SUDBURY, Ont. – Preseason play in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League began Friday night on two fronts.
Here’s a re-cap of the two exhibition games that were on the docket.
Soo Thunderbirds 6 Blind River Beavers 1 – Will Josephson notched a hat trick and had an assist to pace the hometown Thunderbirds to the triumph over the visiting Beavers as John Rhodes Community Centre.
After a scoreless, yet fast-paced opening frame, Josephson put Sault Ste. Marie on the board just past the four-minute mark of the middle stanza.
Blind River got the equalizer at 14:44 of the frame from Devin Mauro, only to see the Thunderbirds tally twice before the session was out on markers from Kurtis Rogers and Caleb Wood.
The Soo then broke it open in the late going of the contest as Josephson tacked on two more markers before Michael Chaffay rounded out the night’s scoring.
Shots on goal favoured the Thunderbirds by a 55-22 count with Scott Young getting the win while Wyatt Courchaine suffered the defeat.
Game Photos: Bob Davies
French River Rapids 5 Espanola Express 4 (OT) – A Ty Chambers power goal midway through overtime was the decider as French River outlasted Espanola at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Cooper Bowman and Troy Andrews gave the Rapids an early cushion before Josh Boucher put the Express on the board late in the first period.
Chambers converted on a man advantage in the second session to make it 3-1 before Cole Delarosbil brought the hosts back to within one after 40 minutes.
In the third, Espanola got early goals from Liam Serviss, to tie it, and Devon Savignac, to put the Express in front, but French River forced extra time off the stick of Levi Siau, who connected on the power play with 3:10 left in regulation.
The visiting Rapids then notched their third extra-man effort of the night in OT to pull out the win on Chambers’ game-winner.
Ben Mongomery played the first two periods in net for French River while Cole Sheffield got the victory in relief.
Carson Boutin went the distance between the pipes for the Express.
Game Photos: Chelsea Solomon