VIDEO / GALLERY: Blind River takes Game 7 over Espanola

Photos: Helene Rancourt

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – Completing the comeback, the Blind River Beavers defeated the Espanola Paper Kings 5-1 Sunday afternoon in Game 7 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at the Blind River Community Centre.

The victory sees the Beavers rally from a two-game deficit to take series 4-3 and send them to the NOJHL West Final, where they’ll take on the Greater Sudbury Cubs.

Neither side would convert offensively in a scoreless first period.

Moving to the second stanza, Blind River had a great chance six minutes in but Espanola netminder Jake Marois came across his crease to rob Josh Thompson with a stellar diving glove save.

The Beavers would eventually get on the board, while on a power play, when Evan Fraccaro sent a crisp cross-ice pass over to Daniel Vasic, who controlled it then snapped it into the open corner before Marois could get over to give him goals in four straight outings as well as a NOJHL-best seven in the playoffs.

Vasic almost had another after that, but rang an attempt off the post, which eventually led to Jesse Dupuis snagging the puck and moving into the left circle where he pumped his chance into the top right-hand corner at 13:34.

Another extra-man effort put the Beavers up by three as Adam Prax cranked a one-timer from up top that was deflected in by Jakob Kovacs parked in front.

Up by three entering the final frame, the home side added a fourth midway through the session, where despite the efforts of Marois, who stopped a breakaway, then another point-blank chance, saw Wyatt Gibson come in and jam the puck in from close range.

Espanola got one back while on a man advantage, and with their goalie out for an extra attacker, with 8:30 to go as Lucas Signoretti blasted a rising shot past Blind River’s Noah Tegelaar from the right side.

Dupuis however wrapped it up with a late empty-netter to complete the comeback.

NOJHL West semifinal
Blind River Beavers vs. Espanola Paper Kings
Blind Rivers wins best-of-seven series 4-3

Game 1: Beavers 6 Paper Kings 3
Game 2: Paper Kings 7 Beavers 3
Game 3: Paper Kings 8 Beavers 1
Game 4: Paper Kings 3 Beavers 2
Game 5: Beavers 6 Paper Kings 1
Game 6: Beavers 3 Paper Kings 2
Game 7: Beavers 5 Paper Kings 1

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel