Should the Georgetown Raiders and Burlington Cougars meet up in the first round of OHA Provincial Jr. A Hockey League playoffs a couple of months from now, fans of the respective teams will no doubt get their money's worth if the first four regular season contests are a portent of things to come. Rookie defenceman Adamo Miceli chipped in a sharpangle rebound with only 12.2 seconds left in overtime to give the visiting Raiders a hard-fought 7-6 win against the fourth-place Cougars Sunday night in a back-andforth battle that included some nastiness near the end of regulation play. The fifth-place Raiders now trail the Cougars by four points in the standings, overcoming a 3-1 first-period deficit and some penalty troubles to post just their second road win of the season over a team ahead of them in the West Conference standings. Those two teams tied their previous two outings of 2006-07 and the opening 4-1 Georgetown win at home Sept. 23 degenerated into a fightfest in its late stages. "It was a small win because we only made up one point on a team we're chasing, but it was a huge victory if you had seen the game and what we went through to get those two points," said Georgetown head coach James Richmond, who is now 3-2-0-0 since taking over the team two weeks ago. "It was like we had beaten two teams because of all the calls that were going against us. The guys showed a lot of character. We took a timeout in the third period when Burlington was taking it to us and that's what we talked about. Sometimes you can find an easy way out when things aren't going your way. Hopefully, this is a good start." The 18-4-4-2 Cougars scored three times with the man advantage on the night and were also scorched for shorthanded markers by Raiders George Lovatsis and Ryan Ford. Shortly after veteran blueliner Matt Thomson had given Georgetown a 6-5 lead midway through the final frame, Raider forward Jeremy Whelan was assessed an intent-to-injure slashing match penalty as Burlington's Steve Natywary was given an instigator for his scrap with Georgetown's Peter Mrksic. The Cougars' Stuart Stefan, who would narrowly miss scoring on a breakaway bid in OT, scored on the ensuing 5-on-3 power play to force extra time. Whelan, with 16 goals and 32 points thus far, will sit out the next four games. "He's going to have some time to think about it," added Richmond. "It's tough to lose a game when calls are going against us, but it's another thing when you beat yourself because of a lack of discipline. You're asking a lot from your teammates to keep killing off those types of penalties when you're two men down. It felt like we See
Georgetown Raiders' forward Jeremy Whelan taps in a pass from teammate George Lovatsis (55) behind Burlington goalie Oliver Wren to tie the score at three only 13 minutes into their road game Sunday evening at Central Arena against the hometown Cougars. The fought back the entire game though, and that's what it takes against teams like Burlington. If we're going to make a dent in the standings, we have to play with that playoff intensity the rest of the way." Spencer Metcalfe, Whelan, and Matt Carter rounded out the Raider scoring and Keaton Hartigan made 31 saves to earn the win in goal. Captain Wade Finegan added four assists. On Saturday night, the host Raiders fell behind 2-0 in the opening period to Buffalo and fired close to 50 shots at Jr. Sabres' goalie John Dorman before they could pull out a 3-2 triumph. Ryan Lee notched the winner on the power play in the third, with Adam DeJong and Carter adding singles. As expected, the 16-7-3-3 Raiders dealt one of their 20-year-old netminders last week as Shawn Mahoney-Wilson was sent to Newmarket for 19-year-old goalkeeper Marc Stuart. The move allows the club to get down to the league limit of nine 20-year-olds who can dress for each game. Stuart posted an 8-2-0-0 record with Oakville last year and played a key role in the Blades' surprising run to a West Conference title this past spring. The Dallas, Texas native didn't suit up on the weekend for the Raiders. He had a 1-3-0-0 record with last-place Newmarket and went 5-4-1-1 with Pickering this season. Georgetown is his fifth OPJAHL team in the past year. Second-year forward Marc Marchese, with just four points in 27 games, was traded to the Vaughan Vipers. It's not known whether Stuart will start in this Friday's trip to Streetsville or in the Raiders' home date Saturday versus Oakville at the Alcott Arena beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Raiders traded leads with the Cougars in a highly charged matchup that ended in a last-second 7-6 overtime win for Georgetown. Whelan would later receive a four-game suspension for an intent-to-injure slashing match penalty.