FRENCH RIVER – Philippe Daoust tallied four times and assisted on another to help the French River Rapids outlast the Soo Eagles 8-6 in a goal-filled Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Sunday at Noelville Arena.
The opening 20 minutes belonged to French River as they outscored Sault Ste. Marie 5-1 in the frame.
After Daoust and Hunter Brazier staked the home side to a 2-0 lead two minutes into the matchup, Dominic Skrelja got one back for the Eagles at 2:25.
However, the Rapids regrouped and tacked on three more before the first was complete with Daoust, Levi Siau and Ryan Smith all finding the back of the net.
Daoust then hit his hat trick early in the second stanza only to see Jake Lamberty and George Orfanos connect in quick order to bring the Soo closer.
Unieam Rich’s first NOJHL goal made it 7-3 French River at 10:43, but the Eagles finished the period strong thanks to tallies from Orfanos at even strength and Raf Praysner on the power play to make it a two-goal game heading into the third.
It was more Daoust 3:15 into the final frame as he struck shorthanded for his fourth of the game.
A man-down marker by the Eagles’ Mikey Butcher with10:55 to go proved to be the final offensive effort in the contest.
Siau chipped in with three assists to go with his goal to help the French River cause.
Rapids netminder Marshall Frappier faced 68 shots in picking up the win.
Both Joseph Bennedetto and Shane Brancato saw time between the pipes for the Eagles as they faced a combined 58 attempts in defeat.
Photos courtesy of Dal Photography