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Raiders Begin 2022-2023 Pre-Season

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by Romano Di Franco

ROCKLAND, ON – The Nepean Raiders launched their 2022/2023 pre-season with a short ride up the 417 travelling to to the Rockland CIHA – Arena 1 to take on the Rockland Nationals.

It was the third pre-season game for the Nats who came into the game with a pair of losses to the Hawkesbury Hawks.

Gage Stewart (0-0, 0.000 SV%, 0. 00 GAA) got the start in the net for Nepean while Haydn Gould (0-0, 0.000 SV%, 0. 00 GAA) got the start between the pipes for the home team. The starting goalie selection was strictly a formality as both teams split the duties in goal at the mid-way point in the game.

The two teams played a tight first 20 minutes of the game as neither team managed to find the back of the net. Rockland outshot Nepean 17-6 in the process.

The Nationals exploded for seven goals in the second frame with Charles Locas leading the way with a natural hat-trick for his first three goals of the season and took their 7-0 lead into the dressing room after 40 minutes. Rockland had a 35-13 lead in shots over two periods.

Rockland kept the foot on the gas in the third as they pelted another 19 shots at Jaden Cholette who entered the game mid-way through the second period.

Both teams played a very disciplined game with Nepean drawing one Holding minor to Carson McGurn in the first and a Hooking penalty to Luka Benoit in the third. The Nats avoided the box completely allowing the Raiders no PowerPlay opportunities.

The final line on the Raiders netminders was 24 saves on 28 shots for Gage Stewart while Jaden Cholette turned aside 20 of the 26 shots he faced with one of the Rockland goals coming  on the PowerPlay.

The Raiders open their home exhibition season with a matinee game on Sunday. Puck drop at the Nepean Sportsplex Yzerman Arena is a 2:30pm.