Beavers – Paper Kings going the distance


ESPANOLA, Ont. – A Michael Gallagher man advantage marker, early in the third period, proved to be the game-winner as the Blind River Beavers went on to edge the Espanola Paper Kings 3-2 Friday in Game 6 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal in front of a boisterous crowd at the Regional Recreation Complex.

This ties the best-of-seven set 3-3, sending it to a Game 7 Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., at the Blind River Community Centre and on

Pressuring a turnover deep in Espanola territory helped Blind River strike first, with Benjamin Armatage converting from the left of goaltender Jake Marois, nearly 15 minutes in.

Battling back to tie it midway through the second, the Paper Kings’ Grant Booth was sent in alone on a breakaway, only to be foiled by the pad of the Beavers’ Noah Tegelaar, but he quickly collected the puck and sent it in front where defenceman Sean Short swooped in and buried the equalizer.

Building on their momentum, Espanola went ahead with their NOJHL-leading 10th power play goal of the series as Graydon Guthrie spun in front of Tegelaar and finished off an in-close chance.

Tying things up on a late man advantage, Blind River broke out of the own end, then saw Lucas Durham leave a drop pass for Daniel Vasic, who made a quick fake then ripped one short side on Marois.

Third period play saw the Beavers retake the lead while up a skater early as Gallagher worked his way to the high slot and sent a shot past a screened Marois.

Getting the goalie out late in an effort to tie it and force overtime, the home side pressed to do so, but the visitors held firm defensively to secure the road victory and send the series the distance.

NOJHL West semifinal
Blind River Beavers vs. Espanola Paper Kings
Best-of-seven series tied 3-3

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:
 Sunday, March 31 @ Blind River 2 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)