Raiders defeat Huskies in six games to advance

Big moment - The Raiders celebrate Cam Krupa's overtime goal in Game 4 that tied the series. They went on to capture the next two games in succession to win the series.

In front of a lively home crowd of over 800 people, the Napanee Raiders completed the upset of the first-place Frankford Huskies with a 5-1 Game 6 victory Friday.

After the teams traded first-period tallies off the sticks of Ben White and Ty Carr,  Napanee would score four unanswered goals.  It started with a pretty power play passing play where Christos Chronis and White snapped the puck cross-ice before setting up Marshall McFarland for a tip-in out front with about six minutes to go in the second.

White added the insurance Napanee needed 1:39 into the third period.  He was hooked down on a breakaway, then made no mistake on a penalty shot as he skated wide right and caught goaltender Sam Dingle moving across the net to make it 3-1.

Reid Lambert and McFarland added empty net goals.

Logan Vale stopped 29 shots in the win.

Clutch effort – Reid Lambert had some timely goals as the Raiders beat Frankford 4-2 to advance to the Tod Division final.

The decisive game came on the back end of a back-to-back after Napanee earned the series edge by a narrow margin.  Looking like a third consecutive game going to overtime, the Raiders pressed late in Thursday’s Game 5 in Frankford.

A Blake Aylesworth pass slid through Andrew Carr tied up in front of the net and onto the stick of Lambert, who found himself alone and with lots of time and net.  He scored with eight seconds left to give Napanee a 3-2 edge.

It would be Lambert’s second goal of the contest.  Napanee also got a big boost early as Clayton Farrow set up Spencer Cranley for the contest’s opening goal.

Liam Storms and Tyson Carr would have Frankford’s lone goals as Vale was again sensational in the contest with 38 saves.  Huskies goaltender Dean Spry was also busy, turning aside 44 shots as the Raiders outshot their foes for the first time in three games.

Here’s a recap of what happened in the first four games:

Game 1 – The Raiders caught the Huskies flat footed and skated to a 6-0 victory on the road with Vale stopping all 37 shots he faced.

Aylesworth had two goals in the first period. Chronis and White added to the lead in the second period.  Erik MacNiel (into an empty net) and Trent Williams closed out the scoring.

Game 2 – Powered by two first-period goals by Karsten Leonard, the Huskies delivered a more spirited effort in a 5-3 win. Frankford kept a one-goal lead in the second and stayed just ahead of a Napanee comeback effort with an empty net in the third.  Joey Coates added two more goals for Frankford that period, bookending a Gage Butcher effort.

Williams, McFarland, and MacNiel had the Napanee goals in a low-shot affair that saw Frankford outshone Napanee 31-25.

Game 3 –  The Raiders appeared poised to tie the series, carrying a 3-2 lead until there was 2:17 remaining, but Jakob Gardner managed to tie for the Huskies to force overtime.

Frankford held off an early Napanee power play and ultimately grabbed the series lead with top scorer Joey Coates capitalizing on the edge of the crease with just under five minutes left in the extra period.  It would be the 56th shot lobbied at Vale.

Ryan Turney and Butcher had the other Frankford goals. Andrew Carr tallied twice for the Raiders in a losing effort.

Game 4 – The script was quite similar to Game 4 two nights earlier as the Huskies again scored late — Karsten Leonard with 40 seconds remaining — to force overtime.  This time, however, Napanee withstood an early challenge before Cam Krupa cut in over the blue line and beat Spry 13:54 into the extra frame in a 4-3 win.

Krupa, White, and Michael Patrick had the Napanee goals. Spencer Stanutz and Coates replied for the Huskies. Vale was again the busier goalie, stopping 49 of 52, while Spry turned aside 28 of 32.