Griffioen gets 2 as Hearst doubles up French River

HEARST, Ont. Hearst Lumberjacks captain Max Griffioen tallied twice, including the game-winner, to help his club double up the French River Rapids 4-2 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Saturday evening at Claude Larose Arena.

The Hearst power play helped them open the night’s scoring just past the 12-minute mark of the first frame that saw Spencer Silver supply his second since re-joining the club in October as he also extended a point streak to five in the process.

That tally proved to be the only one in the initial session as the Lumberjacks carried the 1-0 cushion into the middle stanza.

In the second, French River equalized at 7:22 when Reid Manning finished off an Alex Paul feed.

However, the home side connected once again with the man advantage in the back half of the frame as Griffioen collected his 11th of the campaign to put Hearst back in front.

Griffioen then buried a buzzer beater for his second in quick order just before period came to a close as his team-leading 12th made it 3-1 at 19:59.

In the third, Alex Cannon provided some insurance six minutes in as the hosts went up by three.

Coming right back, the Rapids answered moments later on Jacob Hagen’s initial NOJHL goal.

French did have a chance to draw closer in the late going, but Lumberjacks netminder Rahul Bola foiled French River’s James Eng on a penalty shot attempt.

From there Hearst tightened up and secured the home ice triumph.

Bola finished with 16 stops in all to pick up the win while Rapids goalkeeper Sebastian Woods was solid in defeat, finishing with 39 saves on the night.