SUDBURY, Ont. – The French River Rapids built up a three-goal lead then held on from there to earn a 3-2 decision over the Soo Eagles in Day 1 action at the Northern Junior Hockey League Showcase at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Neither side would score in the opening frame as the period finished scoreless.
French River would erupt for a trio of tallies in just over a four-minute span in the middle stanza to jump to a 3-0 lead.
Marc-Andre Quevillon started the Rapids off at 5:24 while Ryan Smith made it 2-0 at 8:56.
French River came right back with another just 46 seconds later as Alex Paul put in his first of the year to extend their cushion.
Sault Ste. Marie did get one back before the second was complete when Brendan Blair notched his fourth of the campaign at 12:18.
Moving on to the final frame, the Rapids held off the Eagles until the final seconds when Riley Jensen connected on the power play to round out the scoring.
Kevin Tardiff turned in a solid 37-save effort in net for French River to produce the victory.
Caleb Sauer started for the Soo and suffered the loss allowing three against on 15 shots while Joseph Bnedetto made nine stops in as many attempts in just over 30 minutes of relief.
Photo credit: Chris Dawson