SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Blind River Beavers got two goals in regulation from Caleb Minns, then saw him notch the only marker in the shootout, as part of a narrow 4-3 victory over the Soo Eagles in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League meeting Friday at Pullar Stadium.
Sault Ste. Marie did get the game’s first marker, 1:18 into the match-up, as defenceman Lane Janssen pinched in and poked the puck away from a Blind River player, which helped Kenny Belanger Jr., chip one over a sprawling Gavin Disano in the Beavers’ net.
Up a skater late in the first, the visitors tied it thanks to Minns putting one in from the left side after Eagles’ starter Logan Raffaele got caught sliding too far out of his net.
The Soo regained the lead three minutes into the second stanza when Zachary Briskey powered down the wing and snapped a shot under Disano from the left circle.
Blind River came back once more with Minns tacking on another as he took a drop pass from Trevor Zimmer then whipped one off the post and in at 5:15.
Going in front late in the period, the Beavers’ Gavin Rocha potted his 10th of the season and extended a consecutive game point streak to nine in the process as he blasted a rising slap shot over the glove of Raffaele.
The Eagles came back with four minutes remaining to force overtime when Bryce Grandboise banked one in from behind the net.
After a scoreless five-minute OT failed to provide a winner, it went to extra attempts to determine a result.
There, Minns was the only one to connect as he swopped in and made a couple of crafty moves before pulling the puck back and slipping through the legs of Raffaele.
Disano did the rest for Blind River, handling all three chances he faced to help pick-up the win.
The result sees the Beavers raise their record to 22-8-2-2 while the Eagles dropped their first shootout on the season as they went to 16-13-2-1 overall.