BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers rode the strength of four power play goals to send them on their way to a convincing 9-3 victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Friday at the Blind River Community Centre.
The Beavers gained the early edge, nearly three minutes into the match-up, when Sergy Suschenko corralled a bouncing puck off a Hearst defender, on an attempted rim around the boards, and lifted it high over the shoulder from the right of netminder Tristan Boileau.
Adding another, the home side went up by a pair as Tyler Vorstadt backpedalled along the blueline and sent a shot towards the net that was tipped in by Mason Mordon for his first NOJHL goal.
Coming right back, Blind River tacked on another at 15:25 courtesy of Jakob Kovacs, who broke up a play in his own zone then darted in on a partial break and ripped it by Boileau.
Hearst cut into the deficit a couple of minutes into the middle stanza when Aiden Kalin banked one in from in close that got by goaltender Gavin Disano, who was making his return to the Beavers’ line-up, after having a career-high 24 wins with the club last season.
The Lumberjacks had a great opportunity to pull within one after being awarded a penalty shot, but Disano held firm to thwart Tyler Patterson with a pad save.
Blind River then came right back, 25 seconds later, to go up 4-1 as Brendan Cooke found himself open and took a Vorstadt feed to the left of the net and snapped in third of the season at 10:04.
Pulling back to within two, Hearst’s Maddoc Newton pumped in a one-timer off a Julien Trudel pass across about six minutes later.
Moving to the third, the Beavers added another when Vorstadt teed up Kovacs deep on the right side where he quickly hammered home a blast, while up a skater, at 6:30.
Adding some insurance, Evan Fraccaro made it 6-2 with 10:41 to go as he went down the right wing and put a shot through Boileau.
Putting the game out of reach, via the power play, Blind River’s Piper Post jammed in his first NOJHL goal at 12:13, just after teammate Bryce Burnett had been stymied on a chance.
The Lumberjacks did get a third on the night right after that, while competing four aside, as Kalin took the puck around the net, then sent it in front where Nolan swooped in and buried it.
A fourth Beavers’ extra man tally added to the home side’s edge, with Post potting another and he pumped one in from the left circle.
They then finished off the romp off a Burnett breakaway when he darted in alone and tucked it through the pads of Boileau, in the late going, to round out the scoring.
The win sees Blind River improve to 9-2-0-0 while Hearst dropped to 5-5-0-1.