FRENCH RIVER – A Ryan Smith marker off a nice individual rush near the midway point of overtime was the difference as the French River Rapids came back to slip past the Hearst Lumberjacks 4-3 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Friday evening at Noelville Arena.
On the power play, six and a half minutes into the contest, French River opened the scoring as Levi Siau notched his third for the club since returning to the line-up back on December 7.
Hearst answered though before the first period was complete with Silver supplying his initial tally of the night.
Silver then added his second early in the middle session as his 12th of the season gave the guests the lead at 2:59.
The Lumberjacks then went up by a pair just over 10 minutes later as Dominic Dumas delivered via the man advantage.
Up a skater themselves before the session was complete, Cooper Bowman brought the hosts backs to within one to make a 3-2 game heading into the third.
There, the Rapids collected their third power play marker of the night to force overtime in the late going when Ty Chambers connected at 18:14.
Skating three-on-three in OT, Smith made a splendid individual rush through the Hearst defence and tucked the puck through Lumberjacks netminder Noah Zeppa, only to have it pulled off the goal line by a Lumberjacks blueliner, but see it eventually come back to him off a scramble where he buried the game-winner into the open side to end it.
Smith also had two assists on the night for a three-point outing while Justin Miron and David Gobeil chipped in with a pair of helpers apiece for Hearst.
Shots on net finished 42-40 in favour of the visitors with Sebastian Woods getting the win while Zeppa suffered the setback, in which his side earned one point in defeat.
Game Photos courtesy of Dal Photography