SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A couple of early Michael Gallagher markers helped send the Blind River Beavers on their way to a 5-2 triumph over the Soo Eagles in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Saturday night at Pullar Stadium.
The Beavers’ Gallagher got his initial tally six minutes into the proceedings as his mid-ice attempt just inside the blueline clipped off the stick of a Sault Ste. Marie skater and saw it change direction as it sailed past netminder Logan Raffaele.
Gallagher then notched his second of the stanza with a minute remaining as he slammed in the rebound off a Nicholas Brady shot from the left point.
Blind River extended their lead to three, 11:24 into the middle session as Meguire Naughton tipped in a Henry Attard shot from the point for his first of the season.
The Eagles did get one back later in the period thanks to Jack Mortson’s team-leading 14th as he knocked in a Brian Fiddes effort out of mid-air past
Beavers’ netminder Gavin Disano.
Replying a couple of shifts later, the visitors scored on the power play at 19:16 when Calen Minns cut around a Soo defender then cruised into the Eagles’ end where he teed up Jacob Kovacs for a one-timer from between the hash marks that beat Raffaele.
Down a skater early in the third, the hosts struck shorthanded as Nolan Hendry darted down the ice on a long-range breakaway and made a couple of quick dekes before cutting right and tucking the puck past the outstretched pad of Disano.
Remaining 4-2 Blind River into the late going, the Soo pulled netminder Reid Ramsay, who had entered the third to replace Raffaele, deep into the third, but the Beavers’ broke out and saw Evan Fraccaro put in a backhand effort with 50 seconds left to secure the road win.
That sees the Beavers improve to 14-4-1-2 on the year while the Eagles fell to 10-7-2-0.