by Romano Di Franco
NEPEAN, ON – The Nepean Raiders hosted the Brockville Braves in an afternoon tilt at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena.
Brockville sports a record of 1-2 while the Raiders own a record of 0-3-0-1.
Philip Rondina made his first of the season for the Braves while Gage Stewart (0-2, 3.91 GAA, 0.897 SV %) got the start between the pipes in the Nepean goal.
The Raiders opened the scoring just a minute and a half into the first. The goal came on great hustle in the offensive zone by the Melvin-Rivard-Benoit line causing a turnover that Nolan Mozer blasted from the point through traffic and past Rondina to give the Nepean a 1-0 lead. Tyler Melvin and Luka Benoit were credited with the helpers.
The teams traded chances with Joshua Reid just missing batting a puck out of the air and into the net while on the other side of the ice Gage Stewart robbed Lucas Culhane from point-blank range.
A missed clearing attempt in the Raiders zone led to a shot that Alex Keller rung off the post. The rebound found its way to Kyle Powers who was denied on his chance before a second rebound found its way to Alex Rossides who made no mistake roofing the puck over a busy Stewart to tie the game at 1-1.
Landon Wright got credit for the marker that put Brockville ahead. He seemed to deflect a Rossides pass from the left boards past Stewart but the goal may have deflected off a Raider. Regardless, the goal gave Brockville a 2-1 lead.
Brockville forward Logan Furlong was injured after a collision with a Raider in front of the Nepean goal. With seconds left to go in the first period Luka Benoit rang a shot of both posts to narrowly miss sending the Raiders to the dressing room with a tie. The score remained 2-1 and the period ened with the official shot count at 18-11 Brockville.
After 20 minutes it was the Wolves ahead 2-0 after outshooting Nepean 16-4 in the period.
Brockville extended their lead in the second period after an unfortunate turn-over in the Brockville zone resulted in a 2-0 with Luke Tchor and Lucas Culhane. Tchor took the puck up ice with Raider in hot pursuit but Culhane made no mistake putting the puck by a sliding Gage Stewart to make the score 3-1.
The Raiders had a ton of chances and wound up outshooting Brockville in the second period 12-11 thanks to many shots directed at Rondina by Luke Posthumus during the Thomas Haynes penalty for Tripping.
In the opening minute of the third period, Lucas Culhane picked up his second of the game one-timing a cannon from the point to send Brockville up 4-1. The goal came just as Shane Moodie’s Boarding penalty carried over from the second period expired.
Gage Stewart was assessed a Delay of Game penalty after racing to the puck and sending it over the boards. The penalty was served by Jack Matsukubo. Stewart would face the double-whammy when Zach Biniaris made a nifty move into the slot and fired a shot into the back of the net to put the game out of reach at 5-1.
Ultimately, the Raiders had their share of quality scoring chances but Rondina was up to the task and the game ended with Brockville leaving town with a 5-1 victory.
Overall, the shots on net were 39-29 for the Braves.
Lucas Culhane (2G) was awarded the game’s first star. Alex Rossides (1G | 2A) the second star, and lone Raider goal scorer Nolan Mozer (1G) got the nod as the game’s third star.
Luka Benoit is named the Hardest Working Raider and registered an assist on the Mozer goal.
Nepean’s next game is against the Cornwall Colts at the Sportsplex on Wednesday night for a 7:30 pm puck drop. The Raiders will be seeking revenge for the 4-3 shootout loss to the Colts on September 29.
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