The Nationals scored early and often on Thursday night, en route to a 9-2 victory over the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints. Anthony Mezzagno and Jason Dolgy led the Cornwall offence, each with a four-point night. The victory, in front of 496 fans at the Civic Complex, snapped a two-game losing skid for the Nationals.
Mezzagno opened the scoring for Cornwall 2:02 into the contest when he beat Andy DiCristofaro short side. Mezzagno added his second of the period when his shot just trickled over the goal line at 5:04. Mezzagno then set up Cornwall’s leading scorer, Dolgy, who gave the Nationals a 3-0 lead at 7:39 of the opening frame. Moments later, Zachary Zulkanycz got the Fighting Shores on the scoreboard with a power-play marker at 10:50.
The Mezzagno show continued in the second period. The talented forward found a wide-open JC Houde, who buried a shot past DiCristofaro for a shorthanded goal at 5:50 of the second.
Moments after a crushing hit dished out by the Nats' Jacob Dawson,(who hails from Martintown), MJ Graham found the back of the net to give the Cornwall side a 5-1 advantage at 11:17 of the middle frame. With the Nationals moving the puck around nicely on an effective powerplay, Maxime Guyon fired a wrist shot past DiCristofaro with 2:34 left on the clock in the second.
Guyon added a power-play marker 3:24 into the third for his second of the night, with a perfectly placed wrist shot. Moments later, Zulkanycz tapped in his second of the night at 4:48 of the final frame.
Cornwall’s Jeff Legue set up Dolgy with a perfect pass to give the Nationals an 8-2 lead with 6:36 to play in the game, before Jason Lepine one-timed an absolute blast to the top corner with 3:09 to play to round out the scoring.
St. Clair Shores outshot Cornwall 43-42. Mezzagno (first), Dolgy (second), and Guyon were the announced stars.
The Nationals will be back in action in the New Year, when the team will travel to Port Huron Friday, Jan. 6 to take on the Prowlers. The Nationals will host the Berlin River Drivers on Saturday, Jan. 7. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
ROAD LOSS: On Wednesday night in Danbury, Taylor Bourne scored twice to lead the Titans to a 3-0 victory over the Nationals. Nikita Ivandikov turned aside all 21 shots he faced to earn the shutout in goal. Dalton Jay also scored for the Titans. Delongchamps was tagged with the loss in goal for Cornwall, which was outshot 37-21. The speedy MJ Graham accounted for eight of the Nationals shots himself.
– with files from Rodney Wilson