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GALLERY: Red Wings use special teams to top Rapids

Photos: Dal Photography

FRENCH RIVER – The Elliot Lake Red Wings connected for a trio of shorthanded goals to help lead them to a 6-1 victory over the French River Rapids in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Friday at Noelville Arena.

Down a skater, the Red Wings would break out on a three-on-one and notch the night’s opening tally, 13 minutes into the proceedings, as Matthew Shulist fed a perfect cross-crease pass that was knocked in by Teegan Dumont for his first of the season.

Elliot Lake then added another late in the first frame as Shulist took a nice feed from Brock McNaughton and whipped one past Cole Sheffield in the French River net.

It was more from the Rapids in the second as they went up 3-0 at 12:54 when Quinn Gavin-White banged one into the open side off a Jovani Moses chance in the slot.

Deep in the session, the Red Wings clicked shorthanded for their second man-down marker of the night as McNaughton roofed a shot as he and Shulist went in alone on Sheffield.

Trailing by four in the third, but on the power play, French River opted to pull their goaltender for an extra attacker in an effort to get back in it, but Elliot Lake won a draw and saw Calum McGill bank one off the glass and out as the puck sailed the length of the ice and into the empty net, for his club’s third shorthanded goal of the game with 16:09 remaining, in what was his first NOJHL tally.

Josh Tomasi then clicked on a two-on-one, midway through the third to give the guests a sixth on the night.

French River eventually dashed Cameron Smith’s shutout bid at 13:51 off a nice odd-man rush by Chase Lefebvre, who ripped in his 17th of the campaign by neatly firing one off the bar and in.

Smith was credited with 44 stops in picking up the win while Sheffield faced 34 attempts in defeat and back-up Brady Dyer handled six of seven in 11-plus minutes of relief.