The Blind River Beavers came to Chelmsford arena on Thursday and walked away with a win in their four-game series against the hometown Rayside-Balfour Canadians.
The high-scoring game ended 7-5.
Blind River drew first blood halfway through the first, but the Canadians quickly rebounded, jumping ahead 2-1 after Mitchell Martin notched one (assist Joel Mongeon) at the 12:50 mark, while Giordano Biondi scored another one just 41 seconds later (Carter Geoffroy, Nick DeGrazia).
But Blind River held tough and scored two more before the period ended to put the Beavers up 3-2 lead.
Gavin Brown evened the score for the Canadians 25 seconds into the second period (Martin, Oliver Smith), but the Beavers re-took the lead two minutes later.
Then, DeGrazia brought Rayside even again at 11:03, assisted by Biondi and Owen Perala. The back-and-forth action wasn’t done yet, though, and Blind River regained the lead before the second ended.
Blind River was up 5-4 going into the third, making it 6-4 at 10:40 of the period. With nine minutes left in the game, the Canadians were behind by two.
Brown would add his second (Smith, Samuel Assinewai) with just over five minutes to play to make it a 6-5 game. But Blind River was relentless, adding an empty-netter to seal the deal and finish the game 7-5 for the Beavers.
Canadians netminder David Bowen made 22 saves on 28 shots before being relieved by Jake Marois, who came in to make saves on all seven shots he faced.
The Canadians now travel to Blind River for a 2 p.m. game on Saturday, then return home to finish the series on Sunday with a 6:30 p.m. game at Chelmsford Arena.
You can watch both games on HockeyTV.com. You can also watch Sunday’s game live at Overtime Sports Bar & Grill in Chelmsford. Sunday’s game in Chelmsford can also be viewed on Eastlink Community Television on Channel 610 in high definition.
After eight games, the Canadians sit in fifth place in the West Conference of the NOJHL with five points, trailing French River (six), Sault Thunderbirds (seven), Espanola Express (eight) and Blind River with eight points.
The Canadians power play is operating at a 17.1 per cent, good sixth best in the NOJHL. Rayside has struggled on the penalty kill and have allowed the most number of power play goals against in the NOJHL with a 74-per-cent kill-rate.
The Canadians home record is : one win, two losses and one shootout loss, with 14 goals for and 17 goals against. Their road record stands at one win, three losses, with 11 goals for and 19 goals against.
Nick DeGrazia leads the Canadians in scoring with six goals and five assists for 11 points. He sits eighth in the league in scoring.
Brady Maltais has recorded nine points including eight assists and sits among the top 20 in scorers in the NOJHL.
David Bowen is the leader in goal for the Canadians with a 2-4-1 win-loss record and has a 3.81 goals against average and a .887 save percentage in his first seven games.