GALLERY: Cubs fend off Rapids in a shootout

Photos: Cassy Seguin

NOELVILLE, ON – Chris Innes scored in the seventh round of the shootout to propel the Greater Sudbury Cubs to a 5-4 shootout win over the French River Rapids in Noelville on Friday night.

Oliver Smith led the Cubs with two goals while the Rapids Matthew Stringer countered with a pair of goals himself.

Jesse Lefebvre and a goal, an assist and a shootout goal for the Rapids who broke a 13-game pointless streak with the shootout loss single point.

The Rapids got on the board first when a pair of former North Bay U18 Trappers combined as Jesse Lefebvre notched his 10th of the season as Nolan Masson took advantage of the lively boards in Noelville as his shot off the boards banked right in front for Lefebvre, a Battalion prospect, who made no mistake at 6:51 of the first.

The Rapids built on their lead on a power play as Matthew Stringer notched his 10th from inside the right faceoff circle at 11:18 beating goalie Matthew Vahramian, who was making his first start for the Cubs since being acquired at the deadline from the Elliot Lake Vikings.

The high-scoring Cubs got the offence rolling early in the second as Oliver Smith netted his 34th at 4:35 of the middle frame to make it 2-1 on a two-on-one where Smith kept and beat Rapids starter Elijah Grant with a quick shot.

A couple of minutes later it was Smith again as this time he tipped a point shot by Brock Houser for his 35th at 6:57.

The Cubs took the lead just over a minute later as Marshall McCharles put home a rebound on a scramble in front of the Rapids net as the visitors grabbed their first lead 3-2 at 8:04 of the middle frame.

That goal sent Rapids goalie Grant to the bench in favour of veteran Brady Dyer.

The goalie change may have sparked the Rapids as Matthew Springer got his second of the game at 13:52 of the second period.

That goal meant the end of the night for Vahramian, who was pulled in favour of Noah Beaulne.

It stayed 3-3 until late in the third on an odd-man rush the Cubs Ben Harris batted one past Dyer for the 4-3 lead at 17:10 of the third.

However, with the net empty Dominic Byzdyl’s point shot got through traffic and behind Beaulne which made it 4-4.

The two sides went scoreless in the five-minute overtime and then the goaltenders, Dyer and Beaulne, who came in as mid game replacements, forced the seven round shootout that was finished off by Innes.

Beaulne was able to turn away 6 of the 7 shooters he faced, while Dyer allowed two on seven tries as Hudson Chitaroni opened the shootout with a goal on the first shootout shot.

With the win, the Cubs improve to 34-9-1-1 for 70 points, while the Rapids move to 8-32-1-1 for 18 points.