A home win and a road loss is how the Napanee Raiders wrapped up an uneven month of January that saw them go 4-3 overall.
Friday night at the SPC they struck early and often in a 6-2 win over the visiting Picton Pirates before 345 fans. Sunday evening in Amherstview the Jets skated away with a 5-3 win at the W.J. Henderson Arena.
The Jets had the offense firing early, generating three goals in the opening 20 minutes. The intermission didn’t slow them any as Thomas Elkins lit the lamp a 121 seconds into the middle stanza. Blake Aylesworth finally got Napanee on the board with a little over two minutes left in the period, cutting the deficit to 4-1. Aylesworth added another in the third and Trent Williams chipped in with a goal in the final minute to slash the hole to 5-3, but it was hardly enough to put the final outcome in doubt.
Brendan Ross made the start for Napanee but gave way to Ethan Babin at the start of the second.
On Friday night it was the Raiders’ goal scorers who came out flying as Williams, Carter Hartwick, Cameron Krupa and Erik MacNiel all scored within the opening 12 minutes. Michael Patrick found the back of the net twice in the second period to round out the scoring. Babin earned the win with 23 saves in 25 attempts.
The Raiders now enter the season’s final month needing to catch fire over their final eight games if their to improve upon their fourth place seeding heading into the playoffs. Now 19-14 with one tie on the season, they’re seven points back of the Jets, nine back of the Port Hope Panthers and a distant 13 back of the front-running Frankford Huskies.
They’ll attempt to start climbing the ladder on Thursday when they travel to Picton. On Friday they’re home the the last place Campbellford Rebels who are still in search of their first win of the season in 33 games played. Puck drop for both matches is 7:30 p.m.