Photos: Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – A pair of two-goal outbursts, one coming late in the second period and the other early in the third, helped send the French River Rapids on their way to a 5-2 triumph over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Monday evening in Game 2 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division series at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
With the result, French River wins the best-of-three play-in series 2-0 and will now meet the Timmins Rock in a best-of-seven divisional semifinal, which will begin later in the week.
Trading tallies in the back half of the opening frame, Chase Thompson chipped in the rebound off an Abram Snider point shot to put the Rapids up 1-0 at the 11-minute mark.
Countering while on the power play a couple of shifts later, Chance DeBolt finished off a Camille Marcoux shot on net for the Gold Miners at 13:14 as he backhanded in a loose puck from in close past a sprawled French River goalkeeper, Justin Dilauro.
It stayed even until the later stages of the middle stanza, when the Rapids struck twice to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Levi Siau started it off in neutral ice transition where he scooped up the puck and skated into the high slot where he wired a shot over the blocker of Kirkland Lake goaltender Keaton Lyons.
French River’s Chase Lefebvre then came right back and notched his third in two games with a nice misdirection in close before ripping one short side to put the guests up by a pair.
In the third, the visitor’s Spencer Hughes made a power move to the net and made a play that saw the disk come right back to him, which allowed him to slam it into the open side to make it 4-1 at 4:41.
Then right off the draw, the Rapids struck again to put the series away on a chance that went in off the skate of Devon Butler, but was deemed to be a good goal by the officials.
The Gold Miners did get one back with just over six minutes during a massive pile-up of players jammed in the crease that saw Christian Genova get credit for the goal.
However that would be the night’s final marker as the contest came to a close and saw Dilauro get his initial league playoff win while Lyons suffered the season-ending defeat for Kirkland Lake.
The Timmins – French River schedule will be announced by the NOJHL once it is finalized.
NOJHL East quarter-final
French River Rapids vs. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Rapids win best-of-three series 2-0
Game 1: French River 4 Kirkland Lake 1
Game 2: French River 5 Kirkland Lake 2