Nats fall on First Responders Night
CORNWALL ONTARIO – Not even Cornwall’s finest First Responders could save the Nationals on Friday night at the Civic Complex.
The Berlin River Drivers skated to an 8-2 victory over Cornwall in Federal Hockey League action in front of 657 fans.
Berlin jumped out to 4-0 first-period lead and never looked back.
Dominik Synek opened the scoring for the River Drivers at 10:25 of the opening period when his shot beat Josselin St. Pierre. Artur Drindrozhik then went top shelf with a laser wrist shot just over a minute later at 11:27 of the first. Seven seconds later, Synek scored his second of the contest to chase St. Pierre from the Cornwall crease.
It got worse for the Nationals with 1:08 to play in the first, as a Brad Gabbour pass was tipped in by a back checking Mitchell Porowski.
Gabbour added his second of the night, beating Brandon Billie at 9:27 of the second to give Berlin a 5-0 lead.
Moments later, at 10:36 of the middle frame, Mikael Pregent sent Storm Adams in on a breakaway and he tucked a wrist shot under the crossbar and past Matt Kaludis to put the Nationals on the board.
Then, Maxime Guyon, left alone in the slot, buried a wrister past Kaludis with 5:17 to play in the second. Just 66 seconds later, however, Yuto Osawa beat Billie to get the goal right back for the River Drivers.
Edgars Ozolins rounded out the scoring for Berlin at 13:19 of the third.
A couple of youngsters were out to make solid first impressions on Friday night. Making their Nationals debuts were 20-year-old forward Chris Martin and 21-year-old defenceman Calvin Heffler.
The 6-foot-7, 230 lb. Martin suited up for Berlin and Port Huron earlier this season, collecting six points in eight games. Heffler is a 6-foot-2, 194 lb. defenceman from Ottawa.
Cornwall actually outshot Berlin 42-39. Gabbour (first), Synek (second) and Kaludis were the announced stars.
The Nationals are back in action on Saturday night, when the Danbury Titans visit the Civic Complex. FHL action begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors/students and $5 for children under the age of 12.
FIRST RESPONDERS NIGHT: The game was dedicated to First Responders such as local police officers, firefighters and paramedics, who were honoured in a special pre-game ceremony. Discovery Canada and Heavy Rescue 401 were also in attendance at the Civic Complex to feature Herb’s Towing for an upcoming episode.