GALLERY: Hearst wins in French River

Game Photos: Dal Photography

FRENCH RIVER – William Neeld and Rapheal Lajeunesse both scored twice as part of a 6-4 win by the Hearst Lumberjacks over the French River Rapids Saturday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division encounter at Noelville Arena.

Buoyed by a big road victory in Powassan Friday, Hearst kept their momentum going by tallying three times before the contest was 16 minutes old.

Mathieu Comeau got the Lumberjacks rolling at 2:31 as he put a pass in front from behind the net that was inadvertently knocked in by a Rapids’ defender.

Hearst added another midway through the opening frame when Lajeunesse redirected a Jaxson Holmes point blast that eluded French River starter Cole Sheffield.

Adding another at 15:26, William Neeld collected his initial NOJHL marker off a quick-way three-way passing play from in close.

Getting one back before the period was complete, the Rapids’ Chase Lefebvre went top shelf for his first in a French River jersey after being the benefactor of a turnover in the slot.

Continuing to impress, the Lumberjacks tacked on two more in second to go up 5-1.

Lajeunesse’s second of the evening was the fourth goal as he took a crisp pass from Carson Cox in the slot and made no mistake.

Holmes then picked up his first in the league at 13:59 as he cranked a blast into the top right-hand corner from the upper portion of the left circle.

The Rapids got closer in the latter stages of the period, during a man advantage, as shot in front clipped off the skate of Cooper Bowman in close to make it a 5-2 game after 40 minutes.

Getting another one back, Dominik Godin converted on a man advantage opportunity three minutes into the third as he banged one in from the left of Heart netminder Matteo Gennaro.

However, Neeld notched another for the guests with 6:21 to go to provide some insurance.

A late power play and with goaltender Cole Sheffield out for an extra attacker helped French River get one more in the final moments courtesy of Anthony Pileggi as he picked up his first NOJHL goal by stuffing one in during scramble in near the crease.

An impressive 54-save effort got Gennaro his initial league victory while Sheffield saw 57 shots fired his way in a losing cause.