by Romano Di Franco
The Nepean Raiders concluded their three game road swing on Friday night at the Brockville Memorial Centre. Brady McEwen was in goal for the Raiders while Zane Spaniol got the start for the Braves. This was the second meeting for these two teams.
The first period set the tone for the Nepean Raiders’ dominance, with Peter Freel making an early mark on the scoreboard at 2:40. Freel’s precise play and goal-scoring ability put the Braves on the defensive, giving the Raiders an early lead that they would maintain throughout the game. The shots on net after the first twenty minutes were twelve a piece.
As the second period unfolded, the Raiders continued to capitalize on their offensive opportunities. Curtiss Sturgeon extended the lead to 2-0 at 10:23, showcasing his scoring prowess with his 10th goal of the season. Assists from Nolan DeFazio and Nick Houben played a crucial role in setting up Sturgeon’s goal, underscoring the Raiders’ effective teamwork. The Russell Ontario native has surpassed his goal total from last year when he scored nine. His tenth goal of the season is a career high.
The Nepean Raiders didn’t stop there, as Nicolas Papineau added another goal at 11:35 in the second period. Carson McGurn and Mario Scalise contributed with assists, displaying the Raiders’ depth and offensive versatility. With a commanding 3-0 lead going into the third period, the Raiders continued to apply pressure on the Braves. Despite Brockville outshooting the Raiders 21-12 in that second period, McEwen proved to be outstanding.
The final period saw the Raiders seal the victory with an empty-net goal by Nolan DeFazio at 17:38. DeFazio’s goal not only solidified the win but also highlighted his scoring ability in critical moments. The Nepean Raiders’ offensive proficiency and solid defensive play, led by goaltender Brady McEwan, proved insurmountable for the Brockville Braves.
Speaking of standout performances, goaltender Brady McEwan earned the first star of the game, stopping all 37 shots he faced. McEwan’s stellar performance was instrumental in securing the shutout victory for the Raiders. Peter Freel, with his early goal, claimed the second star, while Owen Watson of the Brockville Braves earned the third star for his efforts despite being on the losing side. This was the first shutout administrated for the Raiders since October 11, 2021 when they shutout the Carleton Place Canadians 3-0.
The penalty sheet remained relatively quiet throughout the game, with both teams displaying discipline on the ice. Nepean capitalized on one power-play opportunity, while their penalty kill unit held the Braves scoreless on two occasions.
In conclusion, the Nepean Raiders’ 4-0 triumph over the Brockville Braves showcased their offensive firepower, defensive resilience, and stellar goaltending. As they celebrate this commanding victory, the Raiders will look to carry this momentum into their future games, aiming to maintain their position as a force to be reckoned with in the league.
Their next game will be held on Sunday November 12th when they welcome their arch rivals the Ottawa Junior Senators to the Steve Yzerman Arena at the Nepean Sportsplex for a 2:30PM puck drop.