Opportunistic Rapids defeat Beavers 5-2

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – An opportunistic French River Rapids side made the most of their chances as they went on to defeat the Blind River Beavers 5-2 Wednesday at the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase being held at Big Bear Arena.

While the Beavers held a territorial edge in play, it was French River who capitalized on their first shot of the game nearly nine minutes into the contest as Reid Manning broke in alone on Blind River starter Jackson Hjelle and made a nifty move by cutting left and lifting in his first of the season over the pad and in.

Making the most of their opportunities, the Rapids added another at 17:27 when defenceman Cameron Henderson let one go from his position that found its way in to make it 2-0.

Blind River did come back and solve French River stopper Chase Johnson moments later as the NOJHL’s leading point-getter collected his 15th of the campaign to make it 2-1 after one.

Second stanza action saw the respective power plays connect once each in the session.

Will Frustaglio put the Rapids up 3-1 at 4:43 with a man advantage effort helped by Ty Chambers and Ryan Smith.

The Beavers a couple of shifts later while up a skater themselves as Serre picked up his second of the contest to bring his side back to within one heading to the third.

Coming out quickly in the final frame, French River notched another when Cooper Bowman scored just 47 seconds into the third.

They then sealed the decision in the late going as Griffin Simpson rounded out the scoring with a nice shot.

Johnson finished with 35 saves in picking up the win while Hjelle faced 28 shots in defeat.