With more players consistently finding the score sheet, the Napanee Raiders are climbing in the standings.
This weekend, the Raiders claimed a 4-3 win over the Frankford Huskies and an 8-4 decision over the Amherstview Jets to extend their winning streak to five games. Blake Aylesworth has had a hot hand with seven goals in four games, while Trent Williams has had points in five straight games. Michael Patrick has scored in all five games since he returned, notching nine points. Cam Krupa, Marshall McFarland, Ben White, and Reid Lambert have also been over a point-a-game clip in that stretch.
At home Friday, after the Raiders gave up an early goal off the stick of Parker Stewart, Aylesworth’s two markers – including a reply within 33 seconds of the opener lifted Napanee to a leading position they never ceded. Patrick added a power-play goal late in the second to make it 3-1. High-scoring Frankford overager Karsten Leonard brought his team within one before the half-way mark of the period, but the narrow margin was short-lived before Williams restored a two-goal lead.
Frankford poured on the pressure late in the game, lobbying their game-high 13 shots against Ethan Babin in the third period, but they could only find the net once more as former Raiders AP Ty McCambridge snuck a low point shot home. The Raiders defended hard against the Huskies’ six-man attack and managed to hang on.
Babin turned aside 34 shots in the win. The Huskies’ Dean Spry stopped 29 in the loss.
Sunday’s game was tight through two periods, but the Raiders’ depth was on display late with five third-period tallies after a 2-2 tie through 20 minutes and a 3-2 lead through 40. Aylesworth paced the attack with a hat trick, while Patrick, Jackson Barnes, Christos Chronis, Krupa, Clayton Farrow added singles. Aylesworth, Patrick, and Erik MacNiel all had three-point outings.
The Raiders’ special teams were sensational in the contest. Offensively, they worked seam passes well and capitalized on rebounds to notch four goals on six advantages. The Jets did manage a shorthanded goal off the stick of Wyatt Gregory, however. Defensively, they didn’t allow a goal against on eight opportunities, including three five-on-threes.
Logan Vale made 19 stops on 23 shots in the win, while the Jets’ Marc-Olivier Robert turned aside 30 of 38. Gregory, Carter McKee, and Thomas Elkins had the other Jets goals.
Napanee now sits alone in third place with 19 points, five behind the Huskies and Port Hope Panthers who are tied in first. On Friday, the Campbellford Rebels visit the Strathcona Paper Centre for their second time this year. Then, Saturday, the Raiders will be in Frankford for a 6:50 puck drop against the Huskies.