BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers were all business Tuesday night in Game 3 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at the Blind River Community Centre as they rolled to a one-sided 8-1 victory over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians.
The outcome now gives the Beavers a 2-1 series lead in this best-of-seven affair heading to Game 4 Thursday back in Blind River at 7:30 p.m.
A late first period power play helped Blind River notch the night’s opening tally as Max Khull ripped one from the left face-off dot high past Rayside-Balfour goalkeeper Brayden Lachance for his his second of the playoffs.
Special teams were prevalent in the second stanza with the Beavers’ Josh Norman and the Canadians’ Taylor Woolcott trading man advantage markers.
Blind River added another later in the session as Dylan McMahon swiped the puck off a Rayside-Balfour defender in the neutral zone and sent Jack Rudin in alone on Lachance and he made no mistake snapping a shot high to put the home side up by a pair.
They weren’t done yet either as they added another before the second was complete with Steven Khull’s quick wrister from the slot finding its way between the body and arm of Lachance.
An early third period power play saw the Beavers add another as Norman deftly redirected a Nick Richards right point shot between his own legs then stuffed in his club’s fifth of the evening.
They then chased Lachance in favour of Jean-Marc Brisson at 6:31 on a Jack Sampson strike.
From there, Dylan McMahon was then set in all alone on a breakaway in the back half of the third and he neatly tucked his chance between the legs of Brisson to add to the onslaught.
The hosts capped off the romp at 15:33 as defenceman Matthew Murray buried one from the left point to wrap things up.
Garret Boyonoski made 34 stops to record the win for Blind River.
Lachance allowed six against in suffering the loss while Brisson gave up the final two in relief.
West Division semifinal
No. 1 Rayside-Balfour Canadians vs. No. 4 Blind River Beavers
Blind River leads best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Blind River 4 Rayside-Balfour 1
Game 2: Rayside-Balfour 3 Blind River 2
Game 3: Blind River 8 Rayside-Balfour 1
Game 4: Thursday, March 22 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 5: Friday, March 23 @ Rayside-Balfour 7 p.m. (Chelmsford Arena)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 25 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game7*: Tuesday, March 27 @ Rayside-Balfour 5:30 p.m. (Chelmsford Arena)
*- if necessary