Tegelaar; Blind River stay hot with shutout of Espanola

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – Blind River Beavers goaltender Noah Tegelaar posted his second shutout in as many days in a 2-0 win over the Espanola Paper Kings Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League matinee at the Blind River Community Centre.

The victory also marked the 17th consecutive victory for the surging Beavers, who also put an end to a seven-game run for the Paper Kings in the process.

While both clubs had yet to lose entering the contest, so far in 2024, play was fast-paced in the first period as the teams vied to gain the upper hand.

The Beavers held the edge in shots, but the session proved to be scoreless after 20 minutes.

Moving to the middle stanza, Blind River would eventually break the deadlock deep into the frame when Josh Thompson spotted Michael Gallagher in the slot from the corner boards and put a pass over to him, which he whipped over the blocker of Espanola goalkeeper Jake Marois for his 21st tally of the campaign.

After keeping the Paper Kings at bay during a two-man advantage midway through the third, the Beavers capitalized on a power play of their own to go up by a pair.

On the tally, Jakob Kovacs skated around the Espanola net, then fired a feed across to Daniel Vasic, who ripped a shot past Marois from the left circle with eight and a half minutes to play.

Tegelaar and Blind River did the rest holding firm defensively to collect the win, in a match-up that saw the Blind River goalkeeper win for a 13th straight start.

The result helps the Beavers improve to 31-8-0-0 overall, while the narrow setback sees the Paper Kings record slip to 25-14-0-0.