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Matsukubo, Melvin Tally in 5-2 Loss to Renfrew

by Romano Di Franco

RENFREW, ON – The Nepean Raiders were at the Ma-Te-Way Activity Center to take on the Renfrew Wolves on Saturday night. The Wolves have a record of 10-6-1-1 and sit in second place in the Robinson Division. The Raiders are in search of their first win in the month of November.

The Raiders started Gage Stewart (1-7, 3.55 GAA, 0.903 SV %) (2-0, 2.97 GAA, 0.894 SV%) between the pipes while Nolan McDowell (0-1, 3.72 GAA, 0.865 SV%) defended the net for the Wolves.

Elvis Slack got Renfrew on the board first with a couple of dandy moves in the slot before scoring from a bad angle. It was a short-handed goal. Slack would add his second of the game five minutes later with a wristshot from the ringette line that Stewart got a chunk of but trickled into the net to make it 2-0 Renfrew. Slack had a shot earlier in the period that he rang off the post.

Renfrew would make it 3-0 on a strange goal. Stewart strayed from his goal to clear a puck and prevent a breakaway by Carson Walters. His clearing attempt richocheted of Walters who then gained control of the puck and went around the stranded goaltender and tucked the puck into the empty net.

After 20 minutes the teams headed to the dressing room with Renfrew in the lead and having the edge in shots as well at 19-11.

Jack Matsukubo got the Raiders back in the game with his third of the season. The goal was setup by Luke Posthumus who took the puck up the right side before finding Matsukubo lurking near the front of the net. Matsukubo beat McDowell high over the blocker on a fine finish.

The period ended with the home town Wolves ahead 3-1. Shots on goal were 11-11 but the Raiders seemed to have had more quality chances than the Wolves and if not for the play of McDowell the Raiders could have made the game even closer.

In the third period Renfrew restored their three-goal lead after Will Ralston took the puck down the right side and banked the puck off the far post from just in front of the face-off circle.

Tyler Melvin put the Raiders back in striking distance and made it a 4-2 game after taking the puck at center and carrying it into the Wolves zone and shooting the puck just under the McDowell’s glove. Owen Hardy and Nolan Mozer picked up assists on Melvin’s seventh goal of the season.

The Raiders pulled Stewart for the extra attacker but it would be Robert Martiniello who would score into the open net to ice the game for Renfrew.

Elvis Slack (2G | 1A) was named the game’s first star. Nolan McDowell (26 saves on 28 shots) was the second star whil Tyler Melvin (1G) captured third star honours.

Jack Matsukubo (1G) is named the Hardest Working Raider. Honourable mention to Gage Stewart who had another strong performance posting a 0904 SV% in the game.

Nepean will host the Smiths Falls Bears at the Nepean Sportsplex – Yzerman Arena in a Sunday matinee. Puck drop is 2:30pm.

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