It took a Herculean 51-save effort from Ottawa native Ethan Schwarz to do it, but the Picton Pirates locked up their first point of the season Friday in a wild 5-5 tie with the host Napanee Raiders.
The young Pirates were in a position to give bench boss Jeff Diamond his first Provincial Junior Hockey League win as veteran Parker Mattis pushed Picton ahead 5-4 with under six minutes to play, beating Napanee starter Sam Closs at the 14:24 mark of the third, stunning the Raiders faithful and giving the Bucs their first lead of the hockey game.
The Raiders would storm back to tie with under two minutes to play as Brighton native Michael Patrick scored his second of the season with 1:53 left in the contest to make it 5-5 and force an extra session. Mr. Schwarz and Picton did well to keep the game deadlocked through overtime as the Pirates were tasked with killing off a minor penalty and the Raiders poured eight shots on the visiting net.
The fact Picton got a point at all was surprising considering how lopsided the first period was. After Jacob Osborne tallied his second of the season in 64 seconds for Picton, the Raiders controlled the opening period, sending 23 shots Schwarz’s way and lighting the lamp three times.
But in the second, Picton made a game of it. Napanee native Luc Amat came back to haunt his home town club and notched his second of the season at 9:27 to get the score to 3-2.
Later in the period, Picton veteran Cole Stevenson fired home his first of the campaign to make it 3-3.
Mr. Stevenson’s second of the night at 12:56 of the final frame would answer an earlier Marshall McFarland and bring the Pirates back to even. Gerrit Kempers would feed Mr. Mattis to put Picton ahead briefly with his second of the year.
Mr. Mattis had a goal in a 6-4 loss against his former team in Frankford on Saturday, Sept. 16. The Pirates also got goals from Geoff Boates, Mr. Amat and Mr. Osborne.
The Pirates play their home opener Thursday when they host Frankford. Former Chicago Blackhawk, St. Louis Blue and Pittsburgh Penguin “Battleship” Bob Kelly, a famed pugilist with 425 NHL games to his credit, will be on hand for a ceremonial face off to open Picton’s home schedule.