AMHERSTVIEW – Over the summer, Napanee Raiders head coach Ben Hagerman had a hunch he’d find good chemistry on a line with centreman Michael Patrick between overage wingers Marshall McFarland and Cam Krupa. Sunday’s game in Amherstview proved that hunch right with the elder statesmen offering four of five goals in a 5-1 decision.
The young Jets squad came out with gusto in their home opener as the Raiders were left relying upon goaltender Logan Vale for some big stops early. Patrick would settle his team at 6:31 as he skated down the left wing and rifled a shot high off the far post that caromed back into the net. The Raiders carried the pressure from there, but Jets goaltender Marc-Olivier Robert was often square to the puck to keep his team close.
In the early part of the second period, Napanee controlled the neutral zone and managed to create chances off transition. Its big break came with a blocked pass at the defensive blue line sending Adam Nuttall down the right side alone with two teammates outracing the Jets defenders for a potential three-on-none situation. Using his teammates as decoys, Nuttall fired a puck off Robert’s pad, then picked up his own rebound and found just enough room to bury it inside the short-side post.
In the third McFarland showed that going to the net pays off, scoring twice from the goalmouth about 10 minutes apart. Those goals bookended the Jets’ lone tally, a power play point shot from Logan Calder. Krupa finished the scoring with an empty net goal as he finished the race to the net with 1:32 remaining. McFarland took issue to a Jet finishing a check on Krupa that play, which resulted in a scrum where seven players received minor penalties and misconducts.
In total, the line of McFarland, Krupa, and Patrick shared nine points between them.
Vale turned aside 28 shots for his second win of the season, while Robert also stopped 28.