NOJHL Showcase concludes with Canadians OT win over Rapids

SUDBURY, Ont. – A Matthew Nault power play goal, off a deflection, 3:34 into overtime was the decider as the Rayside-Balfour Canadians rallied for a 4-3 win over the French River Rapids Wednesday evening in the final game of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase in Sudbury.

French River kicked off the night’s scoring three minutes into the contest as Connor Loft’s shot from long range fooled Rayside-Balfour starter Matty Mayhew three minutes in.

The Rapids got one more at 12:20 thanks to Will Frustaglio’s second of the campaign to put his side up by two after one period of play.

It stayed 2-0 until the latter stages of the middle stanza when Rayside-Balfour finally put one past French River starter Jean-Marc Brisson at 18:18 on a Jacob Partridge effort.

They then had a chance to tie it before the frame expired with a man advantage opportunity, but it the was Rapids’ Gregory-Paquet who scored as he was sent in alone on a man-down breakaway to put his side up 3-1 with 40 seconds left in the frame.

The Canadians picked up a shorthanded effort of his own for his side with six minutes to as Evan Krassey broke in a and deked left and made it 3-2 by tucking the puck past a sprawled Jean-Marc Brisson in the French River net.

A late power play in regulation allowed Rayside-Balfour to force OT as Brandon Atkins snapped one from the point that sailed high into the top left corner through a maze.

Up a man again into OT, the Canadians capped off the comeback as the puck was fired in front and bounced off Neault and slid across the goal line to end it.

Baldino Aiello had two assists for RBC in the win.

Shots on goal saw Rayside-Balfour hold the edge by a 37-21 count with Mayhew picking up the win while Brisson’s 33 stops helped the Rapids earn a point on the night.