Nationals fall to Fighting Saints on home ice

CORNWALL ONTARIO – The St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints edged the Nationals 4-3 on Saturday night at the Civic Complex in front of 607 fans.

Blake Naida scored the game-winning goal with a gorgeous deke to his backhand on a penalty shot at 4:42 of the third.

The Fighting Saints opened the scoring 3:30 into the game when Brandon Fehd beat a sprawling Nicolas Delongchamps. Cornwall responded on a goal by defenceman Mikael Pregent, who’s shot from the point squeezed past Andy DiCristofaro at 13:09 of the opening frame.

MJ Graham, with his 8th of the season, connected on a pretty feed from Jason Dolgy to give the Nationals a 2-1 lead with 3:31 to play in the second. But Zach Zulkanycz beat Delongchamps on a nifty deke with 39.3 seconds to play in the period.

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Marley Keca pounced on a rebound off the end boards to give the Nationals a lead 3:26 into the third but the Fighting Saints leveled the score 39 seconds later on Fehd’s second of the contest.

That set the stage for Naida’s penalty shot.

St. Clair outshot Cornwall 52-31. Fehd (first), Zulkanycz (second) and Delongchamps were the announced stars.

The Nationals are back on home ice Sunday afternoon, when they face the Danbury Titans at 1 p.m. It’s a special promotion game with $5 tickets for fans of all ages.

ROAD LOSS: On Friday night at Berlin, Jiri Pestuka scored four goals to lead the River Drivers to an 11-3 victory over the Nationals. JC Houde, with two, and Graham had the Cornwall goals.

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