Battler victorious in Crunch debut with win over Rapids

COCHRANE, Ont. – Recently picked up goaltender Shayne Battler turned aside 24 of the 26 shots he faced in his Cochrane Crunch debut Thursday as he backstopped his new club to a 5-2 triumph over the French River Rapids in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Tim Horton Event Centre.

Austin Whelan staked Cochrane to the lead midway through the first as he notched his third of the campaign.

French River drew level before the opening frame was complete thanks to Gregory Trudeau-Paquet’s league-leading eighth tally of the season while also extending a point streak to six with the marker.

The Crunch would break the game open in the middle stanza however striking three times in just over a seven-minute span to make it 4-1 after 40 minutes.

Conor Lovie started the onslaught with a power play marker 16 seconds into the session.

They then came back moments later as Caleb Dolman collected his first NOJHL goal to make it 3-1 early in the session.

T.J. Delaney added to that at 7:27 to up the home side’s lead.

The two teams then traded goals in the third to round out the scoring as Cochrane’s Marcus Blackned and the Rapids’ Christian Gaudreau both notched their seconds markers of the season.

After starting the season with the Powassan Voodoos, where he went 2-0, Battler picked up his third NOJHL triumph with the decision.

Spencer Eschyshcyn was busy in defeat for French River seeing 48 shots fired his way.