NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Sunday, March 19, 2017
Liinamaa lifts Canadians to all-important OT win over Beavers
CHELMSFORD, Ont. – A Kyle Liinamaa goal midway through the first overtime lifted the Rayside-Balfour Canadians to an all-important 4-3 victory over the Blind River Beavers Sunday evening in Game 3 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at Chelmsford Arena.
Rayside-Balfour now trails this best-of-seven series 2-1 heading into Game 4 Thursday at 8 p.m. back at Chelmsford Arena.
After a scoreless first frame, Rayside-Balfour was quick to strike in the second period with Tristan Simm supplying his third of the series at 1:45 during an early man advantage opportunity.
Blind River countered with a power play marker of their own, at 8:11, on a Rockford Copiskey effort to level the proceedings at 1-1.
Matthew Neault restored the home side’s lead before the session was complete however as he connected at 16:40.
Entering the third, the Beavers tied it once more with the second extra man tally of the evening, which came off the stick of Yianni Liarakos at 11:07.
The back-and-forth affair saw the Canadians take their third lead of the night 83 seconds later on an Evan Krassey goal.
Then with time running down and with Blind River goaltender Myles Hektor on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, the Beavers forced extra time as Mark Bastianello notched the equalizer at 19:08.
Entering OT, both clubs traded chances early on, before the eventual scorer helped set-up his own game-winner as he fed a pass into the slot, which was fired on target that Hektor could not fully control allowing Liinamaa to stuff in the loose puck from the right side of the crease and get the Canadians back into the series at 9:40.
Owen Johannson made 35 saves to record the win for Rayside-Balfour while Hektor faced 50 shots in defeat for Blind River.
West Division semifinal
No. 2 Blind River Beavers vs. No. 3 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Blind River leads best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Blind River 6 Rayside-Balfour 2
Game 2: Blind River 6 Rayside-Balfour 3
Game 3: Rayside-Balfour 4 Blind River 3 (OT)
Game 4: Thursday, March 23 @ Rayside-Balfour 8 p.m. (Chelmsford)
Game 5: Saturday, March 25 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 26 @ Rayside-Balfour 6:30 p.m. (Chelmsford)
Game 7*: Tuesday, March 28 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Community Centre)
*- if necessary