by Romano Di Franco
PEMBROKE, ON – The Nepean Raiders were on the road for a Sunday evening battle against the Pembroke Lumber Kings. It was the third meeting of the season between the teams with Pembroke have won both the previous games. The Raiders are 2-3 in their last five while the red-hot Lumber Kings are 4-1 in the same span.
Dalton McBride (6-3, 2.66 GAA) got the start in goal for Pembroke while Connor Shibley (5-5-1, 4.53 GAA) was between the pipes for Nepean.
It was Pembroke who struck first with a short-handed goal by Jack Stockfish with Gavin Ewles in the box for Slashing. The Raiders answered back with a goal of their own after killing off a Too Many Men penalty. Ryan Liverman jammed home a puck near the Pembroke goal to make it a 1-1 score. Zachary Lefebvre and Owen Hollingsworth were credited with the assists. Harris Hilfiker was in on the play as well.
Brady Egan would score his 18th of the season in the last minute of the first to put the Lumber Kings up 2-1. After 20 minutes the Raiders had the edge in the shots at 16-14. Connor Shibley kept the Raiders in the game with a raft of great stops.
Jeff Taylor tied the game at 2-2 after a 2-on-1 with Anthony Rivard who gifted a perfect saucer pass onto the tape. Taylor made a dandy move in front of McBride and slid it home. Zachary Lefebvre was not credited with an assist but made a perfect no-look, through-the-legs pass to spring Rivard.
Jesse Kirkby helped the Lumber Kings engineer the lead for the third time in the game to give Pembroke the 3-2 lead. The period ended that way and the Lumber Kings had the edge in shots in the period at 10-9.
Pembroke extended their lead to 4-2 after a lucky break. Gavin Ewles took a fairly harmless shot from the point that deflected off of Tyler Melvin’s stick to fool Shibley who was set to make the stop. The Lumber Kings struck again on the PowerPlay with Lefebvre in the box for Tripping. Shibley made the initial save on a Raphael Seguin point-shot that he steered to the side but right to Joe Jordan who fired it home from an almost impossible angle to make it 5-2.
The Raiders kept pressing and their efforts were rewarded when Jeff Taylor struck again for his second of the night. Coleman Bennett sprung Taylor who went one-on-one against Nathan Duck. Taylor dipsy-doodled past Duck leaving him on his backside before put a nifty move on McBride and putting it glove side into the net to close the gap to 5-3.
The Raiders pulled Shibley for the extra attacker but it was Pembroke who had the best chance but Coleman Bennett made a spectacular save to prevent the empty-netter.
The game was a lot closer than the score would indicate and the Raiders wound up the game outshooting Pembroke 39-38. Connor Shibley stopped Brady Egan, the leading goal scorer, three times in the game with great saves. Overall there was a lot of positive take-aways from the game as the Raiders skated with the second-place Lumber Kings for the entire game.
Jack Stockfish (1G | 1A) was named the first star, Lumber King netminder Dalton McBride (36 saves on 39 shots) got the nod for second star while Nepean forward Jeff Taylor (2G) earned third star honours.
Zachary Lefebvre was named the hardest working Raider.
The Raiders continue their three-game road-trip on Friday, November 26 with a game against the Carleton Place Canadiens for a 7:30pm puck-drop.