Rob Fera – Sudbury Light Event Photography
SUDBURY, Ont. – The Greater Sudbury Cubs saw Cole Crowder tally twice to help send his side on their way to a 4-1 triumph over the French River Rapids in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League tilt Thursday evening at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
A fast-paced opening 20 minutes saw league-leading Greater Sudbury generate more chances than French River, and on the shot clock, but neither club would convert offensively thanks to the contributions made by starting netminders Matthew Perdue of the Rapids and the Cubs’ Noah Beaulne.
Moving to the middle session, the home did get on the board three and a half minutes into the frame as Samuel Assinewai snagged a loose puck in the neutral zone and darted into the French River zone where he sent a backhand in front that was directed in by a hard-charging Crowder from the top of the crease.
The assist for Assinewai now gives him at least one point in each of his past 14 NOJHL games played.
Half way through the period the guests came close to tying it when they rang a shot off the post moments into a man advantage.
They would however click late on the same power play off a crisp cross-ice feed by Jordan Bax, that was quickly slammed in via a Josh Russell one-timer at 11:51.
Regaining the lead early in the third, Greater Sudbury defenceman Graeme Siren sent a wrist shot from the right point through a maze that got by a screened Perdue for the eventual game-winner.
Crowder then tacked on his second of the evening at 8:31, while the Cubs were up a skater.
On that play he spun in close to the net and slid in a rebound off a Billy Biedermann chance from the top of the left circle.
Putting the game away with a couple of Rapids players in the penalty box, Pierson Sobush finished an Oliver Smith pass for his NOJHL-best 31st goal of the season to cap off the scoring.
That also saw Sobush extend a consecutive game point streak, in the process, to 13.
The outcome results in the Cubs improving to a league-leading 32-5-2-0 while French River fell to 6-30-0-1 overall.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel