BLIND RIVER, Ont. – Gavin Rocha’s second goal of the game, coming in the back half of the second period, proved to be the game-winner as the Blind River Beavers got past the French River Rapids 4-3 in a penalty-filled Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Sunday afternoon at the Blind River Community Centre.
Both teams were quick to convert offensively in the contest, beginning with a rising wrist shot from just inside the blueline by Blind River’s Rocha, that sailed over the blocker of French River starter Brady Dyer, 49 seconds in.
However, the Rapids came right back to notch the equalizer thanks to Ryley Wolfe, as he scored for a second-straight outing when he buried a cross-ice feed from Jordan Bax before the proceedings were two minutes in.
Regaining the lead, the Beavers’ Evan Fraccaro made a nice between the legs back pass to Josh Tomasi who quickly whipped in a sharp angle attempt from the left on the net at 16:09.
Once again though, the visitors countered to tie it prior to the intermission as they broke out of their own zone and saw Owen Ethier skate down the left wing and fire a shot off the post and in as his low shot eluded Blind River goalkeeper Charlie Burns.
Moving to the middle stanza, the hosts went in front for a third time just as a French River penalty was expiring and saw Nicholas Brady pick the short side corner on Dyer with a wrist shot from the left point.
Answering once more, the Rapids came back to make it 3-3 compliments of Bax at 3:34 as he put a play in front from behind the goal line that clipped off the stick of a Beavers’ defender and slid by Burns.
The familiar pattern continued as Rocha made it 4-3 after Meguire Naughton came out from the end boards and found him in front where he lifted in his second of the day.
That marker proved to be the final one of the outing as the Beavers held on for the home ice triumph.