Photos: Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – A three-goal night by Matthew Campanella helped pace the French River Rapids to an 8-3 victory over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
French River capitalized on the night’s opening power play that saw Jack Ginocchi snap a shot from the top of the left circle that clipped off that stick of a Kirkland Lake defender and sail past Gold Miners’ goaltender Braydon Garnhart.
The Rapids then came right back and made it 2-0 less than a minute later with Campanella converting by banging in a rebound off a right point shot.
Not done there, the visitors went up by three before the intermission on a play that saw Alexandre Dubuc spin and shovel one under Barnhart from close range.
A six-goal second period barrage, including four by French River, put the guests in control with a period to play.
An early strike from Campanella saw him find himself free and fire one upstairs to make it 4-0 Rapids before teammate Connor Picard extended the lead with him sending one low from the slot to chase Barnhart in favour of back-up Ethan Barron.
Kirkland Lake did come back to get two tallies of their own, to pull a bit closer, beginning with Taye Ladislao speeding down ice on a partial break, then snapping through the legs of goaltender Matthew Perdue.
The Gold Miners then got another one off the stick of Ian McDonald while on a man advantage as he whipped in a rising shot from the right point.
Regrouping, the Rapids connected twice more before the end of the period to go up by five.
It began with Campanella completing his hat trick as a fortunate bounce off the end boards came right to him and he buried it, leaving Barron little chance on the play.
They then saw Maksim Tugolukov connect in the final minute as he used some crafty stick work behind the net where he lifted the puck up in the air with his stick and whipped it upstairs with for an impressive marker.
On the power play moments into the final frame, Chance DeBolt appeared to get a piece of a wrist shot by Samuel De Mauro from up high for the Miners.
However, Picard finished off the one-sided result as he was left with all kinds of time in front and deposited the night’s final marker with five minutes remaining.
The evening saw Matthew Hill and Adam Boucher run point streaks to five apiece for French River, who improved to 6-26-0-1 while Kirkland Lake fell in the debut of new head coach Richard Scheoneich, as they dropped to 3-30-1-0 overall.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel