by Romano Di Franco
NEPEAN, ON – The Nepean Raiders hosted the Navan Grads on Wednesday night in the back-half of a home-and-home that saw the Grads win the first round 4-1. It was the fourth meeting between the two teams with the Raiders looking to even up the season series.
Robert Andreakos (0-2, 2.65 GAA, 0.913 SV %) got the start between the pipes for Navan while Joshua Branton (1-1, 5.33 GAA, 0.877 SV%) was in goal for Nepean.
Nepean got off to a quick start opening the scoring at the 1:44 mark of the first after Tristan Caldwell threw an innocent looking shot at the Navan goal from distance that somehow eluded Andreakos. Nicholas Larkin and Jordan Graham had the helpers.
The rest of the period was all Navan as Tio D’addario and Max Donohoe scored to give the Grads a 2-1 lead after one period of play. The first Navan goal came after some fine puck movement that saw T’addario tip in a pass from Blake Hall. Donohoe’s goal came on a deflection at the edge of the crease that Branton got a piece of but it trickled across the line. Nepean trailed going into the first intermission despite outshooting Navan 12-10.
Nicholas Paone made it 3-1 on the PowerPlay with Curtiss Sturgeon in the box for Slashing. The goal came on a blast from the point. Owen Parsons made it 4-1 with his 26th goal of the season. After 40 minutes of play the Grads had outshot the Raiders by a margin of 29-21.
The teams traded goals in the third period with Cayden Faust scoring for Navan before Curtiss Sturgeon made it a 5-2 game. Sturgeon’s goal came after a Navan clearing attempt was intercepted by Harris Hilfiker. His pass found Sturgeon who finished the play perfectly.
Owen Parsons (1G | 1A) was named the game’s first star. Simon Singher (2A) earned the second star while Tristan Caldwell (1G) captured third star honours.
Curtiss Sturgeon is named the Hardest Working Raider picking up his first goal of the season.
Nepean will get a five-day break in an otherwise busy February as they return to the ice again on Sunday hosting the Rockland Nationals at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena for a 2:30pm puck drop.
Be sure to Subscribe, Like and Comment to the official Nepean Raiders YouTube channel and catch every goal.