Photos: Cassy Seguin
FRENCH RIVER – Shootout goals from Daniil Grishachev and Matthew Shulist helped the French River Rapids edge the visiting Elliot Lake Vikings 3-2 Saturday in a tightly-contested Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Noelville Arena.
Converting on the night’s initial power play chance, French River took the lead just over six minutes into the match-up as Tyson Carr sent a pass across to Brandon Melsness in the right circle where he ripped a shot high over the glove of Elliot Lake goalkeeper Sam Keene.
A physical middle stanza saw Elliot Lake tie it on a late man advantage opportunity that resulted in Ryan Daponte skating out from behind the net and sending a feed into the slot that was quickly swatted in by Max Ciesielski, eluding Rapids’ starter Dustin Riff, who was making his NOJHL debut.
In the third period, French River retook the lead while shorthanded when Kai Clayton scooped up a turnover and worked it over to Dominic Bzdyl, who neatly put his stick between his skates and lifted in the go-ahead marker.
Tying it once more, Daponte drew Elliot Lake level at 8:36 as he tucked one through the legs of Riff from in close.
Staying tied through the rest of regulation, and the five-minute overtime, extra shots were needed to decide a winner.
There, Riff held firm on both attempts he faced while Grishachev skated in slowly and buried his chance into the left corner while Shulist ended it by tucking one between the legs of Keene to finish off the home ice triumph.
The wins sees the Rapids move to 2-11-0-0 on the season while with a point in defeat, the Vikings slipped to 2-8-1-2.