BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers stormed back from an early 3-0 deficit to defeat the Rayside-Balfour Canadians 8-6 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Saturday at the Blind River Community Centre.
A free-wheeling opening stanza saw the two clubs combine for six goals, including four by the Canadians that featured a natural hat trick from rookie forward Nicholas DeGrazia in a span of three minutes and 21 seconds.
Blind River did counter with goals from Logan Gallagher and David Campbell as they both scored for the first time this season as the Beavers pulled back to within one.
Rayside-Balfour added one more at 15:43 though on a Matthew Dokis-Dupuis marker as they took a 4-2 cushion into the intermission.
It continued as an offensive barrage in the second stanza that saw Blind River strike three times, getting a pair from Caleb Serre, and single off the stick of Justin Mauro to take a 5-4 lead.
The goals kept coming with the Canadians tying it at 18:12 compliments of Zachary Hauseman only to see the Beavers’ Jack Tos answer that just moments later as Blind River went back up by one after two.
After RBC’s Matthew Belanger and BRB’s Serre traded tallies in the third, Andrew Malek completed the Blind River comeback with a late empty netter to wrap things up offensively.
While Serre had a hat trick, he also had two assists, for a five-point night.
Jonathan Lemaire made 19 saves on 22 shots in long relief to pick up the win while Jackson Hjelle started for the Beavers and gave up three on six chances before giving way.
David Bowen in the Canadians net faced 43 shots in defeat.