A draw followed by a lopsided win ran the Napanee Raiders record to 4-1-1 on the year and pushed them into sole possession of first place at the close of the first month of the PJHL Junior C season.
At home on Friday the Raiders battled the Amherstview Jets to a 3-3 tie, which included a seven minute overtime, followed by a 10-2 road dusting of the Georgina Ice.
On Friday Napanee held a 3-1 lead early in the third before Isaac Pascoal potted two unanswered for the Jets to knot the game at 3-3.
Despite sustained pressure throughout the final frame, the Raiders were unable to score the crucial go-ahead goal. Both teams had eight shots in the sudden-death overtime, but neither could find the back of the net.
Cody Smith had put the Jets up 1-0 at the 7:12 mark of the first only to be offset by one from Evan Foley in the final seconds of the period.
Ryan Casselman converted on the power-play at the 4:56 mark of the second before Reid Humphrey struck in the opening two minutes of the third to give Napanee their 3-1 lead. Pascoal chipped away with a goal at the 6:24 mark and then another at 17:21 to help secure the tie.
Nicholas Nabuurs turned away 25 Jet shots on the night while Amherstview’s Jacob Evans blocked 55 pucks to help steal a point for his club.
The Jets continued their trend of being a thorn in their longtime rivals’ side, as this game marked their first meeting since the Jets stunned the highly favoured Raiders with a Game 7 victory in last year’s semifinals.
The Raiders’ offense roared the life in their following game as they steamrolled the Georgina Ice 10-2 in a crossover game against the Orr Division.
Casselman scored twice in the first period en route to his first hat trick of the season, part of a five goal outburst for Napanee in the opening 20 minutes. Cameron Harris, Dayton Kent and Nelson Powers each potted one in the first.
Brendan Hagerman, Jacob Gilbert and Bailey Matthews each added one in the second, as did Casselman to cap his three goal night. Gilbert added one in the third to catapult Napanee into double digit goals in a game for the second time this season.
Bailey Maracle earned the win, stopping 30 shots from the Ice. Despite their 10 goal output, the Raiders were shutout on all 11 of their power-play opportunities.
If there was a downside to the game, it’s that Casselman drew a fighting major in the final four minutes of the game, which means he’ll be forced to sit out the Raiders’ next game.
That game will come Friday when the Raiders host the Port Hope Panthers for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop at the SPC. The perennial league contending Panthers have gotten off to a rough start this year, going 1-5 in their first six games. On Tuesday the Raiders travel to Campbellford for their first look at the Rebels, who continue to struggle this year at 0-5.
With Friday’s tie the Jets are now 3-2-1 on the season, tied with the 3-2-0-1 Gananoque Islanders for second, two points back of the Raiders. The Picton Pirates are fourth at 3-2, ahead of Port Hope and Campbellford.