Game Photos: Dal Photography
FRENCH RIVER – Dominik Godin picked up his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League hat trick to help the French River Rapids outscore the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 8-5 Thursday evening at Noelville Arena.
A free-wheeling first period saw the clubs collect five goals between them, including a trio by the Rapids.
French River opened the scoring just over three minutes into the match-up as Spencer Hughes banged in a rebound from close range off a Joshua McKay effort from the left point.
Down a skater a few shifts later, Kirkland Lake’s Christian Genova struck shorthanded for his initial NOJHL tally as he took a feed from Alex McDonald for a tap in at 6:29.
It was more from the Gold Miners midway through the stanza when Nicklas Albrecht finished off a rebound of his own shot from the slot and beat French River netminder Hayden Williamson.
Countering twice before the first was complete to take a 3-2 lead into the intermission.
Chase Lefebvre tied it as he spun and roofed a shot from just past the left faceoff dot before Chase Thompson’s opening goal in league play was completed as he stuffed one in on Kirkland Lake goalkeeper Glen Crandall from the top of the crease.
Heading to the middle stanza, French River connected twice in a matter of moments to go up 5-2.
Lefebvre started the outburst as he finished off a quick give-and-go with teammate Leo Chambers.
Godin then came right back for the home side with a nice power move to the net where he buried one upstairs while driving hard to the net to spell the end of Crandall’s night in favour of backup Zachary Reddy.
On the man advantage shortly after that, Kirkland Lake’s Chance DeBolt bagged his first in the NOJHL as he cranked a one-timer from the left side off some crisp puck movement and a nice feed courtesy of Curtis Gervais.
However, Chambers made it 6-3 at 11:08 of the session after a couple of whacks at the disk from the right of Reddy.
Countering, the Gold Miners’ DeBolt got a pass over to Albrecht, who made a perfect cross-ice feed to a pinching Luca Maiuri from the point as he fired a low shot into the back of the net for his opening tally.
From there, Albrecht picked up his third point of the night by snagging a clearing attempt and whipping one in from between the hashmarks to bring the guests back to within one.
A 12th goal in the game came in the latter stages of the second as Godin added another while gathering a loose puck and slipping it in on the side of a sprawled Reddy.
In the final frame, Godin completed his hat trick as he deftly deflected a Hughes attempt after a forced turnover and letting one go from the left wing at 2:59 to wrap-up the night’s scoring.
Levi Siau dished out four assists to aid the winner’s cause.
Willamson allowed five against on 26 shots for the Rapids, but picked up the victory, while Cole Sheffield handled all 11 chances, he saw in over 26 minutes of relief.
Crandall and Reddy combined to face 47 attempts in defeat.