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Taylor Nets Two Short-Handed in 7-6 Loss

by Romano Di Franco

RENFREW, ON – The Raiders were in Renfrew Friday night to take on the Renfrew Wolves. Renfrew was in fourth place in the Robinson Division coming into the game with an overall record of 8-4 and were 2-3 in their last five. They came into the game with back-to-back wins over the Hawkesbury Hawks and Cornwall Colts. Nepean is 2-2-1 in their last five and have opened the scoring in each of their last four games.

These two teams last hooked up on October 1 with Renfrew coming away with a 5-2 win on home ice. This will be the Raiders’ final visit to Renfrew as their next three meetings will all take place at the Nepean Sportsplex.

Connor Shibley (3-4, 4.26 GAA) got the start in goal for Nepean while Sebastian Resar (3-1, 3.25 GAA) was in goal for the Wolves.

Renfrew opened the scoring at the 1:48 mark when Mason Goldie buried his own rebound to put Renfrew up 1-0. The Wolves went up 2-0 a few minutes later on Goldie’s second of the game.

The Raiders then struck back on the PowerPlay when Alex Bergeron banked the puck off the right-wing boards to a streaking Jeff Taylor. Taylor took down the right side and the right-handed blast went over the Resar’s shoulder to close the gap to 2-1. It was the first short-handed goal of the season for the Raiders and it came with Coleman Bennett in the box for Charging.

Charlie Johnson restored Renfrew’s two-goal after a smooth deke at the goal mouth and sliding it into the narrow opening between Shibley’s left pad and the goal post. Preston Brighton made it 4-1 off a shot from the point that got the benefit of a ton of traffic in front of Shibley who was screened on the shot.

With less than a minute left to go in the first Noah Vom Scheidt took a Boarding penalty that carried into the second period.

After 20 minutes the Wolves had pelted an astounding 21 shots at Shibley to the Raiders’ 11 shots they put towards Resar.

The Raiders started the second on the man-advantage and had good pressure. Just as the PowerPlay expired, Jack Hillier was stationed in Gretzky’s office he found a pinching Coleman Bennett who one-timed that pass through Resar’s pads to bring Nepean within two again at 4-2.

The Raiders found themselves on the PK once again with Adam Cater in the box for High Sticking. Harris Hilfiker intercepted the puck in the defensive zone and sent a perfect pass to Jeff Taylor who went in on a breakaway and wristed the puck over the left pad of a sliding Resar. It was Taylor’s second of the game and more amazingly his second short-handed goal of the game to narrow the score to 4-3.

The game got a little testy during a delayed penalty to Nepean. Resar went to the bench for the extra attacker and they worked the puck back into their own end. Owen Hollingsworth intercepted the pass right in front of the net and put the puck into the empty net to force the whistle. Trent Scullion then cross checked him into the boards which drew a crowd. By the time the teams were separated the Raiders had two men in the box as Bobby Dempster and Ryan Liverman were called and Scullion was sent off for Renfrew.

On the ensuing PowerPlay, Elvis Slack scored his eighth of the season and for the third time in the game Renfrew led by two goals with a 5-3 score.

Also for the third time in the game, the Raiders found a way to keep the game within reach. This time it was Tyler Melvin who ringed one of the post and in from the slot on a perfect feed by Jeff Taylor. Samuel Beaulne got the play started by stripping the puck off of Elvis Slack in the Raiders zone and dishing off to Taylor. And just like that, it was a one-goal game again with Renfrew up 5-4.

After 40 minutes, the two teams would head to the dressing room with that same score. Renfrew outshot Nepean in the second 13-10 for an overall lead in shots 34-21.

The third period turned out to be just as action-packed as the first two as Renfrew once again went up by two on a goal by Trent Scullion. Nepean chased Sebastian Resar from the game after Owen Hollingsworth put a weak backhand that somehow squeaked by the Renfrew netminder. Coleman Bennett made the cross-ice pass to pick up the assist and Samuel Beaulne had the other helper.

Harris Hilfiker then put the Raiders’ first shot on replacement keeper Will Craig into the net. Hilfiker made a great play in the neutral zone to block a Renfrew pass with his right skate in the air. He kicked it to himself and then made a great play to take the puck across the blue line and all alone on Craig who made the first stop but no the second and for the first time since the game started the score was tied up at 6-6.

The Nepean celebration was short-lived though when just 17 seconds later Trent Scullion got his second of the game to send the Wolves ahead 7-6.

The Raiders pulled Shibley for the extra-attacker but were unable to get the equalizer as time expired. It was an extremely entertaining 60-minutes of hockey with the difference being the three-goal deficit the Raiders found themselves in after one period. It was a real character-building game for Nepean as they showed no quit in the game. It was the second time in three games that the Raiders scored six goals.

Trent Scullion (2G | 2A) was named first star. Raider forward Jeff Taylor (2G | 1A) got the nod as the game’s second star highlighted by both his goals coming short-handed. Charlie Johnson (1G | 2A) was the game’s third star.

Harris Hilfiker (1G | 1A) was named the hardest working Raider scoring an unassisted highlight-reel goal to tie the game in the third.

The Raiders are off Saturday and then back at it on Sunday as they host the Hawkesbury Hawks at the Nepean Sportsplex Steve Yzerman Arena for a 2:30pm puck-drop.