Blind River Beavers Cochrane Crunch Elliot Lake Wildcats Espanola Express French River Rapids Hearst Lumberjacks Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Powassan Voodoos Rayside Balfour Canadiens Soo Eagles Soo Thunderbirds Timmins Rock | Hockey Canada Canadian Junior Hockey League Northern Ontario Hockey Association

Calisti collects 2 as Rapids rally to defeat Crunch

FRENCH RIVER – Stephen Calisti scored the game’s opening goal, then proceeded to add the final one as the French River Rapids rallied for a 4-3 come from behind victory over the Cochrane Crunch Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Sunday at Noelville Arena.

On the power play midway through the first period, French River got on the board thanks to Calisti’s seventh tally of the season as he picked up a point for a seventh straight outing.

Cochrane countered with the equalizer at 14:20 though thanks to Kyle Herbster’s 24th goal to knot the affair at 1-1 after the opening frame.

The Crunch then took the lead at 13:55 of the middle stanza as Zach Jones and Laramie Kostelansky combined to set-up Levi Johnson for the go ahead marker.

A further outburst saw each side connect once each before the session was complete as Cochrane’s T.J. Delaney’s 10 made it 3-1 a couple minutes later before Griffin Simpson’s first NOJHL marker countered for the Rapids brought the home side back to within one at 17:07.

Moving on to the third, French River drew level early thanks to Donny Schultz’s seventh at 1:43.

Calisti then completed the comeback by notching the game-winner with his second marker of the day and eighth overall with 12:28 to go.

Rapids’ starter Andrew Rocha did the rest by shutting the door on Cochrane to secure the win finishing with 35 stops in the triumph.

Shayne Battler was busy in defeat for the Crunch as he faced 50 shots throughout the game.

Start time for today’s Cochrane – French River game pushed back to 5:30 p.m.

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Sunday that the start time of this afternoon’s contest between the Cochrane Crunch and French River Rapids has been pushed back to 5:30 p.m. instead of the originally scheduled 4 p.m. start.

The reason for the time change was due to an unrelated earlier accident and partial road closure of the highway that prevented Cochrane from traveling through at their scheduled time, thus delaying their arrival in Noelville.

Along with the Crunch – Rapids contest, which now begins at 5:30 p.m., two other NOJHL contests is on the league’s slate Sunday.

The Hearst Lumberjacks visit the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at 2 p.m. while the Rayside-Balfour Canadians entertain the Timmins Rock at 7 p.m. at Chelmsford Arena.

All NOJHL games are streamed live online at

Hearst handles French River

FRENCH RIVER – The Hearst Lumberjacks picked up two goals apiece from Samuel Bourdages, Zack Dorval and Nikko Morin to help lead them to an 8-3 triumph over the French River Rapids Saturday evening in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Noelville Arena.

The visiting Lumberjacks set the tone early by skating out to a 3-0 lead on power play markers from Max Griffioen and Austin Anselmo along with an even strength effort off the stick of Dorval.

French River did get one back before the first period was complete thanks to Alex Paul’s ninth of the season.

Hearst kept coming in the middle stanza however tacking on three more with Bourdages notching his two goals while Morin had the other.

Max Lightfoot picked up one for the Rapids in the frame to make the score 6-2 after two.

The Lumberjacks then sandwiched markers from Dorval and Morin around one from Stephen Calisti of French River in the third to round out the scoring.

Anselmo and Colin Boudreau chipped in with two assists apiece for Hearst to help them out offensively while Lightfoot added a pair of helpers for the home side.

Nicholas Dube was busy in the Hearst net making 56 saves to record the victory.

Matty Mayhew started in goal for French River and suffered the loss allowing six against on 22 shots while Andrew Rocha turned aside 17 of 19 in nearly 29 minutes of relief.

Big 2nd period sends Gold Miners over Rapids

FRENCH RIVER – The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners broke open a tie game by striking for five unanswered second period goals to send them on their way to an 8-3 victory over the French River Rapids Wednesday evening in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Noelville Arena.

Kirkland Lake also started strong grabbing a 2-0 lead before the contest was five minutes old on a pair of Declan Carter tallies.

Countering, Austin Petrie tacked on two of his own for French River to knot the affair for the home side.

However action in the middle stanza saw the Gold Miners blow it open with the five markers, which came in a span just over 10 minutes.

Skating in his 10th NOJHL game, Joshua Maine notched his first league goal, to go with two first period assists, to put the visitors back in front for good at 2:34 of the frame.

Kirkland Lake then added two more 12 seconds apart later on to go up by three thanks to Marshal Nikitin and Linden Namagoose.

It was more Gold Miners further into the session as Tyler Fyfe connected on the power play at 11:40 to make it a 6-2 score.

They weren’t done there as Hunter Forshew collected his initial NOJHL tally shortly after that to cap off the offensive outburst.

The onslaught continued early in the third as Carter struck shorthanded 42 seconds in to finish off his hat trick to add to the Kirkland Lake cushion.

Rapids’ affiliate player Brady Lacharity’s first NOJHL tally accounted for the night’s final marker as he connected with 10 seconds remaining to round out the scoring.

Damian Carigni chipped in with two assists for the Gold Miners as did Donny Schultz for French River.

Ryan Winter made 27 saves in net for Kirkland Lake to record the win.

Recently acquired Matty Mayhew and Andrew Rocha both saw time in in goal for the Rapids in defeat facing a combined 36 shots in the loss.

Pair of NOJHL games Sunday postponed due to inclement weather/highway closure

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League has announced that two scheduled games Sunday featuring the Soo Thunderbirds and French River Rapids as well as the Timmins Rock and Hearst Lumberjacks have both been postponed for tonight due to inclement weather and highway closures.

Due to whiteout conditions and portions of Trans Canada Highway 11 being closed due to the poor weather in the area, both the Thunderbirds – Rapids at Noelville Arena and the Rock – Lumberjacks at McIntyre Arena match-ups scheduled for tonight have been called off.

Make up dates for both postponed games will be announced by the NOJHL once they are finalized.

Meanwhile tonight’s Soo Eagles – Rayside-Balfour Canadians contest, set for 7 p.m. at Chelmsford Arena, is still slated to be played.

GALLERY: Hearst hot offensively in win over French River

HEARST, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks reached double digits Saturday night to begin the 2018 portion of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League slate in convincing style as they trounced the French River Rapids 10-3 at Claude Larose Arena.

Hearst came out flying in their first game since the holiday break as they scored four times in the opening period to take control early on goals from Dawson Waddell, newcomer Dominick Lavergne, Samuel Bourdages and Max Griffioen.

It was more Lumberjacks in the middle session as they extended their cushion thanks to a shorthanded marker from Alec Johnson.

After Stephen Calisti put the Rapids on the board thanks to a power play goal at 15:46, Lavergne added his second in his Hearst debut a couple shifts later to put the home side up 6-1 after 40 minutes.

Bourdages and Colin Boudreau upped the Lumberjacks lead early in the third before French River connected twice midway through the final frame thanks to Donny Schultz and Christian Gaudreau to move closer.

However, Hearst finished off the one-sided score with late goals from Lavergne, who finished off a hat trick and Griffioen to wrap-up the win.

Matt Kustra made 36 saves to record the victory for the Lumberjacks.

Josh Barrett started for the Rapids and allowed nine against on 41 attempts while Andrew Rocha stopped 17 of 18 in nearly 14 minutes of relief.

Photos courtesy of  Jimmy Cote Photography


Brisson strikes twice as Crunch get past Rapids

COCHRANE, Ont. – The Cochrane Crunch picked up a pair of goals from Alex Brisson to help lead them to a 5-3 victory over the French River Rapids in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Friday at Tim Horton Event Centre.

Brisson got Cochrane going offensively as he picked up his first of the night 3:18 into the contest.

The Crunch then went up by a pair later in the frame when Kyle Herbster struck shorthanded to notch his 23rd tally of the season.

T.J. Delaney upped the home side’s cushion 65 seconds into the middle stanza as he collected his ninth marker overall.

French River regrouped and cut into the deficit midway through the session thanks to a Connor Loft man advantage effort to make it 3-1 after 40 minutes.

Levi Siau’s 18th goal pulled the Rapids to within one 3:34 into the third only to see Nicolas Flanders and Brisson add some insurance for Cochrane later in the period.

A late power play marker from French River’s Stephen Calisti provided the night’s final offensive effort at 19:03 to round out the scoring.

Austin Whelan had two assists for the Crunch as did Siau for the Rapids.

Earning the win in net for Cochrane was Taylor Unruh who made 24 stops along the way.

Josh Barrett faced 42 shots in defeat for French River.

Beavers best Rapids

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers picked up a goal and an assist each from Caleb Serre, Jordan Kreller and Dylan McMahon to help propel them past the French River Rapids 5-2 Sunday afternoon in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at the Blind River Community Centre.

Serre started Blind River off with the lone marker of the first period as he picked up his team-leading 23rd tally of the season during a man advantage opportunity midway through the frame.

Owen Robinson upped the Beavers’ lead five and a half minutes into the second before French River got on the board at 9:29 on Max Lightfoot’s first NOJHL goal to bring the visitors back to within one.

In the third though, the home side struck twice in a 35-second span to take control with Kreller connecting at 5:17, which was followed by a Jack Rudin effort on the next shift.

Max Carbone’s third of the campaign with 3:22 remaining in regulation brought the Rapids closer in the late going, but McMahon secured the win for Blind River into an empty net with 65 seconds to go as his 18th goal of the season rounded out the scoring.

Jacob Papesh had two assists for winning side.

Garret Boyonoski turned aside 31 of the 33 shots fired his way to record the win for the Beavers while Andrew Rocha faced 38 attempts in defeat for French River.

Blind River is back at it Monday night as they host the Soo Eagles at 7 p.m.

The Rapids’ next game is slated for January 5th in Cochrane at 7:30 p.m.

GALLERY: Thunderbirds score 4 in 3rd to get past Rapids

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Soo Thunderbirds broke open a third period tie by scoring four times in the frame to pull out a 7-4 triumph over the French River Rapids Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at John Rhodes Community Centre.

First period action saw each team score once with Adam Kusior putting French River on top at 2:20 before Sault Ste. Marie’s Brendan Miller tied it a couple shifts later.

Moving on to the middle frame the two clubs would connect twice to knot the affair at 3-3 after 40 minutes.

Kaidan McDonald gave the Thunderbirds their first lead 38 seconds into the session before Jacob Romano’s 10th knotted the affair for the Rapids at 8:17.

The back-and-forth match-up saw the Soo go up again at 13:50 thanks to Lucas Theriault only to see French River’s Alex Paul counter with a power play goal just over a minute later.

The Thunderbirds would eventually gain the upper hand in the final frame on power play markers a minute and nine seconds apart from Nick Smith and Robert Calisti.

The goal for Smith was his team-leading 25th of the season.

Levi Siau got one back for French River with 10:48 to go only to see Alex Acosta and Smith strike in the latter stages to secure the Soo triumph.

Calisti, Steven Bellini, Braden Robbins and Camaryn Baber had two assists each for the Soo while Christian Gaudreau chipped in with a couple of helpers for the Rapids.

Shots on goal in the contest favoured French River by a 31-25 count with Eric Schuch picking up the win and Andrew Rocha the loss.

Photos courtesy of  James Egan’s Sports Photography

Brancato posts 1st shutout as Eagles soar over Rapids

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Shane Brancato turned aside all 26 shots he faced Friday to post his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League shutout as the Soo Eagles soared past the French River Rapids 7-0 at Pullar Stadium.

Sault Ste. Marie got off to the start they wanted in this one by securing the night’s opening tally 8:46 in on Jacob Palmerio’s 13th goal of the season.

It was more Eagles later in the frame as Kellen Tharaldson and Christian Bardarson both found the back of the net to put them up by three after one period of play.

The Soo continued to impress as they tacked on a trio of tallies before the middle session was five minutes old to take control of the contest.

After Nick Techel’s 20th tally of the campaign made it 4-0 at 2:20, Mikey Butcher’s first NOJHL goal came via the power play a couple shifts following that.

The Eagles kept coming and added another less than a minute later on a Jake Lamberty effort to put the hosts up by a half dozen.

They then finished things off in the third thanks to a Bobby Price goal.

Techel and Tharaldson finished with three points apiece on the night to pace the club offensively while Brancato did the rest in the Soo net.

Andrew Rocha started for the Rapids and saw the bulk of the action in suffering the defeat seeing 46 shots fired his way while Dawson Hunder had a brief stint in relief in the second period.

WordPress Video Lightbox Plugin