by Romano DiFranco
The Nepean Raiders welcomed the Brockville Braves for the fifth game of their season long seven game homestand as well as their first game of 2024. The Raiders came into this game fresh off of a 4-2 victory against the Pembroke Lumber Kings. For the starting goalies, Brady McEwen got the start for Nepean while Zane Spaniol got the call for the Brockville Braves.
Period 1: No Scoring The opening period set the stage for a defensive battle, with both teams showcasing resilience and tight defensive structures. The goaltenders, Zane Spaniol for the Braves and Brady McEwan for the Raiders, made crucial saves to keep the game at a scoreless tie.
Period 2: Still Deadlocked As the game progressed to the second period, the scoreboard remained untouched. The goaltenders continued to shine, turning away shots and denying any offensive breakthroughs. The physicality of the game escalated, evident in penalties on both sides, but neither team could capitalize on the power play opportunities.
Period 3: Breaking the Silence The third period finally saw the scoreboard change. Nepean Raiders’ Thomas Dickey broke the deadlock just 54 seconds into the period, assisted by Joshua Reid and Mario Scalise. It was Dickey’s sixth goal of the season and third since joining the Raiders from the Carleton Place Canadians. However, the Braves quickly responded, as Zach Biniaris found the back of the net at the 9:59 mark, with assists from Aidan Carolan and Alex Rak.
Overtime Drama: Nepean Seals the Win As regulation ended in a 1-1 tie, the stage was set for overtime. It took only 3 minutes and 19 seconds for Joshua Reid of the Nepean Raiders to score the game-winner, securing a thrilling victory for his team. Nicolas Papineau and Owen Colter assisted on the decisive goal, leaving the Braves stunned and the Raiders celebrating their hard-fought triumph. It was Colter’s first point in a Raiders jersey.
Shots on Goal and Penalties:
The game showcased an intense battle not only on the scoreboard but also in the statistics. The Nepean Raiders outshot the Brockville Braves, recording 47 shots on goal compared to the Braves’ 34. Both teams faced equal challenges on the power play, with none managing to convert their opportunities.
Three Stars of the Game:
- Joshua Reid (#3) – Nepean Raiders: The first star of the game, Reid played a pivotal role, contributing a goal and an assist in the Raiders’ victory.
- Brady McEwan (#33) – Nepean Raiders: The second star, McEwan’s goaltending heroics, with 33 saves on 34 shots, proved crucial in securing the win.
- Zane Spaniol (#33) – Brockville Braves: Despite the loss, Spaniol’s stellar performance in goal earned him the third star, making 45 saves on 47 shots.
The game between the Nepean Raiders and Brockville Braves will be remembered as an intense battle of wills, highlighted by outstanding goaltending, timely goals, and an electrifying overtime finish that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The Nepean Raiders next game will be held on Wednesday January 10th when the Navan Grads come to town for a 7:30PM puck drop.