by Romano Di Franco
CORNWALL, ON – The Nepean Raiders travelled to the Ed Lumley Arena to take on the Cornwall Colts. It was the fifth and final meeting between the two teams this season. Although Cornwall has won the four previous meetings Nepean did manage to earn three points as two of the losses came in the shootout with a third being decided in overtime.
Cornwall is locked in a battle with the Kemptville 73s for the eighth and final playoff spot making this a must-win for the home team.
Joshua Branton (5-10-1, 4.43 GAA, 0.894 SV%) started in goal for Nepean while Dax Easter (15-18-2-2, 3.17 GAA, 0.901 SV %) got the start between the pipes for Cornwall.
Caden Eaton opened the scoring for Cornwall rifling a shot from the high slot over the glove of Branton to make it 1-0 Colts. Nathan Garnier picked up his 18th of the season on the PowerPlay with Nicholas Larkin in the box for Slashing. Kobe Tallman snuck a sharp-angle shot by Branton to give Cornwall a three goal lead.
After 20 minutes of play the Colts held a 3-0 lead after outshooting the Raiders 13-4.
The middle frame started well for Nepean as Curtiss Sturgeon picked up a short-handed goal after Tristan Caldwell’s Boarding penalty late in the first period carried over into the second. Nicholas Larkin fed Sturgeon on a long lead pass that gave him a breakaway where his shot low to the glove side beat Easter to put Nepean within striking range.
Cornwall had other ideas though as they struck for six unanswered goals in the second. Bradley Fraser scored twice, followed by Keanu Krenn, Nathan Garnier, Justin Ouellette, and finally Fernand-Olivier Perron to make it 9-1. Branton was chased after the second Fraser goal and Luca Sandu came in to relieve Branton. The line on Branton was 13 saves on 18 shots.
Shots in the second period were 17-9 in favour of Cornwall.
The third period was quiet with only Keanu Krenn finding the back of the net.
Cornwall scored a convincing 10-1 win outshooting Nepean 38-23 in the process.
Nathan Garnier (2G | 1A) had the game winner and was named the game’s first star. Bradley Fraser (2G | 2A) was named the second star, while Raiders’ defenseman Nicholas Larkin got the nod as the game’s third star.
Curtiss Sturgwon (1G) was named the Hardest Working Raider.
Nepean is back at it in just 24 hours when they host the Navan Grads for a Sunday matinee at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena for a 7:30 pm puck drop.
Be sure to Subscribe, Like and Comment on the official Nepean Raiders YouTube channel and catch every goal.