Lou Dickenson’s six-point night ignited the Cornwall Nationals to a wild 9-7 victory over the Port Huron Prowlers on Sunday evening at the Civic Complex, in front of 612 fans.
Dickenson had two goals and four assists, as the Nationals managed to outlast the Prowlers and the potent line of Ahmed Mahfouz, Branden Parkhouse, and Matt Robertson. The trio, 1-2-3 in Federal Hockey League scoring, combined for 14 points on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough.
Storm Adams kickstarted the offence for the Nationals, just 96 seconds into the contest, when his shot beat Port Huron goaltender James Robbins. The Prowlers responded with a power-play goal by Parkhouse, who beat Cornwall goaltender Francis Dupuis upstairs at 4:00. Forty-six seconds later, the Nationals regained the lead when Mitchell Porowski’s wrist shot beat Robbins above the blocker. But Mahfouz quickly levelled the score, when he banged in his own rebound for a second power-play marker at 6:05.
Port Huron then took the lead with a short-handed goal at 11:19. After a nice play at his own blue line, Austin Daae took off on a breakaway and beat Dupuis. Thirty-seven seconds later, on the same powerplay, the Nationals tied it up when Gabriel Levesque’s one-timer beat Robbins. Jay Croop’s perfectly placed wrist shot, just 51 seconds into the second, gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead. But, Mahfouz then set up Mike Baker for a one-timer that levelled the score at 3:28 of the second.
Dickenson found a loose puck in the crease for a tap-in goal at 7:38 of the middle frame to chase Robbins from the Port Huron crease. Adams made a nifty individual play on the goal to draw the assist. Curtis Martinu replaced Robbins in goal for the Prowlers.
Curtis Warren finished off a pretty passing play with Jason Lepine and Dickenson, as the Nationals opened up a 6-4 lead at 12:44 of the second. Robertson cut into the lead for Port Huron with a tap-in goal at 13:56 of the second. The Prowlers tied the game up at 6-6 just 17 seconds into the third when Mahfouz set up Robertson
Dickenson, with a nifty deke to his backhand, then gave the Nationals a 7-6 lead at 6:55 of the third. Warren, at the right place at the right time, was the recipient of a great individual effort by Adams, as Cornwall opened up a two-goal lead at 8:04 of the third. Robertson then absolutely rifled a wrist shot past Dupuis with 2:53 to play. Moments after Lepine saved a goal by clearing a loose puck from the Cornwall crease, MJ Graham iced the game with an empty netter, with 24.3 seconds to play.
Cornwall outshot Port Huron 41-40. Dickenson (first), Adams (second), and Mahfouz, with six points himself, were the announced stars.
Last Friday in Danville, the first-place Dashers drubbed the Nationals 6-1. Marc Thompson led the way for Danville with a goal and two assists. Adams had the lone goal for Cornwall, which was outshot 45-31. Brandon Billie took the loss in goal for the Nationals.
Cornwall has 10 games remaining this season, which includes three home contests at the Civic Complex during March Break. The Nationals host Watertown on Tuesday, March 14 (7:30 p.m.), Danbury on Friday, March 17 (7:30 p.m.), and Watertown on Saturday, March 18 (7:30 p.m.). Tickets for home games are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors/students, and $5 for children under the age of 12.
The Nationals also visit Berlin on Sunday, March 19 (2 p.m.).
For those who haven't heard, Alexandria's Joel Trottier recently took over the team as head coach. The veteran hockey player had started this season playing for the team, deciding mid-winter that it was time to hang up the skates and grab a whistle instead.
South Glengarry's Jacob Dawson is signed with the club but has seen limited action. The 24-year-old defenceman moved back to the area in late December. His junior career included stints with the Char-Lan junior 'B' Rebels and a junior 'A' club in Quebec.
– with files from Rodney Wilson