FRENCH RIVER – A Sam Ellwood power play goal midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners came back to edge the French River Rapids 4-3 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Friday night at Noelville Arena.
French River started the proceedings by picking up the lone marker of the first frame on a Philippe Daoust effort at 15:12.
It stayed 1-0 for the home side until the 11:50 mark of the middle stanza when Gregory Trudeau-Paquet collected his 10th tally of the campaign for Kirkland Lake.
The visitors then went in front three and a half minutes later thanks to Ellwood, who picked up his first of the night and of the season.
However, the Rapids countered with the equalizer deep into the frame courtesy of Will Frustaglio as he notched his fourth marker of 2018-19.
Up a skater in the third, French River regained the lead five minutes into the final session when Connor Loft scored for a sixth time on the year to put the hosts back on top.
The back and forth affair then saw Max Newnam tie it once more as he supplied his 10th for the Gold Miners just 54 seconds later.
That set the stage for Ellwood to strike once more as his second of the contest put the guests in front for good during a man advantage opportunity.
From there the Gold Miners stood firm defensively to secure the road victory.
Jaren DeBolt and Alex Elie chipped in with two helpers apiece for Kirkland Lake while Levi Siau helped set-up all three French River tallies.
Gregory Brassard made 31 saves to pick up the win for the Gold Miners, who improved to a league-best 26 points on the season with their 13-3-0-0 record.
Rapids’ netminder Marshall Frappier was busy in defeat as he finished with 43 stops in the narrow setback for his side
Photos courtesy of Dal Photography