by Romano Di Franco
The Nepean Raiders returned home having completed their three game road swing going 1-2 in that span. They welcomed their arch rivals the Ottawa Junior Senators for Round Two for the rivalry at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena. Brady McEwen who was coming off a 37 save shutout performance was in the net again for the Raiders and Connor Shibley started in goal for the Junior Senators.
The opening period saw Shibley and McEwen make some saves throughout the first period and it was a busy one for either goalie. In fact the only goal that was scored in that frame was Michael Gallery. It was his first career CCHL goal. Jacob Winsor and Ryder Dagenais got the assists for Ottawa. The shots on goal in that period was 14-10 in favor of the Junior Senators.
The second period was all Raiders as not only did they outshoot the Junior Senators 18-9 in the middle frame but Peter Freel replied for Nepean with Jordan Graham in the penalty box for charging. Carson McGurn and Marty Magaletta assisted on that powerplay goal. Also, it was Freel’s second straight goal having scored in the last game against Brockville. That set the stages for the third period.
The third period was marked by power-play goals from both teams. Lucas Leblanc regained the lead for the Junior Senators at 10:39, assisted by Michael Gallary and Jacob Renaud-Viau. However, Ottawa’s 2-1 lead would not last long as the Raiders answered back with a power-play goal of their own at 17:49, courtesy of Owen Hardy, with assists from Curtiss Sturgeon and Nicolas Papineau. The regulation time concluded with the score tied at 2-2, sending the game into overtime.
The overtime period proved to be decisive, with the Nepean Raiders securing the win just 47 seconds in. Mario Scalise emerged as the hero, scoring the game-winning goal and sealing a 3-2 victory for the Raiders. Nepean is now 4-2 in overtime while the Ottawa Junior Senators fall to 1-3.
Both teams showcased their offensive prowess throughout the game, with the Nepean Raiders ultimately outshooting the Ottawa Junior Senators 43 to 32. The power-play units played a significant role, with Nepean converting on two of four opportunities, while Ottawa capitalized on one of their four power plays.
Penalties added an extra layer of intensity to the game, with both teams racking up minutes in the sin bin. Despite the physicality, the skillful play of both sides stood out, making this matchup a memorable contest for fans.
The three stars of the game were awarded to standout players from both teams. Mario Scalise of the Nepean Raiders claimed the first star with his game-winning goal, followed by Michael Gallary of the Ottawa Junior Senators earning the second star for his goal and assist. Peter Freel, also of the Nepean Raiders, secured the third star for his contribution with a goal.
This thrilling game will undoubtedly be remembered as a showcase of skill, determination, and the unpredictable nature of hockey, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the next chapter in the season for the provincial rivals.
Nepean’s next game will be on Saturday November 18th when they visit the Carleton Place Canadians at the Carleton Place Arena Rink 1. Also their next home game will be in a week from today when the Raiders will play the Canadians. So this will be a home and home series for the Raiders.