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Melvin Scores in Heartbreaking Shootout Loss

by Romano Di Franco

NEPEAN, ON – The Nepean Raiders hosted the Cornwall Colts just six days after the Colts won a 4-3 victory in the shootout at the Ed Lumley Arena.

Cornwall entered the game with a record of 2-1 and are coming off an 8-2 loss to the Rockland Nationals. Nepean is 0-4-1 and are coming off a 5-1 loss to Brockville, a game in which Nolan Mozer was the lone Raider to score.

Dax Easter (2-0-0-1, 1.24 GAA, 0.952 SV%) was in goal for Cornwall while Gage Stewart (0-3, 3.86 GAA, 0.895 SV %) got the start between the pipes in the Nepean goal. Offensively, the Raiders have three players in the Top 10 Rookie Scoring Race with Luke Posthumus (2G | 2A | 4Pts) tied for second place, Jack Matsukubo (2G | 0A | 2Pts) in fifth, and Luka Benoit (1G | 1A | 2pts) in tenth.

The two teams played a scoreless first period with the Raiders best chance coming off the stick of Luke Posthumus on a good feed by Jackson Barnes. Nepean successfully killed off two short-handed situations with Luca Ricciardi (Holding) and Coleman Bennett (High Sticking) being assessed for minors in separate incidents.

Gage Stewart proved to be the busier of the two goalies stopping all 13 shots he faced in the period while Easter turned aside eight.

The second period featured more chances by both teams but the goaltenders were up to the task until Tyler Melvin finally broke the goose-eggs to put Nepean up 1-0. Melvin took the puck coast-to-coast flying past all five Cornwall skaters before taking the puck to the far post and sliding it past Easter. the unassisted goal was Melvin’s first of the season. It was the fourth time in six games that Nepean had scored the opening goal of the game.

After 40 minutes it was the Raiders leading on both the scoreboard 1-0 and the shot counter 22-21.

The third period was pretty much a replay of the first period with scoring at a premium. Luka Benoit had the best chance for Nepean picking up a loose puck in the Colts zone and toe-dragging the puck into the slot before firing a shot on Easter that he was able to pounce on.

With time ticking down Cornwall pulled Dax Easter for the extra attacker and scored with just 4.5 seconds left on the clock to tie things up. Kobe Tallman was the hero for Cornwall lifting a backhander from the slot over the shoulder of Stewart. It was Tallman’s first of the season. Caden Eaton and Nolan Gagnon picked up the helpers.

Shots on net were 34-31 for Cornwall after regulation and the game went to 3-on-3 overtime.

The teams traded scoring chances in the extra frame but Easter made a great save on a Matsukubo effort while Stewart robbed Nolan Gagnon on a breakaway.

The game went to shootout just as their previous matchup had gone. It was a near-identical result as well with the Colts outgunning the Raiders in the shootout 2-1 to steal a 2-1 win in the Raiders’ barn.

1. Braden Bowen – missed
1. Jack Matsukubo – missed

2. Nolan Gagnon – missed
2. Nicholas Larkin – GOAL

3. John Richer – GOAL
3. Brandon Reinsich – missed

4. Kobe Tallman – missed
4. Tyler Melvin – missed

5. Liam Verdoni – GOAL
5. Luke Posthumus – missed

Colts forward Liam Verdoni (0G | 0A) was awarded the game’s first star. Raiders netminder Gage Stewart (37 saves on 38 shots) captured second star honours. Colts goalie (34 saves on 35 shots) got the nod as the game’s third star.

Tyler Melvin is named the Hardest Working Raider for his first goal of the season.

Nepean’s next action will be the three-games-in-three-days annual CCHL Showcase where they take on the Pembroke Lumber Kings on Saturday for a 4:15 puck drop followed by the Carleton Place Canadians on Sunday at 1:00pm, and finally the Navan Grads on Thanksgiving Monday for a 3:45 puck drop. All games will be at the Bell SensPlex in Kanata.

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