GEORGETOWN, ONT - FEBRUARY 24: Justin Huynh #7 of the Georgetown Raiders passes the puck during the first period at the Mold-Masters SportsPlex Arena on February 24, 2024 (Photo by Cameron Ernst / OJHL Images)

The Georgetown Raiders closed out the 2023-24 OJHL regular season with two massive and impressive wins on Saturday, and Sunday. Here’s what you need to know.

Saturday, March 2nd, the Raiders welcomed the Buffalo Jr. Sabres to Alcott Arena in Georgetown for what would be the fourth and final meeting the two teams. Georgetown was winless against Buffalo this season heading into the contest.

The game began with a relatively back and forth, scoreless first period. Georgetown and Buffalo exchanged chances, but ultimately it was a scoreless frame. Both teams seemed to be settling into the pace of the game. Georgetown took two minor penalties, while Buffalo took one. Shots in the first frame were 11-9 for the Raiders. The second period showcased much of the same back and forth pace for the first part of the period. Then, Quinn Tavares whacked a rebound from a Jack Guvenal shot into the net to break the game open and give the Raiders a 1-0 lead. Georgetown wouldn’t look back from this, and as Quinn said in his post game interview, his goal seemed to break the ice for the boys. Carson Lloyd doubled the lead just over two minutes later on a laser beam of a shot from the left side to give GTown a 2-0 lead heading into the second intermission.

Buffalo managed to score to cut the lead to just a goal under three minutes into the third. However, this is where Georgetown dug deep and took over for the rest of the game, scoring four unanswered goals in just under 10 minutes of action. Goalscorers included Luca Rea, Conner Thomson-Dick (2), and Kristian Lamanna. The Raiders looked energized and dominated the final period, ensuring a crucial victory and two points that would go a long way in the tight playoff picture in the West Division. Finn Marshall was stellar, stopping 36/37 shots in the game and leading the Raiders to a win. Georgetown looked like a team that wanted to win and could seemingly score at will in this game. Talk about a momentum booster heading into the final regular season game the next afternoon in Markham. With the win, Georgetown kept their chances of finishing 5th or 6th in the Division alive and resting on the outcomes of Sunday’s matches. A fantastic win for your Raiders, to say the least.

Sunday, March 3rd, the Raiders marched to Markham to face the Royals in an afternoon affair. This would mark the first and only meeting for the two clubs. Markham and Georgetown are very similar to each other in terms of points and records in standings, so this matchup was a must-watch.

The first period began quickly for the Raiders with Brandon Kakei burying his 17th of the year under two minutes into the game. The Raiders looked fired up and ready to go, feeding off the momentum from their win less than 24 hours earlier. Markham would draw a penalty and tie the game on the subsequent power play. The clubs would trade chances for the remainder of the period, and 1-1 is where we would be after 20 minutes of play. Shots were 10-9 for Markham.The second period began in the same manner as the first, albeit for the opposing squad. Markham took a 2-1 lead under three minutes in the period. However, in similar fashion to the first, the game with tied soon after. Carson Lloyd potted his 15th of the year to even the score. Markham would add one more at the 12:12 mark of the period to take a 3-2 lead into the final frame.

The third period is where Georgetown, again, took over the game. The Raiders scored three goals in the final frame and controlled play the entire way. This is very impressive to see the Raiders do, especially against a team in similar standing in opposite conference, as well as this close to the post season. Quinn Tavares, Gabe Ciarallo, and Kristian Lamanna were the goal scorers for the Raiders in a big third period. GTown outshot Markham 12-6, indicating just how forceful the Raiders were. Aiden Berry stopped 23/26 shots in the win for Georgetown.

For the Raiders, as mentioned, two big wins at likely the most important point of the season thus far. This close to playoffs, you want to see a team beating opponents and playing with confidence; safe to say the Raiders are right in the swing of things. With the two wins and some help from a Burlington loss Sunday evening, Georgetown finished in 6th place in the OJHL’s West Division with a record of 30-21-1-4 and 66 points! A fantastic season for the Raiders that continues in the OJHL Playoffs, beginning this coming week. Stay tuned for the official Playoff Opponent announcement, coming later today.

Thank you for your support, Raider Nation!

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