Photo: Dal Photography
By Randy Russon – Hockey News North
November 7, 2021
They have never made the playoffs since entering the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League in 2015. Their best full season was the 2018-2019 campaign when they won a mere 14 of 56 games. But the French River Rapids appear to be on a playoff mission for this 2021-2022 season.
Heading into action this week, French River is a solid fourth in the East Division of the NOJHL with 16 points from a record of 8-9-0. The Rapids lead the fifth place Kirkland Lake Gold Miners by five points and are 10 ahead of the cellar dwelling Cochrane Crunch with a game in hand on both teams.
French River general manager and coach Paul Frustaglio likes his mix of young and old players.
“We have a young team that is getting better each week,” Frustaglio told Hockey News North. “The leadership of our vets, guys like (forwards) Levi Siau and Cooper Bowman and (defensemen) Griffin Simpson, and Brandon Hass are working hard each game and showing the rookies what it takes to win at the junior level.
“We will continue to work hard in practice each week and hopefully we can continue to improve and get better. It is a long season and I am very proud of our young players who are stepping up in a very big way. These young players are doing a great job of complimenting the vets and the results are showing up our recent wins,” Frustaglio noted.
“I am very proud of my team and we hope to get better each week and make some history by making the playoffs for the first time in the history of the franchise. It is a long season, so we are teaching the players not to get too high with wins and not to get too low with losses … just keep an even keel and the season will work itself out in a positive way,” summed up Frustaglio.