Nats Snap Skid with Home Ice Victory

By Rod Wilson

Cornwall, ON - A couple of Federal Hockey League streaks were snapped on Saturday night at the Civic Complex. The Nationals skated to a 7-3 victory over the rival Watertown Wolves. Cornwall (16-11-0-2) came into the contest on a four game losing streak, while Watertown had won three straight. Captain Ahmed Mahfouz led the Nationals with a four point night.

MJ Graham, playing in his first home game of the season for the Nationals, scored on his very first shift back. Graham tapped a loose puck in the crease past Watertown goaltender Cody Karpinski just 60 seconds into the contest. Maxime Guyon then scored his 30th goal of the season at 6:36 of the first to give Cornwall a 2-0 lead. Tristan Perreault-Gagnon, from behind the net, found a wide open Guyon, who beat a helpless Karpinski upstairs. The Wolves got on the board with 4:44 to play in the first on a Dallas Ingram marker.

Tyler Gjurich beat a screened Sebastien Dube-Rochon top shelf at 5:23 of the second period to level the score at 2-2. Just over a minute later, at 6:36 of the second, Sylvester Bzdyl set up Brandon Vuic with a slick pass to restore the Cornwall lead. The Nationals then went ahead 4-2 on a Jakob Smith marker at 8:10. Mahfouz, with an outstanding second effort, gave the Nationals a 5-2 lead with 3:52 to go in the second. The goal chased Karpinski from the Watertown crease in favour of Mason Pulde. Yan Dumontier then scored a beautiful power play goal on a perfect feed from Mahfouz with 52.3 seconds left in the middle frame.

Graham added his second of the night, connecting on a feed from Ondrej Misovic just 93 seconds into the third to give Cornwall a 7-2 lead. Watertown's Cameron Dimmitt scored a power play goal with 48.1 seconds to go in the game to round out the scoring.

Watertown outshot Cornwall 39-34. Mahfouz (1st), Graham (2nd) and Dube-Rochon (3rd) were the announced Stars.

The Nationals are back on the road next weekend for three games in North Carolina vs. the Thunderbirds. The action starts Friday, Feb. 9 (7:35 PM), Saturday, Feb. 10 (6:05 PM) and Sunday, Feb. 11 (4:05 PM). The Nationals are back on home ice the following weekend with a pair of FHL contests. Cornwall hosts Port Huron on Friday, Feb. 16 (8:30 PM) and North Shore on Saturday, Feb. 17 (7:30 PM).

Photo credit: Creative Images