The Nationals went toe-to-toe with the defending champion Danville Dashers last weekend at the Civic Complex, scoring a weekend sweep.
Maxime Guyon scored the game-winning goal late in the third period, and captain Ahmed Mahfouz found the back of the net twice to lead Cornwall to a 6-5 victory over the Dashers on Sunday afternoon, in front of 618 fans.
With back-to-back victories over the Dashers, the Nationals improved to 7-2-0-2 and sit first overall in the Federal Hockey League.
Danville opened the scoring 1:44 into the contest on a trickler that ricocheted past Sebastien Dube-Rochon. The goal was eventually credited to Jimmy Soper.
The Teddy Bear toss goal was scored by Justin Portillo, who took a pass from Brandon Vuic and wired a perfectly placed wrist shot past Danville’s Aaron Taylor. More than 200 teddy bears were tossed onto the ice, to be collected for charity.
Moments later, at 11:04 of the first, Nationals Mahfouz teed up a slap shot that chased Taylor from the game in favour of Gregory Hussey. Just 54 seconds later, Daniel Martin welcomed Hussey into the contest with a wrist shot above his trapper to give Cornwall a 3-1 lead. The Dashers responded, however, on a Sean Reynolds marker with 6:32 to play in the opening period.
Mahfouz gave the Nationals a 4-2 lead with 4:39 to play in the middle frame, with his second of the afternoon. Mahfouz took a pass from Eric Witzel and tucked a nifty backhander past Hussey.
Ben Boukal riffled a shot from the point past Dube-Rochon 59 seconds into the third for a power-play marker that brought the Dashers to within a goal. The Nationals restored their two-goal lead when Portillo sprung loose the hulking Antoine Guimond, who beat Hussey at the 6:17 mark. Then, Danville’s Seth Ronsberg beat a sprawling Dube-Rochon with 7:28 to play, before Soper tapped in his second of the contest exactly one minute later to level the score at 5-5.
Cue sniper Guyon.
With the Nationals on the powerplay, Guyon picked up the loose puck in the slot and fired a wrist shot right under the crossbar to give the Nationals the lead for good with 3:33 to play.
Cornwall outshot Danville 37-32. Cornwall defenceman Cam Bakker, with three assists (first), Portillo (second), and Guyon were the announced stars.
– files from Rodney Wilson