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Melvin Gives Houston a Problem in OT

by Romano Di Franco

NEPEAN, ON – The Raiders returned to the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena to take on the Cornwall Colts on Sunday afternoon.  They come into the game fresh off an impressive game against the Brockville Braves in which the Raiders scored an amazing four PowerPlay goals. The outburst on the man-advantage propelled the Raiders to the seventh-best PowerPlay in the league.

While the Raiders have been playing some of their best hockey recently with 16 goals in their last five games, the Colts came into this tilt with an 0-4-1 record in their last five, a span that has seen them score just 9 times.

Connor Shibley (4.51 GAA) got the start in goal for Nepean while Alex Houston (3.22 GAA) was between the pipes for Cornwall.

The Raiders opened the scoring after Ryan Liverman dished the puck off to Tyler Melvin streaking down the left side who roofed it over the Shoulder of Alex Houston. It was Melvin’s third of the season. Coleman Bennett got the play started in the Raiders zone and picked up is fifth helper of the year.

The Colts were assessed a bench minor for Too Many Men and the Raiders seemed to carry their frenzied PowerPlay from Friday night’s game into this one. They were all over the Colts and despite having numerous chances they came away empty. However, after the penalty expired, the Raiders continued to have their way with the Colts. After Houston smothered the puck to force a whistle, Chase Campeau won the ensuing face off back to Nolan Mozer. Mozer had a shot from distance and then Campeau had a shot and pounced on his own rebound and buried the shot from a bad angle from Houston’s right. And just like that it was 2-0 Raiders.

The Colts cut the lead in half when Aaron Shaw took the puck up the right side for a 2-on-1 against Adam Cater. He found Kobe Tallman racing to the net and Tallman made no mistake deflecting Shaw’s pass by Shibley.

After 20 the Raiders held a 2-1 lead.

The second period was all Cornwall as they took the lead on goals by Keanu Krenn and Jake Coleman. Krenn’s goal came on the PowerPlay with David Fontaine in the box for Throwing the Stick. After 40 minutes the Colts led 3-2 while the Raiders had outshot the Colts 28-21.

In the third period the Raiders got out of the gates quick. Just 21 seconds into the action Zachary Lefebvre won a puck battle along the boards and found Jeff Taylor who blasted a rocket past Houston to even the score at 3-3. Costa Touliopoulos was in the goal as well.

The two teams settled nothing in the rest of the third period and the game headed to overtime and 3-on-3 hockey. It was an action-packed 3:05 of OT with the Raiders having the better chances. The Colts did have a chance after a Raider miss. The turning point came during a Colts rush. Aaron Shaw took the puck down the ice and Owen Hollingsworth slid just to Shibley’s right to force Shaw wide. Shaw tripped over Hollingsworth and fell hard into the boards. He was slow to get up and the Raiders had 30 seconds of 3-2 hockey that seemed like an eternity. Nepean pelted Houston with a ton of pucks before Tyler Melvin was able to slide one into the Cornwall goal to give the Raiders the victory. Harris Hilfiker was also in on the intense OT-winning scramble.

Nepean outshot Cornwall 39-33 including 5-1 in the extra frame.

Tyler Melvin (2G) was named the game’s first star. Raiders D-man Coleman Bennett (1A) nabbed the second star while Colts’ Kobe Tallman (1G) earned the third star.

Jeff Taylor (1G) was named the hardest working Raider.

The Raiders next game is Friday night for the first of a home-and-home set against the Smiths Falls Bears for a 7:30pm puck-drop at the Smiths Falls Memorial Centre.