by Romano Di Franco
CORNWALL, ON – The Raiders were in Cornwall on Remembrance Day for their first visit to the Ed Lumley Arena of the season. The two teams had met once previously back on October 24 in a game that the Raiders won in OT on a goal by Tyler Melvin.
The Colts came into the game in fourth spot in the Yzerman Division but a win by the Raiders would catapult them ahead of Cornwall. The home team had a record of 1-2-2-0 in their last 5 games with 13 goals scored over that period. The Raiders sport a record of 1-3-1-0 in their last five having found the back of the net seventeen times in that span.
Connor Shibley (3-5-1, 4.57 GAA) got the start in goal for Nepean while Dax Easter (0-1, 4.07 GAA) was between the pipes for Cornwall.
The Colts opened the scoring seven minutes into the opening frame on a goal by Emerick Nadeau who tipped home a pass by Liam Serviss. The Raiders countered with a goal of their own in the last minute with Serviss in the box for Hooking. Alex Bergeron found himself Johnny-on-the-spot after a point shot from Samuel Beaulne. Bergeron corralled the puck and did a spinnerama sliding the puck into the opening between Easter and the post.
After 20 minutes the two teams were tied at 1-1 despite the Colts having a commanding lead in shots at 20-5.
The Colts struck early in the second and it was Emerick Nadeau again cashing in. Nadeau knocked the puck off of Chase Campeau’s stick right to Kobe Tallman who was all alone in front of the Nepean net. He rung one off the crossbar but Nadeau buried the rebound to put Cornwall up 2-1.
The Raiders came right back with a goal by Owen Hollingsworth who took a shot from the right face-off dot that Easter saved but sent a rebound to Hollingsworth who made no mistake the second time around. Ryan Liverman and Harris Hilkier were in the action picking up the assists. Minutes later, Hollingsworth gave the Raiders their first lead of the game after Tyler Melvin went coast-to-coast making a few dazzling moves before centering the puck to Hollingsworth on the doorstep. Samuel Beaulne picked up his eighth assist of the season on the goal that made it 3-2 Raiders.
The Colts Wil McKinley tied the game minutes later but the Raiders regained the lead less than a minute later when Jeff Taylor sent Zachary Lefebvre perfect no-look backhand pass behind Easter with Anthony Rivard picked up the helper, 4-3 Raiders.
Lefebvre and Taylor combined to put the Raiders up by two this time it was set up by Nolan Mozer’s cross-ice pass to Jeff Taylor who passed to Lefebvre for the goal.
Shibley continued to make a ton of saves giving the Raiders every opportunity to win the game.
After 40 minutes, the Raiders were ahead 5-3 even though they were outshot again in the second 15-12 giving the Colts the edge in shots 35-17.
Alex Houston started the third period in goal for Cornwall coming in to relieve Dax Easter but Jeff Taylor scored just 52 seconds in after Anthony Rivard took the puck behind the net and skated out before dishing the puck to Taylor who was all alone on the far post to bang it home. The goal put Nepean out front 6-3. It was the Raiders’ first 3-goal lead since October 11 when they defeated the Carleton Place Canadians 3-0.
Two perfect passes led to Jeff Taylor’s hat-trick goal. Nolan Mozer banked a stretch pass up the left-wing boards to find Zachary Lefebvre who made a superb saucer pass that Taylor made no mistake putting past Houston and the Raiders up 7-3.
Just as the Raiders started to put the game out of reach, the Colts replied with a pair of goals in the next three minutes to close the gap to 7-5 on goals by Kobe Tallman and Aaron Shaw. They closed the gap to just one when Simon Laferriere scored with just 3:30 left on the clock.
The Colts pulled the goalie for the extra attacker with 1:07 on the clock and the faceoff in the Raiders zone but it was Costa Touliopoulos who would ice the game with the unassisted empty-net goal. The Colts would pull Houston in one last attempt but time ran out and the Raiders skated off with an 8-6 victory.
Jeff Taylor (3G | 1A) was named the first star, Emerick Nadeau (2G | 1A) got the nod for second star while Zachary Lefebvre (1G | 3A) earned the third star.
Anthony Rivard was named the hardest working Raider.
The Raiders are in action again on Sunday afternoon when they host the Rockland Nationals at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman for a 2:30pm puck-drop.