Photos: Cassy Seguin
FRENCH RIVER – Striking for the game’s first six goals, the French River Rapids went on to swamp the Espanola Paper Kings 7-2 Sunday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Noelville, Ont.
It was scoreless until late into the first period where a couple of quick French River markers put them up 2-0 after one.
Abram Snider put the Rapids on top at 17:15 as he put a shot through Espanola’s Jake Marois from the left point.
The hosts then scored once again, less than a minute later, with Brandon Melsness pulling a bouncing puck off the end boards and stuffing it into the exposed corner.
Busting it open in the middle stanza, French River outscored the Paper Kings 5-1 to take a commanding lead after 40 minutes.
Tyler Trealout made it 3-0, via the power play, at 2:26 as he went to the net off a draw and tucked a backhand top shelf on Marois.
The Rapids then banged in two more after that to spell the end of Marois’ day in favour of Espanola back-up Luka Staser.
Matthew Shulist notched their fourth after neatly slipping one through the netminder’s legs on a breakaway, then Tyson Carr clicked on the man advantage at 6:40 as he buried one from between the circles.
Still rolling, the home side tacked on another at 8:03, with Trealout supplying his second as he reached around a downed Paper Kings’ netminder and stuffed in a loose puck laying in the crease.
Grant Booth got one back for the visitors on the next shift as he tipped in a nice spinning feed from Cayden Kowal, who had just collected a turnover moments before.
Answering that before the period was complete, Matthew Stringer finished off a two-on-one by roofing a backhand from in close.
Espanola did get one final tally back deep in the final frame, off the stick of Kyle den Ouden to round out the scoring as jammed one by a busy Elijah Grant in the Rapids net, just as a Kowal shot was trickling in.
Grant was credited with facing over 50 shots in winning his second straight start, helping French River improve to 5-18-1-0 overall.
The loss sees Espanola fall to 16-7-0-0.