Raiders Comeback Falls Short in 3-2 Loss to Pembroke

by Romano Di Franco

The Nepean Raiders traveled to the Pembroke Memorial Centre to play out the last game of their two game road trip against the Pembroke Lumber Kings. For the starting goalies it was Brady McEwen who was in goal for the home and home series against the Carleton Place Canadians that got the start in the Nepean net and Kevin Jones who had rough outings against the Renfrew Wolves got the nod in goal for Pembroke.

The Pembroke Lumber Kings wasted no time asserting their dominance in the first period, with forward Josh Fortier lighting up the scoreboard at 12:31. Assisted by Ryan Parent and Sutton Murray, Fortier’s early goal set the tone for a strong start for the Lumber Kings. Just over two minutes later, Cam Hicklin extended the lead with a power-play goal, assisted by Easton Penna and Ryan Parent. The Raiders would outshoot Pembroke 10-9 at the end of the opening frame.

Despite a 2-0 deficit, the Nepean Raiders responded with determination in the second period. Joshua Reid found the back of the net at 13:22, assisted by Mario Scalise and Nick Houben, cutting Pembroke’s lead in half. It was his 13th goal of the season. Nepean was the dominant team in that middle period as they outshot the Lumber Kings 16-12.

The intensity heightened in the third period as the Nepean Raiders continued their comeback bid. Nolan DeFazio leveled the score at 2-2 with a goal at 5:47, assisted by Mario Scalise and Peter Freel. It was Scalise’s second point of this game. However, the resilient Lumber Kings weren’t done yet. At 9:57, Ryan Parent secured the victory with his 20th goal of the season, assisted by Cam Hicklin and Nathan Duck. Nepean continued to overwhelm Pembroke with the shots on goal. The Raiders would outshoot the Lumber Kings 17-11.

Overall, the Nepean Raiders outshot the opposing Lumber Kings 43-32, but it was Kevin Jones who stood tall in goal as he stopped 41 of the 43 shots he faced.

The Three Stars of the game reflected the outstanding individual performances on the ice. Ryan Parent of the Pembroke Lumber Kings claimed the first star with a goal and two assists, while Kevin Jones earned the second star for his remarkable goaltending display. Mario Scalise of the Nepean Raiders rounded out the Three Stars with two assists in a commendable effort.

The game featured its fair share of penalties, showcasing the physicality and intensity of the matchup. Notable penalties included a tripping call on Nepean’s Curtiss Sturgeon in the first period and a holding penalty on Peter Freel in the second period.

As the final buzzer sounded, the Pembroke Lumber Kings celebrated a hard-fought victory, while the Nepean Raiders reflected on a tremendous effort in a game that lived up to the hype. The thrilling clash between these two teams left fans eager for more exciting hockey action in the games to come.

Nepean’s next game will be held on Sunday February 25th when the Raiders not only welcome the Smiths Falls Bears to the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena, but forward Nicolas Papineau will have his 20th birthday in that game.