by Romano Di Franco
NEPEAN, ON – The Nepean Raiders hosted the Hawkesbury Hawks at the Nepean Sportsplex – Steve Yzerman Arena. It was the fourth meeting between the two teams with Hawkesbury having clinched the season series with wins in each of the three previous contests.
The third-place Hawks entered the game on a two-game losing streak while the Raiders are looking to end a seven game winless streak.
Dimitri Pelekos (15-9-4-1, 3.07 GAA, 0.918 SV%) got the start in the Hawkesbury goal while Luca Sandu (6-16-1, 4.69 GAA, 0.889 SV%), was in goal for Nepean.
Hawkesbury had the lone goal in the first period scoring on a PowerPlay goal by Alex Fournier who beat Sandu with a rifle from the high slot with Nicholas Larkin in the box for Slashing. Hawkesbury outshot Nepean 18-8 in the first period.
The second period was penalty-filled with both teams being assessed nine penalties. Both teams capitalized and came away with PowerPlay markers. Hawkesbury had two as Antoine Dorion scored with Luca Ricciardi off for Slashing and Felix Sauve scored with Wade Bolton in the box for Roughing. Owen Hardy scored with Sauve in the box for Cross Checking to narrow the gap. Hardy’s goal came on a rebound from a Luke Posthumus blast from the point. Nicholas Larkin had the other helper.
After 40 minutes the Raiders trailed 3-1 and were outshot 17-12 in the middle frame.
Nathan Gagne restored the three-goal cushion for Hawkesbury with their fourth PowerPlay goal of the game. Penalties continued to be the story in the game with Alex Urbisci was booked for Tripping and that led to Jack Matsukubo cutting the lead to 4-2 after one-timing an Owen Hardy pass through Pelekos. Luke Posthumus had the other assist.
With time winding down things got interesting as Nepean pulled Sandu for the extra attacker and the Luke Posthumus pulled the Raiders to within one after a goal-mouth scramble saw the rookie poke home his 16th of the season. Jack Matsukubo was in on the action earning his 13th helper of the season.
The comeback would fall just short though as time ran out and Hawkesbury came away with the 4-3 decision.
Alex Fournier (1G | 1A) was named the game’s first star. Owen Hardy (1G | 2A) took second star honours while Remi Gelinas (2A) got the nod as the game’s third star.
Jack Matsukubo is named the Hardest Working Raider with his second goal in as many games.
Nepean takes on their cross-town rival Ottawa Junior Senators at the Fred Barrett Arena on Wednesday for a 7:10pm puck drop.
Be sure to Subscribe, Like and Comment on the official Nepean Raiders YouTube channel and catch every goal.