NOELVILLE, Ont. – The new-look French River Rapids continue to impress early in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play after defeating the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 7-6 in double overtime in an action-packed contest Friday at Noelville Arena.
With the decision, French River improved to 4-1-1-0 on the season and have now already surpassed their win total of three from 2016-17, just two weeks into the campaign.
Gregory Trudeau-Paquet started the scoring the Rapids 12:48 into the contest while teammate Jacob Romano added to the lead with 70 seconds left in the period.
A flurry of activity early in the middle stanza saw French River score three times and the Gold Miners once before the period was three minutes old.
Trudeau-Paquet had two of them for the Rapids to finish off a hat trick while Romano supplied his second of the night.
Zach Bannister at 1:27 had one for the Gold Miners while Tyler Fyfe picked up his second goal of the year to pull the visitors to within three.
Kirkland Lake kept coming and tacked on two more before the period was complete as Gabriel Rheault connected on the power play at 17:07 and Max Cavallini converted at even strength with eight seconds left.
The Gold Miners’ Declan Carter would tie it 2:40 into the third before putting the visitors in front for the first time eight minutes into the frame.
French Rapid kept the tally total going by forcing extra time on Stephen Calisti’s first NOJHL goal midway through the period, during a man advantage.
Neither side would score in the first OT session and it appeared a tie game would be the result late in the second OT, but Levi Siau won it for French River with 26 seconds remaining to pull out the dramatic win.
Trudeau-Paquet also had two assists on the night for a five-point game while Jordan Picard had a couple of helpers as well for the Rapids.
Bannister helped set-up three of the Gold Miners’ markers to go along with his goal.
Jean-Marc Brisson made 46 saves to pick up the win for French River.
Jesse Hodgson started for Kirkland Lake and allowed three against on nine attempts with back-up Ryan Winters suffering the defeat in relief allowing four on 22 shots.
Game pics courtesy of Dal Photography