Game Photos: Helene Rancourt
BLIND RIVER, Ont. – An Ethan Pegg man advantage marker 1:14 into overtime was the difference as the Blind River Beavers held off a persistent Espanola Express side 6-5 Saturday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at the Blind River Community Centre.
It took the home side just 76 seconds to open the night’s scoring as Caleb Minns buried the rebound off a Jesse Dupuis shot from the slot.
Getting the equalizer on a seemingly innocent dump in from long range by Ty McHutchion some how found its way through Blind River starter Eric Clark and in.
The two sides then traded power play tallies midway through the first frame with Minns connecting for the Beavers once more while Joshua Romolo countered for the Express.
Staying 2-2 into the second period, Blind River regained the lead at 14:57 as Kyle Caron took a drop pass in the right circle then proceeded to rip a shot past Espanola netminder Patrick Boivin.
Coming right back though, the visitors drew even again, a half minute later, with James Eng banging in a feed from Josh Boucher coming out from behind the goal line.
In the third, the hosts took their fourth lead of the evening with Dakota Seaman sniping one from the left circle off a solid forecheck.
Answering yet again, Espanola’s Boucher snapped one in from the slot that Clark could only get a piece of before it trickled over the line.
Back and forth they went with Blind River getting the edge once more off another by Seaman as he stuffed in a rebound off a chance from blueliner Nolan Connolly while they were up a skater.
Continuing to hold serve, the Express answered once more thanks to Kobe Braham splitting the Blind River defence and ripping in his eighth overall with 9:07 to go in regulation.
Heading to OT, Pegg won it via the power play after having an initial opportunity blocked, he quickly regained the puck and proceeded to wire in the game-winner from slot to give his club the victory in extra time.
Shots on goal favoured the Espanola by a 45-33 count with Clark getting the win while Boivin helped his side earn a point in defeat.
VIDEO “Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel