CORNWALL, Ontario – Lou Dickenson scored at 1:14 of overtime to give the Nationals a thrilling 6-5 victory over the Danville Dashers on Sunday afternoon.
Cornwall’s inaugural Federal Hockey League home opener was played in front of 971 fans at the Civic Complex.
Dickenson also scored the first ever Nationals goal, 41 seconds into the contest on a breakaway.
Danville levelled the score at 10:41 of the first on a goal by Darius Cole, but Anthony Mezzagno buried a pretty cross-crease pass at 13:23 of the opening period to restore the Cornwall lead.
But Danville’s Nathan Sheriff squeezed a shot past Cornwall goaltender Brandon Billie at 10:44 of the second period to even the score.
The score remained 2-2 until the third, when the Nationals took over with a pair of highlight reel goals. MJ Graham walked in and beat Tory Passingham top shelf at 2:06 to give the Nationals the lead. Then, Jason Dolgy, on a feed from Dickenson, deked Passingham at 4:16.
Down 4-2, Justin Brausen gave Danville some hope with a powerplay goal at 7:06 but Mezzagno scored his second of the contest 45 seconds later to restore Cornwall’s two-goal lead.
But, in the FHL, no lead is dafe. Daniel Turgeon beat Billie with a beautiful deke at 8:45 before Brausen did the same at 12:08 to even the score at 5-5.
That set things up for Dickenson’s winner in the extra period, which is played at three-on-three in the FHL.
Cornwall outshot Danville 38-32. Dickenson (first), Brausen (second) and the speedy Graham were the announced stars.
The Nationals are back in action next Friday when they visit the Berlin River Drivers. Cornwall is back on home ice Saturday, Nov. 5 vs. the Watertown Wolves. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.