CORNWALL, Ontario – Maxime Guyon’s hat trick propelled the Nationals to a convincing 8-4 victory over the defending Commissioner Cup champion Danville Dashers on Saturday night at the Civic Complex.
Cornwall improved to 6-2-0-0-2 in front of 637 fans.
Brandon Gilmour opened the scoring for the Nationals 5:06 into the contest with an absolute blast from the faceoff circle to beat Danville goaltender Gregory Hussey.
Sylvester Bzdyl gave Cornwall a 2-0 at 10:34 of the first. With the Nationals on the powerplay, captain Ahmed Mahfouz found Bzdyl all alone on the doorstep for the tap-in.
Twenty-eight seconds later, however, Danville’s Justin Brausen beat Tyler Beskorowany, who was making his debut in goal for the Nationals. Beskorowany was a second-round draft pick of the Dallas Stars in 2008.
With 4:52 to play in the first, Maxime Guyon snapped a quick shot from the slot past Brausento give Cornwall a 3-1 lead.
Guyon then added his second of the game with a highlight reel goal 4:26 into the second. With the Nationals shorthanded, Guyon stole the puck at the goal line and deked Hussey to give Cornwall a 4-1 lead.
But, 53 seconds later, Brausen scored his second of the night to bring the Dashers back to within two.
Nationals defenceman Cam Bakker banged in his own rebound for a powerplay goal with 4:37 to play in the second. The goal chased Hussey from the crease in favour of Aaron Taylor.
Cornwall defenceman Patrick Harrison one-timed an Eric Witzel pass by Taylor only 56 seconds into the third to give the Nationals a 6-2 lead.
Danville, on the powerplay mid-way through the third, pulled its goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage but Guyon tipped a Witzel shot into the empty net for his third of the contest at 8:05 of the final frame to give Cornwall a 7-2 lead.
But, the Dashers would respond moments later on an Andrew Harrison marker at 9:27 of the third. Then, with 8:01 to go, Brausen tipped in a shot from the point for his third of the game, a powerplay marker.
Brandon Vuic iced the victory for the Nationals with an empty netter with 2:30 to go.
Danville outshot Cornwall 47-35. Guyon (first), Witzel, with four assists (second), and Brausen were the announced stars.
The two teams are right back in action on Sunday afternoon at the Civic Complex in the annual Teddy Bear Toss game. Fans are invited to bring a new or gently used teddy bear to throw on the ice following the Nationals first goal.
The puck drops at 1 p.m.