PHOTOS: Rob and Caleigh Fera – Sudbury Light Event Photography
SUDBURY, Ont. – The surging Greater Sudbury Cubs continued their winning ways Friday in defeating the French River Rapids 6-3 for their eighth consecutive Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory, in a contest held at Hanmer Centennial Arena.
French River gained the early edge past the midway mark of the first period as they worked a puck free in their own zone, then sent Matthew Shulist dashing down the left wing where he wired a shot into the top corner on Greater Sudbury goalkeeper Noah Beaulne.
Answering back, the Cubs struck twice, in less than a minute, to take a 2-1 lead.
Nolan Newton ran up a point streak to seven to start the year as he provided his seventh tally of the campaign after firing one through Rapids’ netminder Ethan Carlone, after taking a crisp spinning back pass in the neutral zone from Cameron Shanks.
The home team then saw Noah Kohan connect right after that as he took a Ben Lacroix feed from behind the goal line and promptly swatted it in from the top of the crease.
They then tacked on another in the final minute of the first after rookie defenceman Aaron Craven knocked down a clearing attempt at the blue line, then put it to the net where Oliver Smith set-up Newton for his second of the period.
With the assist, Craven collected his initial NOJHL point.
Moving to the middle stanza, French River pulled back to within one at 10:53 when Kai Clayton snapped one in from a sharp angle while down along the right side boards.
However, Greater Sudbury answered right back moments later thanks to Hudson Chitaroni, who neatly redirected in a Craven shot from just inside the Rapids’ zone.
The Cubs then took a 5-2 lead as Cameron Walker notched his fifth of the campaign after tucking in a rebound off a Hudson Martin attempt.
That also saw Elijah Grant enter the game in net for the visitors following that.
Continuing to battle into the third period, French River pulled closer at 1:17 thanks to Cameron Jansa knocking in a chance off a Gavin Haslam effort from high on the right side.
In the end though, Greater Sudbury secured win No. 8 in a row thanks to an empty netter from Walker in the late going to round out the evening’s scoring as he slapped a shot down the length of the ice from his own territory.
That moves the league-leading Cubs to 8-0-0-0 overall while the Rapids dropped to 1-6-0-0.