Photos: Jeremy Seguin
FRENCH RIVER – Taking the lead and never relinquishing it, the Soo Eagles went on to skate to a 3-1 victory over the French River Rapids Sunday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Noelville Arena.
Sault Ste. Marie struck first as they came out quickly in transition, which allowed Michael Szlag to dash down the right wing with speed on a two-on-one where he elected to shoot as he fired a low attempt under the pad of French River netminder Ben Gustafson at 13:05.
Adding to their lead early in the second stanza, the Eagles broke out on a two-man break and saw Kenny Belanger Jr., pass out up to Chase Tallaire, who made no mistake with a sharp snap shot into the right-hand corner at 2:08.
Not done there, the Soo special teams went to work, as while up a skater, Brian Fiddes whipped in a one-timer courtesy of a nice cross-ice feed across from Coby Fox.
With a chance to get on the board midway through the match-up, Rapids’ forward Jordan Bax was obstructed on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot.
On his opportunity he came in slow, but was outwaited by Eagles’ netminder Reid Ramsay, who thwarted the chance with a glove save.
The French River power play did help them eventually convert moments into a man advantage when recently acquired Maksim Tugolukov put a crisp pass in front from the side of the net and saw Owen Ethier move in from the point and bury his opening goal of the campaign, which came at 14:58.
There would be no further scoring the rest of the way as the Soo skated away with the road decision.
Winning his second-straight start, the Eagles’ Ramsay sees his side improve to 9-6-2-0 on the season while the Rapids fell to 4-16-0-0 in defeat.