by Romano Di Franco
The Nepean Raiders kicked off the Fall Showcase at the Bell Sensplex against the Pemrbroke Lumber Kings for their first of three games in three days. The Raiders enter the Showcase still in search of their first win of the season while Pembroke sports a 3-1 record.
Tyler Melvin and Ryan Liverman come into the Fall Showcase as the top point-getters for the Raiders so far in the young season. Coleman Bennet, Nolan Mozer, and Jack Hillier round out the Top 5 leaderboard for Nepean.
Connor Shibley got the start in goal for the Raiders while Dalton McBride got the nod for the Lumber Kings.
The Lumber Kings drew first blood opening the scoring with a PowerPlay marker at 4:46 during a mad scramble in the Raiders crease. Shibley made the first two saves but Joe Jordan pounced on the rebound to put Pembroke up 1-0. They struck again two minutes later with Jacob Dupont picking up his first of the year on another goal mouth scramble to go up 2-0.
Sawyer Prokopetz then dug the Raiders hole a little deeper with two goals 85-seconds apart to extend the Pembroke lead to 4-0. The first goal coming short-handed. The two teams headed to the dressing rooms with no further scoring and Pembroke outshooting Nepean 12-6. The bright spot for the Raiders in the first twenty minutes came with Harris Hilfiker’s near miss. The Middletown, NJ native playing in his first game for the Nepean Raiders hit the crossbar.
Evan Martin started the second period in relief of Connor Shibley following a very busy for first 10 minutes but the Lumber Kings were not any kinder to Martin going up 5-0 on Brady Egan’s third of the season. Martin turned aside two short-handed breakaways just moments later to rob Jacob Dupont of his second of the game.
The Raiders special teams cost them midway through the second when the gave up their second short-handed goal of the game. Jack Stockfish made a terrific toe-drag move on a two-on-one break-away and then snapped it past Martin. Pembroke. After 40 minutes Pembroke led 6-0 on the scoreboard and after an 11-2 shots advantage in the second held the upper hand on the shot totals of 23-8.
The Raiders had a four-minute man-advantage and had several chances but the Pembroke netminder McBride would not be beat. The Raiders spent nearly the entire four minutes in the Lumber Kings zone. The Lumber Kings capitalized once again just after the penalty expired going up 7-0 when Jordan Fuller pocketed his second of the year. The Raiders got into some penalty problem late in the third and had to kill a 5-3 disadvantage. Max Martin improved the Lumber Kings PowerPlay stats as he made a couple of nifty moves and wristed the puck into the short side to make the final score 8-0. Carter Vollett almost spoiled the shutout with a spectacular chance in the dying the seconds of the game.
The three stars were a sweep for Pembroke with netminder Dalton McBride, forward Brady Egan, and defenseman Sawyer Prokepetz going 1-2-3.
Evan Martin was named the hardest working Raider stopping 13 of the 18 shots he faced.
The next game for the Raiders will be October 10 as they face the Navan Grads for Day 2 action of the CCHL Showcase at the Bell Sensplex – Canadian Tire Arena with a 12:30pm puck drop.