It has been a season of firsts for the small market French River Rapids. First, they qualified for the playoffs for the first time since entering the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League as an expansion team in 2015.
Then, they won their first playoff game in their first attempt, a 4-1 win over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners to begin the best of three, preliminary round series in the East Division.
And on Monday, the no. 4 seed Rapids eliminated the no. 5 seed Gold Miners with a decisive 5-2 victory to sweep the series.
Long-time French River owner, general manager and coach Paul Frustaglio was overcome following the series-clinching victory.
“I am very emotional right now … it has been a long, long ride,” Frustaglio told Hockey News North.
Three players had two goals apiece in the series to spark French River, namely Devon Butler, Dominik Godin and Chase Lefebvre.
The Rapids will now take on the no. 1 seed Timmins Rock in a best-of-seven East Division semi-final.