. The Canadians would make it 2-0 after Derek Hamilton lifted a wrist shot from the slot over top of Sandu’s glove.
Luca Sandu was forced to make a ton of saves including a 2-on-0 against Loic Prudhomme who took a Brandon Walker feed in the low slot.
The Canadians made it 3-0 on a seemingly harmless shot by Aidan Cooper from the neutral zone that eluded Sandu going over his glove and into the top shelf. That was a shot that the Raiders netminder would like to have back.
Derek Hamilton made it 4-0 taking a feed from Matteo Disipio and tapping it past a sliding Sandu. Josh Reid had Nepean’s best scoring chance with just 20 seconds left in the period taking a pass by Jack Matsukubo and taking it into the slot with a dandy move but his backhand was stopped by Pundyk.
The first period came to an end with CPC up 4-0 powered by 17 shots versus Nepean’s 8.
Nepean thought they had their first of the game when Tyler Melvin took a shot from the red line and it short-hopped Pundyk and went in the net. The goal was waived off after Matsukubo had failed to clear the zone on a delayed offside.
The Raiders continued to have excellent scoring chances including Luca Ricciardi who took a fantastic pass that Owen Hardy threaded through traffic right on the tape. Ricciardi went forehand-backhand but slid the shot wide from the paint. Jackson Barnes and Anthony Rivard were stymied just moments later with point-blank shots that Pundyk scrambled to keep out of the net.
A Roughing penalty to Christian Berini gave the Raiders their first PowerPlay of the game but they were victimized for a short-handed goal after Derek Hamilton scored his third of the game on a breakaway. The goal would chase Luca Sandu and newly signed Jaden Cholette came into the game in relief.
Evan Jamieson made it 6-0 on a shot from the point with traffic in front of the net that made it tough for Cholette to track.
Nicholas Larkin quashed any ideas that Jackson Pundyk had of a shutout after pouncing on his own rebound and beating the Canadians netminder with a shot from in tight that went over the Pundyk’s blocker. The PowerPlay goal was set up by a nifty pass by Jack Matsukubo that found Larkin at the far post. Luca Ricciardi picked up his fourth helper of the year on the goal.
After 40 minutes CPC had a 6-1 lead and despite being outscored 2-1 in the period Nepean was the better team in the period after they peppered Pundyk with 15 shots compared to the four on Sandu and the five on Cholette.
Luca Ricciardi made it 6-2 with a one-timer from the slot that Pundyk had no chance on. The play started with Nolan Mozer fighting to keep the puck in the Canadians zone. He dumped the puck behind the net to Luke Posthumus who dumped the puck in front of the net that Ricciardi made no mistake on.
Thomas Dickey slammed the door on any come-back with a goal to make it 7-2. The goal came after two great saves by Cholette but Dickey’s blasted a rebound over the glove of the Nepean netminder.
Derek Hamilton (3G) was named the game’s first star. Matteo Disipio (3A) was the second star and Nepean multi-point man Luca Ricciardi (1G | 1A) captured third star honours.
Nicholas Larkin is named the Hardest Working Raider for getting the first Nepean goal.
Nepean will be back at it on Friday as they travel to the Ma-Te-Way Activity Center to take on the Renfrew Wolves for a 7:30pm puck drop.
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