Ravenwood Tops Hendersonville 5-4 for Regular Season Title
By Kevin Saunders

Fresh off a big win over Brentwood, night the Hendersonville Commandos (15-1-1) were back in action in the season’s final game. It was a showdown with Ravenwood (also 15-1-1) with the Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey (GNASH} regular season championship on the line.

The two teams similarities did not stop with their records. They featured the two top goal scorers in the league and two of the best defenses. A capacity crowd was on hand for the contest and the action on the ice was intense.

In the first period the Commandos wasted no time going after the Raptor defense. Alex Jacobsen received the puck from Blake Moore and took it down the middle where his shot got past goaltender Matt Wade to give Hendersonville the early 1-0 lead.

The Commandos continued to control the pace in the first period and at 5:38 Trent Carlton moved the puck in the offensive zone and eventually found Andrew Saunders at the point. Saunders’ scored on a slapshot from just inside the blue line and gave his team a 2-0 advantage.
Just over two minutes later, John Hewgley’s pass set up Trent Carlton to get out on a breakaway. Carlton again delivered the assist, this time to Michael McCollum who beat Wade to score for a 3-0 lead.
The Commandos were assessed three straight penalties in the closing minutes of the period but Ravenwood did not capitalize despite having a 5 on 3 advantage for the final 1:52.

The second period turned out to be a reversal of the first period. Ravenwood’s Derek Kimbro finally got his team on the board two minutes into the period scoring in front of the Hendersonville net. The Raptor’s Taylor Smith struck next at 7:27 unassisted to draw his team within one at 3-2.

Kimbro tallied two more times before the period was over. The first assisted by Joey Sandell and a controversial call that awarded the goal. The second was assisted by Carson Barnes. Kimbro’s hat trick moved Ravenwood into the lead for the first time in the game at 4-3.

Kimbro extended the lead to 5-3 in the third period with a goal at 10:03. The Commandos managed to get eight shots on goal in the third period but scored with only five seconds left in the game as McCollum got his second goal assisted by Drew Beeler. On the ensuing face-off, the Commandos won the draw and pushed the puck toward the Raptor net but a late offside call negated the effort.

Ravenwood (16-1-1) escaped with their first ever regular season championship and secured the number one seed in the upcoming GNASH tournament. Hendersonville will play in the tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Commandos wrapped up their most successful regular season ever at 15-2-1 as the Northern Division champs. Along the way the Commandos managed to record seven shutouts and scored 102 goals while allowing only 33.

Next up for the Commandos will be a first round match in the GNASH tournament with BGA on Friday night at 6:40 PM at the Southern Ice arena in Franklin.


For more photos from this tournament, click here.
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