Blind River impresses in road win over Rayside-Balfour

CHELMSFORD, Ont. — Goaltender Garret Boyonoski was there to stop all 30 shots he faced to post his second Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League shutout while forward Zach Senecal tallied twice as the Blind River Beavers blanked the Rayside-Balfour Canadians 5-0 Sunday evening at Chelmsford Arena.

Senecal started Blind River off with the eventual game-winning goal, coming just past the 11-minute mark of the opening period, to put the visitors up by one.

The Beavers then connected three times in the second stanza to go up by four.

After Josh Norman made it 2-0 with a man advantage effort at 13:39, Steven Khull connected at even strength four minutes later to extend the margin to three.

They weren’t done from there as Owen Robinson converted on a late power play as his 19th tally of the campaign came with 10 seconds remaining in the session.

Senecal then rounded things out with his club’s three extra man marker of the night, 12:54 into the third, to complete the road victory.

Ryan Mulligan helped out the Blind River cause with two assists.

All the while Boyonoski handled every attempt fired his way to earn the shutout helping the Beavers reach the 30-win plateau for a second consecutive season as they improved to 30-16-2-0 on the campaign.

Brayden Lachance faced 46 attempts in the loss for the Canadians who fell to 28-13-3-1 overall.

Blind River now sits one point behind the Soo Thunderbirds in the hotly contested race for first place in the NOJHL’s West Division.

Sault Ste. Marie does hold three games in hand though.

Rayside-Balfour also has a trio of contests on the Beavers as they stay at 60 points, which puts them three back of the Thunderbirds.