The new-look Napanee Raiders passed their first test on Tuesday night, defeating the reigning Schmalz Cup champion Lakefield Chiefs 4-3 in a pre-season match held in Ennismore.
Off-season acquisition Cam Harris had the Raiders’ first goal at the 12:41 mark of the first, knotting the game at 1-1. His former Port Hope Panther teammate Evan Foley earned an assist on the play, as did Matt Stevens.
After Lakefield took a 2-1 lead, last year’s Tod Division most valuable player Ryan Casselman scored unassisted late in the frame to make it 2-2 heading into the first intermission.
Foley gave the Raiders’ their first lead of the night at the 8:57 mark of the second, with help from Justynn Steven and Cameron Morton. Lakefield responded late in the period to once again tie the game heading into the dressing rooms.
That’s where the score stayed until the final minute-and-a-half of the third, when Austin Labelle scored the game winner with help from Casselman.
Nicholas Nabuurs and Bailey Maracle split netminding duties in the win. The Deseronto native Maracle, the younger brother of Raiders veteran Brodie, allowed just a single goal in a second half where the Raiders were outshot by the Chiefs.
The Raiders will look to close out the regular season with a perfect 2-0 pre-season record on Sunday when they host Lakefield for a 7 p.m. puck drop at the Strathcona Paper Centre.