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Beavers open NOJHL playoffs with shutout of Wildcats

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – Owen Robinson tallied twice and set-up another while Garret Boyonoski turned aside all 29 attempts he faced as the Blind River Beavers blanked the Elliot Lake Wildcats 3-0 Friday evening in Game 1 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division quarter-final at the Blind River Community Centre.

This best-of-three matchup now shifts to Centennial Arena in Elliot Lake for Game 2 Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

The Blind River power play allowed them to open the scoring in the series as Max Khull fed an open Robinson in the left face-off circle, who in turn quickly snapped a shot past Elliot Lake starter Logan Sawka at 13:26.

On another man advantage entering the middle stanza, the Beavers went up by a pair with Caleb Serre passing over to Robinson at the top of the blueline, who in turn teed one up for Matthew Murray who blasted one home from the right side to make it 2-0.

Robinson third point of the night came at 12:19 as he lifted a backhand over top of Sawka to put his side up by three.

Elliot Lake’s best chance to get on the board in the second came during a lengthy two-man advantage, however they could not solve Blind River’s opening night starter Boyonoski during the opportunity to keep it 3-0 Beavers after two.

Picking up a couple of other two-man chances in the final frame, the Wildcats still could not solve Boyonoski once again as his efforts kept the visitors off the scoresheet past the midway point of the session.

The contest continued to remain scoreless from there as the Beavers secured the Game 1 triumph.

Serre had two assists to aid the Blind River cause.

Sawka faced 55 shots against in defeat for Elliot Lake.

NOJHL Playoffs

Series B
West Division quarter-final series
No. 4 Blind River Beavers vs. No. 5 Elliot Lake Wildcats
Blind River leads best-of-three series 1-0
Game 1: Blind River 3 Elliot Lake 0
Game 2: Sunday, March 11 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial Arena)
Game 3*: Wednesday, March 14 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)
*- if necessary