Nationals impress in home opener

Handout from Cornwall Nationals
Nationals impress in home opener

CORNWALL, Ontario – More than 1,500 fans came out to the rink on Saturday night for the Nationals home opener. They didn’t go home disappointed. 

Cornwall thumped Watertown 5-2 in front of 1,508 fans in an entertaining game at the Civic Complex. Maxime Guyon had a five-point night for the Nationals, picking up two goals and three assists.

It was Guyon who opened the scoring with a highlight reel goal 15:07 into the first. After a nifty toe-drag, the speedy winger fired a perfectly placed wrist shot right under the crossbar to give Cornwall a 1-0 lead.

Tyler Gjurich leveled the score for Watertown at 5:56 of the second when he beat Nationals goaltender Sebastien Dube-Rochon.

Cornwall took over mid-way through the second however when captain Ahmed Mahfouz and Guyon scored 22 seconds apart, to the delight of the home-town crowd. Then, with 6:17 to play in the middle frame, Brandon Vuic’s blast beat Watertown goaltender Matt Kaludis as the Nationals opened up a 4-1 lead.

The Wolves, enjoying a 5-on-3 powerplay to start the third, scored 22 second into the period on a goal by Matt Caranci. But, that’s as close as the Wolves would get as Dube-Rochon shut the door the rest of the way.

Simon Sefcik’s shot from the point squeezed past Kaludis with 16.5 seconds to play to round out the scoring.

Cornwall outshot Watertown 42-35. Guyon (first), Dube-Rochon (second) and Mahfouz were the announced stars.

At Watertown on Friday night, Matt Caranci scored 24 seconds into overtime as the Wolves beat the Nationals 5-4 in the first Federal Hockey League game of the season for both teams.

Mahfouz, with his second of the contest, tied the game with 7:35 to play in the third. Tom Tsicos and Cam Bakker had the other Cornwall goals.

The Nationals are back on home ice on Saturday, Nov. 18.

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