Photos: Cassy Seguin
FRENCH RIVER – Dominic Bzdyl collected the lone goal of the shootout to help the French River Rapids hold off a Powassan Voodoos third period rally and eventually prevail 5-4 Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter at Noelville Arena.
It was the Rapids who struck first, nearly three and a half minutes into the first period when Jesse Lefebvre fired a rising knuckling puck from just inside the blueline the eluded Voodoos’ starter Michael McIvor.
Tying it up, while on the power play, Powassan’s Alexander Case evened it up as he went to the net, and while falling, wristed a shot that beat French River netminder Elijah Grant.
Special teams helped the Rapids regain the lead in the second session when Bzdyl darted in alone on a shorthanded breakaway and zipped his chance through the legs of McIvor at 5:11.
French River kept coming at potted two more to chase McIvor in favour of back-up Daniel Dirracolo and take a 4-1 cushion into the second intermission.
Tyler Trealout notched the third for the Rapids at 10:50 as he was left with an open net after the hosts had a couple of other cracks at it, moments before.
The home side then added another 30 second later, with Bzdyl bagging his second of the evening after he stuffed in a loose puck right after an initial chance he had was stopped.
Third period play saw the Voodoos pull closer after Rhys Smetham got just enough of an attempt to see it get through Grant and trickle across the goal lone.
After a Chase Thompson extra-man effort made it 4-3, it was more from Powassan deep in regulation when a turnover allowed Reyth Smith to dart in shorthanded before he cut around a defender and supplied the equalizer at 17:10.
Following a scoreless five-minute overtime, extra shots were required to finalize the result.
There Bzdyl was the only one to convert on the final chance of the night as he skated in and made a couple of crafty dekes before easing the difference maker under Dirracolo to finish things off.
Grant got the victory helping the Rapids move to 3-14-1-0 on the year.
The Voodoos did collect a point in defeat as they dipped to 12-4-0-2 overall.