WARKWORTH – Five unanswered goals late lifted the Napanee Raiders over the Campbellford Rebels 7-2 Saturday to keep them undefeated through three games in the young PJHL season.
Trailing by one to a determined and improved Rebels team, the Raiders got goals by Chris Edwards and Matt Sheehy 22 seconds apart to go ahead early in the second. Dennis Fisher knotted the score for Campbellford amid a barrage of Raider penalties, but Napanee still pulled ahead by the break as Beckett Palmer-Stephen finished a nifty one-touch passing play from Ben Chubbs and Ben White.
In the final frame, Noah Westwater found the net on a long-range power play chance – the Raiders’ third tally of the night with an extra man – and Edwards, Soren Zamuner, and Ben White also scored as the Raiders depth allowed them to outlast the Rebels.
Bailey Maracle stopped 24 shots in the win, seeing considerably fewer shots than Eric Martin at the other end. He turned aside 46 attempts. Benny Scarr joined Fisher as a Rebel scorer.
On Friday, the newly acquired Chubbs endeared himself to the Napanee faithful quickly after being acquired from the Port Moody Panthers in B.C.s Pacific Junior Hockey League. He scored twice to pace the attack in a 6-1 win over the Frankford Huskies, a new entry this year.
Ethan Williams, Maverick Labrie, Logan White and Johnny Wright also scored. Connor Gilligan notched the Huskies goal, the only blemish on 20 shots for Mitch Bown.
The Raiders did suffer a setback in Friday’s game as Cam Krupa fell awkwardly on a second period penalty kill and was helped off the ice with a lower body injury.
A week earlier, Napanee prevailed 2-1 in its home opener, a much-anticipated match with Lennox and Addington rival Amherstview. Wright opened the scoring in the first, but the lead was short-lived as Jets sniper Matt Halle was able to break in alone on Maracle to score.
A similar neutral zone break in the opposite direction 3:42 into the third allowed Ben White a breakaway opportunity. He was able to deke Jeremy Piazzi and fire it inside the left post for the decisive goal. Defensively, the Raiders successfully buckled down to limit chances. The teams traded 28 shots apiece.
A busy week follows after the Thanksgiving break. The Raiders are in Picton Thursday for a battle of the unbeaten Tod Division teams. They’ll be back at the Strathcona Paper Centre Friday for a first look at the Port Hope Panthers before visiting the Jets Sunday. All three games are 7:30 starts.