A malfunctioning mechanical door at the Campbellford-Seymour Community Centre was the only thing that could slow the Napanee Raiders’ offense this weekend.
Due to technical difficulties with the door that provides access to the ice surface for the resurfacing machine, Saturday’s tilt between the Raiders and Rebels was postponed.
That may not have been the worst thing for the Rebels, as it at least bought them a bit of a reprieve from facing the red-hot Raiders. The Raiders had just come off a 14-4 victory over the Amherstview Jets the night before on home ice, giving them 30 goals in their last two games. In their previous game a week earlier the Raiders trounced the very same Rebels 16-0. The postponed game will be played Wednesday, Jan. 3.
Griffen Conger got the scoring started on Friday, potting the first goal of the game 4:07 after the opening puck drop. Amherstview’s Cody Smith responded at 6:53 to knot it at 1-1, but it was all Napanee from there, starting a stretch of eight unanswered goals.
Napanee had six goals in the first period alone, the final two scored by Riley Steeves, who also scored early in the second for a natural hat trick. Cullen Hinds had two goals in the middle frame, coupled with one in the first for a hat trick of his own. Kyle Hancock and Sebastian Kilcommons also recorded goals in the first.
Smith broke Napanee’s eight goal run with a strike just 28 seconds into the third, cutting the lead to 8-2. Jake Campbell squashed any thoughts of a miraculous comeback less than a minute later however, restoring Napanee’s seven goal advantage. Konner Burtenshaw added another for the Jets and Smith had his third of the game, but it was much too little much too late. Austin Labelle hit the twine twice while Campbell, Ryan Casselman and Kilcommons all found the net in a five-goal period for the home team, closing out the lopsided 14-4 win.
Jeremy Piazzi picked up the win, stopping 27 Jet shots. Keegan Paulette lasted just 20 minutes, allowing six goals before giving way to Hayden Ford for the final two frames.
Friday’s game marked the half-way mark of the season for the Raiders, who posted a shiney 18-1-0-1 record over their first 20 games, picking up at least a point in 19 straight contests. If they could match that pace over their final 20 games, they would match their franchise record 74 points, which they earned in 2008-2009. In that year they went 37-3, just the third time in franchise history they have eclipsed the 30-win mark.
Looking back more recently, the Raiders are well ahead of last year’s record, when they went 26-12-1, finishing with 53 points, just 16 more than they have already. Offensively they’re way ahead of last year as well, having lit the lamp 164 times this year, compared to the 199 goals they scored in all of last year.
Napanee will look to keep up the pace when they open the second half of the regular season on Friday night, hosting the same Jets for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop. On Sunday they return the favour, visiting Amherstview for another 7:30 p.m. start time.
For complete standings, scoring and goalie leaders, visit www.napaneebeaver.ca/2017/11/09/raiders-stats/.