The Nationals bounced back with a valiant effort on Saturday night, a 5-2 come-from-behind win over the Danbury Titans at the Civic Complex.
Curtis Warren scored a hat trick to lead the Nationals to the victory in front of 612 spectators. After a tough loss on home ice the night before, the Nationals took on a Titans team that, coming into action on Saturday night, sat 40 points ahead of them in the Federal Hockey League standings. But Josselin St. Pierre stood tall in goal for Cornwall on Saturday with a 50-save performance.
Dalton Jay opened the scoring for the Titans, when he pounced on his own rebound to beat St. Pierre at 3:22 of the second period. But, Warren beat Danbury’s Bobby Bowden with a perfectly placed wrist shot below the trapper to level the score at 8:35 of the period. The Titans regained the lead when Craig Skudalski found a loose puck in the crease and beat St. Pierre for a power-play goal with 5:36 to play in the middle frame.
The Nationals fought back to tie the game once again just 1:05 into the third. Sylvester Bzdyl was stopped on a breakaway but JC Houde followed and pounced on the rebound to beat Bowden, who was down and out.
Cornwall took its first lead of the game seven minutes into the third with a highlight-reel goal from Storm Adams, who showed patience as he walked in and put a gorgeous deke on a hopeless Bowden. Then, Warren took over. He buried his second of the night, with 6:55 to play in the third, on a pretty pass from Adams. Moments later, with 4:41 to play, Warren walked in and went upstairs for his third of the evening.
The Nationals had a good look at Russian forward Vyacheslav Chegrintsev on Saturday night. The 20-year-old had 103 points and 134 penalty minutes in 37 games this season with the Tottenham Steam of the Greater Metro Hockey League. Chegrintsev threw a devastating hit on Danbury’s Matt Graham late in the second period.
Danbury outshot Cornwall 52-31. Warren (first), St. Pierre (second), and Adams were the announced stars.
Back in action Sunday night
The Nationals are back in action tonight, when the last-place St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints visit the Civic Complex.
Puck drops at 6 p.m. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors/students, and $5 for children under the age of 12.
Nats fall on First Responders Night
Not even Cornwall’s finest first responders could save the Nationals on Friday night at the Civic Complex, as the Berlin River Drivers skated to an 8-2 victory over Cornwall in Federal Hockey League action in front of 657 fans.
On the bright side and a look towards the future, 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.
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.
– with files from Rodney Wilson