by Romano Di Franco
NAVAN, ON – The Nepean Raiders visited the Navan Memorial Centre to take on the Navan Grads for the third time this season. The two teams have split the season series so far this season at one win apiece. Navan comes into the game 3-2 in thier last five games while Nepean are 0-5 in the same timespan.
Luca Sandu (6-13-1, 4.60 GAA, 0.890 SV %) got the start between the pipes for Nepean while the league leader in wins, Braedyn McIntosh (22-7-2-1, 2.55 GAA, 0.914 SV %), was in goal for Navan.
Blake Butler opened the scoring for Navan poking home a rebound from a Cayden Faust shot from the left faceoff circle. Papineau had the best chance for Nepean with a shot from close range that come on the PowerPlay with Gabriel Crete in the box for the rare Illegal Equipment violation after handling the puck with a broken stick. Navan took their 1-0 lead into the first intermission outshooting Nepean 17-9.
Nicholas Larkin pulled the Raiders even with a goal blasting a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle on an a pass from Anthony Rivard from behind the net. Noah Carpenter restored the Navan lead on a 2-on-1 beating Sandu on a shot from the half-wall. Michael Urgo made it 3-1 with a short-handed goal after splitting the Nepean defence and managing to get a shot off that Sandu got a piece of but fluttered into the back of the net.
Carpenter’s second of the period made it 4-1 on a goal-scorers goal rifling a shot high over the blocker that Sandu was screened on.
After 40 minutes Navan had control of the game outshooting Nepean 21-5.
There was no scoring in the third period. Luke Posthumus had the best chance on the PowerPlay with Nicholas Paone in the box for Holding but his shot was stopped after McIntosh flashed the leather.
Noah Carpenter (2G) was named the game’s first star, Max Donohoe (2A) earned the second star while Luca Sandu (48 saves on 52 shots) captured third star honours.
Nicholas Larking is named the Hardest Working Raider picking up his eighth goal of the season.
Nepean completes the back-half of the home-and-home series with the Navan Grads in three days time as they host the Grads at the Nepean Sportsplex – Yzerman Arena for a 7:30pm puck drop.
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