Photos: Justin Cairns
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Despite many saves from French River Rapids goaltender Elijah Grant, the Soo Eagles went on to pull out a 3-1 victory over them Friday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Pullar Stadium.
The visiting Rapids took the lead near the five-minute mark of the match-up with Matthew Shulist being credited with his seventh marker of the season as he darted down the left wing and ripped a short side shot high over the blocker of Eagles goaltender Anthony Zolezzi.
Despite a large edge in shots on goal for Sault Ste. Marie, French River carried their edge into the first intermission, with Grant standing tall for the guests.
In the middle session, some extended pressure from the home side helped them eventually tie it off a hit along the end boards by Jack Ohlund helped get the puck in front where Gavin Rozema had a couple of cracks at it before eventually lifting it over the shoulder of Grant.
The Soo then came right back moments later to go in front with Benjamin Pouliot cutting into the left circle and firing a shot past the French River netminder.
Taking a 2-1 edge into the final frame, the Eagles got some insurance 20 seconds in when Gabriel Fisher blasted a shot from the top of the right circle past a screened Grant, in what proved to be the only marker in a penalty-filled third period.
The result moves the Soo’s record to 11-3-0-1, while the Rapids, despite Grant’s solid efforts between the pipes, fell to 2-13-0-0 overall.