Statement wins: Napanee Raiders rally to defeat first place Huskies, second place Jets

Adam Prudhomme

Perhaps putting the rest of the division on notice, the Napanee Raiders reeled off a pair of wins over the top two seeds this weekend.

On Friday the Raiders skated to a 5-3 win over the visiting Amherstview Jets at the Strathcona Paper Centre. Saturday night they followed that up with an even more impressive 4-2 road victory over the first-place Frankford Huskies.

The Huskies controlled Saturday’s game in the early going, building a 2-0 lead in the first period, out-shooting the Raiders 14-3 in the process.

Napanee was able to flip the script over the final frames, starting with a power-play goal from the stick of Cam Krupa at the 7:09 mark of the second. Michael Patrick tied the game at 2-2 early in the opening two minutes of the third. Andrew Carr gave Napanee their first lead of the game and Krupa tacked on a huge insurance goal, again on the power-play, 50 seconds after the midway mark of the period. Ethan Babin took it from there, shutting down the Husky offense and finishing the game with 30 saves.

Rallying from a slow first period was the theme of the weekend as the previous night the Raiders found themselves down 3-0 after 20 minutes if play.

Napanee responded in a big way in the second as Krupa scored twice while Marshall McFarland, White and Spencer Cranley each had a goal. Neither side could generate any scoring over the final 20 minutes. Babin earned the win, recovering from the rocky start to conclude the game with 28 saves.

With the pair of wins the Raiders have closed to within three points of the second place Jets. Napanee remains in fourth with their record of 23-14 with one tie (47 points). The Port Hope Panthers are third at 22-11-4-1 (49), Amherstview holds the second spot at 25-13 (50) with the Huskies continuing to lead the way at 26-8-4 (56). The top four teams have all played 38 games with just four remaining in the regular season.

The Picton Pirates are now locked into a fifth place finish with 30 points and just five games left. The Campbellford Rebels remain winless on the season and are destined to finish sixth.

Napanee will burn off three of their final four games this coming week, hosting the Pirates at the SPC on Friday. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday they visit Port Hope and on Sunday they travel to Campbellford.

On Feb. 23 Napanee wraps up the regular season with a home date against the Huskies, starting at 7:30 p.m.

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