Game Photos: Dal Photography
FRENCH RIVER – A Griffin Simpson power play goal late in overtime sent the French River Rapids past the Cochrane Crunch 3-2 Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Noelville Arena.
In a scoreless first frame, netminders Michael Nickolau of Cochrane and French River’s Hayden Williamson kept things scoreless.
Moving to the middle session, the Rapids needed just 70 seconds to break the deadlock as Spencer Hughes picked up his initial league marker by banging in the rebound off a Simpson shot from the point.
Not done there, Hughes came right back and notched another moments later as he took a nice pass from Dominik Godin on a quickly developing two-on-one and neatly slid in a back hand on Nickolau.
Countering, the Crunch got themselves on the board just 13 seconds later as Liam Boswell deftly chipped the puck in with one hand on his stick at the top of the crease off a nice kick-pass courtesy of Ethan Ingram.
Continuing to battle back, Cochrane drew level in the third as Mark Hill cranked a one-timer from the top of the blueline that flew into the back of the net and levelled the proceedings, during a man advantage opportunity.
Trading tallies after that, Jake Alton gave Cochrane the lead at 9:56, only to see Godin tie it just under three minutes later and force OT.
Picking up a man advantage deep into the extra session, Griffin won it after taking a cross-ice feed from Chase Lefebvre before moving in and burying the decider from the right circle.
Williamson’s 33 saves got him the win while Nickolau was busy, handling 57 of 61 to help his side earn a point in defeat.