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GALLERY: Hat tricks for Perala & DeGrazia as Canadians outlast Beavers

BLIND RIVER – The Rayside-Balfour Canadians picked up three-goal nights from both Owen Perala and Nicholas DeGrazia to help them outlast the Blind River Beavers 8-6 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Tuesday evening at the Blind River Community Centre.

The visiting Canadians opened the scoring early on as Oliver Smith skated into the Blind River zone while his club was shorthanded and proceeded to pick the right corner to put the guests on top.

Rayside-Balfour came back and notched another as DeGrazia powered his way in on the right side before driving across the crease and sliding in his chance past the outstretched pad of Beavers’ goaltender Wyatt Courchaine.

Not done there, DeGrazia came back a minute and a half later and used some slick stick work from in close to bury his second of the period.

The Canadians kept coming and added a fourth is the session late into a man advantage as Mitchell Martin wheeled out of the corner into the slot where he promptly snapped in his third tally of the campaign.

Adding to the onslaught, RBC got a fifth marker in the frame that was finished off by Perala with a wrist shot from the right circle.

The Beavers did get one back six and a half minutes into the middle session as Noah Minns dove for a loose puck as the top of the crease and managed to score while sliding on a knee to make it 5-1.

A goal mouth scramble during a power play helped the hosts get another as Minns collected his second of the stanza from close range, which came at 12:26.

Blind River then added one more before the second was complete as Jared Dupuis scored from slot after a couple of earlier stops by Canadians’ goaltender David Bowen.

Regrouping to begin the third, the visitors clicked on the power play at 2:20 with Carter Geoffroy cranking one from the point that was redirected by Perala parked in front for his second of the night.

Perala then finished off his first NOJHL hat trick with a shorthanded breakaway that he made no mistake on to help extend the visitors’ cushion.

The high-scoring affair saw Jesse Dupuis’ pick up first NOJHL goal for the Beavers at 11:49 while teammate Justin Mauro converted with his side up a skater just over a minute later as the goals kept coming.

Not done there, Blind River got back to within one with four minutes remaining as Jacob Kelly chipped one over Bowen’s pad from the right side to keep things interesting.

In the end though, DeGrazia joined Perala with a three-goal performance as he scored into the empty net in the final minute to wrap things up.

Bowen finished with 30 stops to record the win while Courchaine and Gavin Disano combined to face 37 shots against in defeat.