Photos: Rob Horn
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Brian Fiddes and Nicholas Castillo both tallied twice, as part of a nine-goal outburst provided by the Soo Eagles, including six in the third period, Thursday night as they soared past the French River Rapids 9-3 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Pullar Stadium.
Pressing the pace early, Sault Ste. Marie was rewarded with the night’s initial marker nine minutes into the contest as Fiddes banged in the rebound off a Chase Tallaire backhand.
Adding to their lead, while shorthanded, Michael Szlag darted down the right wing before cutting across the crease and beating French River starter Brady Dyer for his third goal of the season, which came at 14:46.
The Soo carried their 2-0 lead into the middle session, but it was the Rapids that cut into the deficit off a goal-mouth scramble with Josh Russell finishing it off near the six-minute mark of the session.
Answering that a couple of shifts later, the Eagles went back up by a pair on another by Fiddes as he tucked in a pass made by Casey Van Tiegem.
The Soo then made it 4-1 early in the third as Tallaire wheeled out of the corner and whipped in his 20th of the campaign.
Nicholas Castillo then connected for the home side at 2:14 when he went upstairs on Dyer, with a rising wrist shot through a partial screen.
A third Eagles tally, in rapid succession, saw Trevor Davis make no mistake from between the hash marks to give his club three in under two minutes.
Getting one back, Alessandro Dubuc notched his first NOJHL goal by stuffing in a loose puck off a Noah Racine effort from the left side, just inside the blueline.
French River added another moments into a man advantage with Racine tipping in his initial league tally off an Adam Boucher shot.
However, Marc LaFrance put the game away for the Soo midway through the third as he made a quick move from the top of crease and snapped in ninth of the year.
Castillo then scored on a one-on-four rush as he snapped in his second by putting one into the top left corner.
A ninth and final Eagles goal came in the late going with Zachary Briskey connecting on the power play to wrap-up the one-sided result.
Gabe Rosek picked up the win for the Michigan, which was his sixth straight, and 10th overall, while Dyer suffered the loss.
With the victory, the Eagles improved to 20-6-1-0 on the season while the Rapids slipped to 17-16-1-0.