A 30 game point streak came to an end for the Napanee Raiders last night as the Port Hope Panthers bested them 3-2 at the Strathcona Paper Centre.
For Napanee it marked their first loss in regulation since a 5-4 loss to the Panthers back on Opening Night.
In what could possibly be a league finals preview, the top two teams delivered a fast-paced, hard-hitting game with a playoff feel.
The Raiders missed out on a great scoring chance midway through the first, sliding the puck through crease but missing the open net by inches. Port Hope goalie Sheldon Calbury recovered in time to cover the corner and deny Cullen Hinds a great scoring opportunity from the side of the net.
Ryan Casselman put the home team on the board a few minutes later, converting on a feed from Austin Labelle for a power-play goal.
That one goal lead held until the 16:22 mark of the second, when Nathan Snoek knotted the game at 1-1.
Snoek was at it again in the third, scoring at the 6:03 mark to give the Panthers their first lead of the night. Hinds responded for Napanee just over four minutes later to set up the tense finish. Chances were hard to come by in a tightly contested final 10 minutes, but in the end it was Evan Foley who put the Panthers up 3-2 with just over four minutes to go. Port Hope’s defense shutdown Napanee the rest of the way to secure the victory.
Jeremy Piazzi started the game, stopping 22 of 23 shots. He gave way to Nicholas Nabuurs in the third who allowed the final two goals.
There was no love lost between the two rivals as Port Hope earned 28 minutes of penalty time with 10 infractions while Napanee had 30 minutes with 12 calls. Tempers boiled over as time expired as Zach Knapp-Hermer was handed a slashing penalty while Kent was charged with a face mask. Raiders head coach Mike Hartwick was given a game misconduct for leaving the bench.
Napanee will look to regroup and take out their frustrations on the last place Campbellford Rebels this evening. They’ll hit the road to face them for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.