by Romano Di Franco
The Nepean Raiders travelled to the Smiths Falls Memorial Centre to visit the Bears for a Friday night matchup between the two. Brady McEwen who was brilliant in his last game against the Cornwall Colts got the start in goal while Dawson Labre got the nod in goal for the Bears.
The opening period set the tone for the game, with both teams displaying their offensive prowess. Nepean Raiders struck first on the power play at 2:51, courtesy of Mario Scalise, who capitalized on assists from Joshua Reid and Peter Freel. However, the Smiths Falls Bears responded with a goal of their own at 14:26, as Owen Watson found the back of the net with assists from Travis Ouellette and Matthew Dimaline.
The second period intensified the competition, featuring a total of four goals. Nepean Raiders regained the lead early in the period, with Kyle Slingerland scoring at 1:24, assisted by Marty Magaletta and Thomas Dickey. It was Slingerland’s first goal in a Raiders jersey. However, the Bears swiftly answered back, with Matthew Martin-Gaudreault tying the score at 8:51 on the power play, followed by goals from Blake Menard at 14:05 and Trevor Faucher at 17:15, giving the Bears a 4-2 lead heading into the final frame.
The final period saw the Smiths Falls Bears extending their lead with a shorthanded goal at just 25 seconds in. Trevor Faucher notched his second goal of the night, solidifying his position as a key player in the game.
Trevor Faucher of the Smiths Falls Bears emerged as the first star of the game, contributing two goals and an assist. Blake Menard, who scored the Bears’ crucial third goal, claimed the second star, while Nepean Raiders’ Brady McEwan earned the third star for his valiant efforts, facing an impressive 44 shots and making 39 saves.
Penalties and Special Teams:
Both teams displayed discipline on the ice, with each side receiving four penalties. The power play opportunities were well-contested, with each team converting one of their four chances.
The game between the Nepean Raiders and Smiths Falls Bears showcased the competitive spirit of both teams. The Bears’ offensive prowess, particularly from players like Trevor Faucher and Blake Menard, proved instrumental in securing their victory. On the other side, Nepean Raiders fought hard, with standout performances from Mario Scalise and goaltender Brady McEwan.
As the final buzzer sounded, the Smiths Falls Bears celebrated their well-deserved 5-2 triumph, leaving fans eager for the next chapter in these teams’ rivalry.
The Nepean Raiders next game will be on Sunday January 21st when the Ottawa Junior Senators come to town at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena.