The Hawkesbury Hawks got back on the winning track with an 8-1 thrashing of the Nepean Raiders on Friday, April 1, after falling to the league-leading Ottawa Junior Senators two days earlier.

Hawkesbury Hawks 8, Nepean Raiders 1

Thomas Cusson scored a hat trick and was named the game’s first star, as the Hawks trounced the Raiders in front of Hawkesbury’s home crowd at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex on Friday, April 1.

Hawkesbury jumped on Nepean early, with Kerfalla Touré scoring his 23rd of the season at 1:55 of the first period. Cusson scored his first of the game midway through the frame, with Jakson Kirk adding his 28th of the season at 14:03 to stake the Hawks to a 3-0 first period lead.

Hawks defenceman Mark Cooper scored the only goal of the second period and fellow defenceman Josh Spratt put the Hawks up 5-0 at 1:44 of the third, before Cusson scored his second of the night at 4:47 of the period. Nepean broke Hawks goaltender Matthew Tovell’s shutout bid just 33 second later, but Cusson restored Hawkesbury’s six-goal lead by completing his hat trick with his 19th goal of the season at 15:08 of the period. William Gendron completed the scoring for the night just 10 seconds after Cusson’s goal to cap off the 8-1 win.

Spratt, with a goal and an assist, was named the game’s second star. Although he didn’t score a goal, forward Rylee Hlusiak also had a very productive evening, with four assists, including helpers on all three of Cusson’s goals.

With the win over Nepean, Hawkesbury clinched second overall in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) standings.

Ottawa Junior Senators 4, Hawkesbury Hawks 2

The Ottawa Senators – the Central Canada Hockey League’s top team in the regular season – used a strong second period to ignite a 4-2 win over the second-place Hawks at the Jim Durrell Centre in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 30.

Hawkesbury jumped out to an early lead, with Jeremey Quesnel notching his 15th of the season at 9:44 of the first, but the Senators tied up the game before the end of the period.

Ottawa took control of the game in the second frame, outshooting Ottawa 12-10 and taking a 3-1 lead into the third. Kerfalla Touré got one back just 22 seconds into the final period, but the Hawks were unable to add another goal with the extra attacker on in the in the final minutes. Ottawa sealed the goal with an empty-net goal at 19:47.

Matthew Tovell took the loss despite stopping 32 of the 35 shots he faced. Ottawa outshot Hawkesbury 36-23 on the night.

Hawks face Renfrew at home this Friday

After a rare week off in this compressed second half of the CCHL season, Hawkesbury will play out the final games of the regular season schedule this weekend.

The Hawks are at home this Friday, April 8, against the Renfrew Wolves, who are battling for first place in the CCHL’s Robinson Division. The Wolves are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, while Hawkesbury is 7-2-1 and the teams are only five points apart in the standings. The Wolves need to win and the Hawks want to keep their momentum going into the playoffs, so this should be a great contest. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex.

The Hawks will close out the regular season when they travel to Smiths Falls to face the Bears on Sunday, April 10, for an afternoon game that begins at 1:30 p.m.