In addition to welcoming the Grey Cup, Dan West of the Ottawa REDBLACKS, and local CFL legend Moe Racine, four local charities were presented with $1,000 each from the Cornwall Sunrise Rotary Club during a special pre-game ceremony at last weekend's home Cornwall Nationals hockey game. Representatives from the Rotary Club of Cornwall, Carefor Hospice, Masion Baldwin House, CHEO, and The Agape Centre were also on hand
Unfortunately, in the game action that followed, the Danbury Titans spoiled the party on Saturday night, edging the Nationals 5-4 in overtime. Danbury’s Taylor Love scored at 1:03 of 3-on-3 overtime to send 1,573 fans home disappointed.
Matt Coleman opened the scoring for the Titans when his shot trickled past Francis Dupuis at 8:57 of the first. Veteran forward Lou Dickenson leveled the score for Cornwall with 1:17 to play in the opening period when his pass, intended for Brent Clarke, banked off a Titans defenceman and past a helpless Nick Niedert.
Danbury regained the lead at 1:26 of the second, when Dalton Jay scored short-handed marker. Moments later, at 3:31, Darick Ste Marie pounced on a rebound and buried his shot for a power-play goal. MJ Graham then found a wide-open Clarke, who one-timed a shot past Niedert at 9:58 of the middle frame. But, Danbury’s Matt Graham batted a loose puck past Dupuis with 3:16 to play in the second to send the teams to the dressing rooms all square after 40 minutes of play.
Local defenceman Jason Lepine gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead with an absolute blast at 7:39 of the third. With Cornwall on the powerplay, Dickenson found a wide-open Lepine for the one-timer from the point.
But, Jay walked in and beat Dupuis with 3:30 to play to send the game to overtime.
Danbury outshot Cornwall 40-35. Lepine (first), Clarke (second), and Dickenson were the announced stars.
Looking ahead, the FHL Nationals have a busy stretch of play on tap, with three games in three days. On Friday, Feb. 10, Cornwall visits the Watertown Wolves (7:30 p.m.), and on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Nationals travel to Danbury to face the Titans (7:15 p.m.).
Cornwall is back on home ice Sunday, Feb. 12, when the rival Berlin River Drivers visit the Civic Complex. The puck drops at 2 p.m.
Last Friday night in Berlin, a furious third-period comeback by the Nationals fell short in a 5-4 loss to the River Drivers. Cornwall spotted Berlin a 5-0 lead before scoring four times in the third. Maxime Guyon, with a pair, Clarke and Joel Trottier had the Nationals goals. Dickenson chipped in three assists for Cornwall. Paul Bourbeau Jr. was tagged with the loss in goal, despite a 41-save performance.
– with files from Rodney Wilson