Tina Peplinskie - The Daily Observer
Photograph by Barrie Martell
The Nepean Raiders forced a seventh and deciding game with a 4-3 overtime win against the Pembroke Lumber Kings at the PMC Friday night.
Dalen Hedges scored the game winner on the rebound with less than five minutes to go in the extra frame. Kenny Neil and Mitchell Herlihey assisted in the winner.
Although the Kings had chances to put the game away in the third they couldn’t capitalize and the Raiders were the better team in overtime controlling the play and out chancing and out shooting Pembroke by 17-3 margin.
“We let an opportunity slip away here tonight,” said Kings’ coach and general manager Sheldon Keefe.
He is hoping the players look upon game seven as a chance to lay it all on the line and see what happens.
“It is great for hockey players because they don’t always get to play in a game seven,” he said.
“If you had told us as the sixth place team we’d have an opportunity to go up against the first place team in a one game showdown on the road, where we’ve played better all year, we would take it and run with it,” Keefe added.
Going into the third period trailing 3-2, Pembroke came out hard looking for the equalizer. Raiders’ goalie Matt Zawadzki made a huge glove save on Patrice Wren just seconds before defenceman Zach Loesch scored to tie it up. He used the glass to get a puck in deep which hit a stanchion in glass changing its direction and sending it into the back of the net past Zawadzki. The goal brought the crowd of nearly 2,200 to its feet.
Pembroke out shot Nepean 14-3 in the third.
Ben Dalpe got Pembroke on the board 8:19 into the first when he buried the rebound past Zawadzki. Jonathan Milley and Tom Hilbrich picked up the assists.
The Raiders tied it up with 1:04 to go in the first when Hedges capitalized on a Sam Gleason giveaway. Mitchell Herlihey and Ryan Johnston assisted.
Wren gave the Kings a one-goal lead less than two minutes into the second when he netted a backhand. Justin Pelock and Swann Boisvert assisted.
Jamie Olivier pulled Nepean even with seven minutes to go and they went up 3-2 when Gleason couldn’t clear the puck and put it on the stick of Brent Norris who scored top corner on Francis Dupuis.
Game seven in the series goes Sunday afternoon at the Steve Yzerman Arena starting at 2:30 p.m.
Out of town scoreboard: The Cornwall Colts are waiting for the winner of this series after eliminating the Hawkesbury Hawks 4-1 with a 3-2 win at home Thursday night.
Three stars: The Molson three stars of the game were Nepean’s Hedges and Neil first and second respectively and Pembroke’s Loesch third. The Travelodge fourth star for hard work and dedication was Pembroke’s Patrice Wren.
Tina Peplinskie is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist