In Noelville, Ontario on December 18th, the twelfth place French River Rapids hosted the fourth place Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action.
At 11:58 of the first, Brayden Stortz sinks his 24th of the 2015 – 2016 season to give the Gold Miners a 1 – 0 lead with helpers from Alex Hester and Blake Anderson. 46 seconds later, French River’s Adrian Nicholas evens the game 1 – 1 with a Rapids goal behind Kirkland Lake’s goaltender Tyler Mazzocato with assists coming from Lucas Woolridge and Marc-Andre Quevillion. Stortz fires his second goal of the game behind Rapid’s netminder Zach Mills at 16:26 of the first to send the Gold Miners into the first intermission with a 2 – 1 lead.
3:02 into the second period, Tyler King scores the tying goal for the Rapids with Brennan Kelly and Bret McInall adding the contributors. Sinking his 11th of the season, Kirkland Lake’s Joel Fortin scores the go – ahead goal to give the Gold Miners a 3 – 2 lead with Brett Ouderkirk and Marc – Antoine Arseneau at 4:11 of the period. At 8:28 of the second, Evan Bidenti increases the visitors lead to 4 – 2 with assists from Anderson and Dylan Holt. Logan Fredericks finds the back of French River’s net to bring the Gold Miners season total to 20 at 11:33 of the second on an unassisted goal.
19 year old Brayden Stortz registers his hat trick of the season at 8:02 of the third on a Kirkland Lake power play with Anderson and Hester to give Kirkland Lake a 6 – 2 lead. 28 seconds after Stortz’s third goal of the game, Alex Hester sinks his third of the season with Stortz and Kyle Lamont at the 8:30 mark of the period. Scoring his twelfth of the season at 10:35 of the third was Brandon Wolfe of the Gold Miners to bring Kirkland Lake’s lead to 8 – 2. Ouderkirk and Arseneau adds the helpers on the Gold Miners eighth of the game.
Hester sunk the Gold Miners ninth of the season at 13:16 of the third with Fredericks and Holt drawing the assists. Scoring his third of the contest, Hester registers his first NOJHL career hat trick at 15:50 of the third on a Kirkland Lake power play. With 2:36 left in the game and giving the Gold Miners a 11 – 2 win over French River, Trevor Hester sinks first of the season in a Kirkland Lake jersey. Lamont and Adam Desgagnes add the helpers on Trevor Hester’s goal.
The Gold Miners will close out the first half of the season in Powassan on December 19th at the Powassan Sportsplex for a 7:00 p.m start.