BLIND RIVER – Jacob Kelly notched a pair of impressive tallies to help propel the Blind River Beavers to a 6-3 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Saturday at the Blind River Community Centre.
After winning in Sault Ste. Marie Friday, the hometown Beavers came out quickly in this one, skating out to an early two-goal lead.
Andrew Malek struck first for Blind River at 5:55 to put the hosts in front during a brief man advantage as he finished off a nice back pass from Noah Minns.
Down a skater, the Beavers then struck shorthanded a couple of shifts later on a splendid Kelly effort as the former Elliot Lake Wildcats swiped the puck off a Soo defender, drove to the net and snapped a shot past Thunderbirds starter Scott Young.
Still on the power play though, the Thunderbirds countered at 8:38 thanks to Will Josephson as he banged in the rebound of a Warner Young attempt to close the deficit after one period of play.
It was more from the Soo in the early stages of the second frame when a puck bounced off a Blind River defenceman behind the net right in front to an open Ethan Novello, who banked a quick shot off the right post and in for his first NOJHL goal.
The Beavers answered though at 12:14 as Kelly finished off a give-and-go for his second of the night, while up a skater.
Down a skater later in the session, Jared Dupuis was sent in alone on a breakaway, and after settling the disk down, proceeded to snap a shot blocker side, to put the home team back up by a pair after 40 minutes.
It was more from the Beavers three minutes into the third as Malek wheeled out from behind the net and stuffed in a chance between Young’s pad and the post to extend the lead to three.
Sault Ste. Marie pressed the pace in the late going during a two-man advantage where Cooper Smyl cashed in from close range just after one penalty had expired.
However, Caleb Minns iced it in the minute after a Soo blueliner lost an edge, which allowed him to score into an empty net to finish off the night’s scoring.
Making his initial start of the season, Gavin Disano made 38 saves to record his first NOJHL victory.
Young finished with 29 stops in defeat.