Photos: Dal Photography
FRENCH RIVER – The French River Rapids exploded for eight goals in under a 14-minute span in the second period as part of an eventual 18-4 dismantling of the Espanola Express in the tally-laden Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair Saturday evening at Noelville Arena.
Finding the back of the net was not an issue for either side in the first period as French River skated out to a 4-3 lead heading into the initial intermission.
After notching the game-winner last night in an overtime road triumph over the same Express, Cooper Bowman opened the scoring for the Rapids as he slammed one into the open side off a cross-crease pass from Levi Siau.
Answering that with a shorthanded effort, Espanola converted with a man-down marker at 6:17 with Eric Barnard darting down the left wing on a two-on-one, where used his teammate as a decoy and neatly picked the corner.
Still on the power play, French River regained the lead with Adam Boucher pinching in from the point and zipping a shot from the left circle.
Up a skater themselves, Barnard countered with his second of the session as he made no mistake from the left side.
Continuing to trade tallies, Chase Thompson of French River and Joshua Romolo of the Express supplied markers to make it 3-3.
Bowman then bagged another before the first came to a close as the hosts went 4-3 after one.
The second stanza was impressive for the Rapids as they seemingly scored at will in the session.
Chase Lefebvre had three of them, with Spencer Hughes potting a pair and Ryan Goral, Spencer Borg and Siau supplying singles.
Atley Gringorten did get one more for Espanola just prior to the period coming to a close.
In the third, French River finished off the romp with Bowman, Goral, Boucher and Lefebvre connecting yet again while Griffin Simpson and Devon Butler, who notched his first in the NOJHL, all added in part to the humbling of the Express.