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.