TIMMINS, Ont. – The French River Rapids skated out to a four-goal lead then had to withstand a valiant Timmins Rock comeback bid before eventually prevailing 4-3 Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at McIntyre Arena.
Getting an early head start, French River tallied twice in the open period to take a 2-0 cushion to the first intermission.
Picking off a pass from a Rock defender behind the net, Spence Hughes in turn made a quick feed in front to an open Leo Chambers who whipped a quick shot past Timmins netminder Gavin McCarthy at 6:11.
The Rapids then tacked on another just over six minutes later when Spencer Borg finished off a rebound from the slot off a Chase Lefebvre attempt that was put up ice by Griffin Simpson.
Heading to the second stanza, French River extended their led to three, eight and a half minutes in as a Cooper Bowman shot was stopped by McCarthy, but the rebound hit a falling Ryan Goral and went into the net.
A fourth from the visitors was provided at 12:56 as Hughes scooped up a loose disk in front, pulled it back and snapped it in from close range.
A late power play helped the Rock on the board with 40 seconds left in the frame, Christopher Engelbert worked a quick give-and-go with Dylan McElhinny and buried one by whipping one past a diving Cole Sheffield in goal for the guests.
Up a skater to commence the final frame, Timmins tacked on another with Henry Brock neatly deflecting a Bode Dunford attempt while set-up between the hash marks for his fifth goal of the season.
Continuing to press the pace, the Rock, with their goaltender out for an extra attacker, got to within one with 59 seconds to go as Cameron Dutkiewicz blasted one in from the right point through a crowd assembled in front.
However, the Rapids regrouped and held firm to secure the road triumph.
Shots on goal in the contest favoured Timmins by a 45-29 count with Sheffield getting the win while McCarthy was saddled with the loss.
Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network