French River skates to road victory in Espanola

ESPANOLA, Ont. – A three-goal first period helped send the French River Rapids on their way to an eventual 6-4 road triumph over the Espanola Express Thursday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League exhibition game at the Regional Recreation Complex.

French River came out quickly in the opening frame getting goals from Cooper Lobsinger, Alex Moore and Ben Naimool, who notched his via the power play.

A Jonah Devereux man advantage marker helped Espanola get one back in the session and then saw Hunter Halcrow add another for the Express early in the second to make it a 3-2 game.

The Rapids’ Kyle Avery put the guests back up by a pair later in the middle stanza only to see William Whelton pick up Espanola’s second power play tally of the night to make it 4-3 after 40 minutes.

In the third, Cam Henderson picked up the eventual game-winner with 2:54 to play.

Battling back, the Express answered with another from Halcrow with 90 seconds to go before Naimool sealed it for French River in the final minute.

Shots on goal finished up 42-35 in Espanola’s favour with Ben Montgomery and Sebastian Woods manning the nets for the Rapids as did Joel Rainville and Andrew Rocha for the Express.