Blind River secures series win over Elliot Lake

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – Ryan Peck picked up a pair of goals and assisted on another as the Blind River Beavers topped the Elliot Lake Wildcats 6-2 Sunday afternoon in Game 2 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division quarter-final series at the Blind River Community Centre.

With the result, Blind River takes the best-of-three affair 2-0 and now advance to meet the No. 1 seeded Soo Thunderbirds in a NOJHL West Division semifinal, which will commence Saturday at John Rhodes Community Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Sunday’s match-up saw the Beavers storm out to a three-goal lead after one period of play following a trio of tallies in the back half of the frame.

Nathan Engel started the offensive outburst with a power play marker at 13:09.

They then went up by a pair just over five minutes later on a Peck even strength effort.

It was more Blind River just before the first came to a close as Matthew Murray collected his second of the series as he connected during a late man advantage with five seconds to go.

Action in the middle session saw the Beavers tack on two more with Peck and Justin Mauro both finding the back of the net deep into the session.

Picking up an early power play in the third, the Wildcats capitalized 90 seconds in as Caleb Minns scored with help from Noah Minns and Mark Perone.

Down by four with over five minutes remaining, Elliot Lake went to the power play and opted to pull their netminder Dominic Boily for an additional skater and were rewarded when Eric Conley fed a cross-ice pass over to Perone who one-timed a shot that deflected off a Blind River defender and in past Blind River starter Garret Boyonoski.

However, the Beavers secured the victory with a late empty net marker from Engel for his second marker of the afternoon.

Caleb Serre, Ryan Nielsen and Riley Nadeau chipped in with two assists apiece to aid the winners cause.

Boyonoski made 31 saves in registering the victory while Boily had 35 stops in the season-ending defeat for the Wildcats.

West Division quarter-final
No. 4 Blind River Beavers vs. No. 5 Elliot Lake Wildcats
Blind River wins best-of-three series 2-0
Game 1: Blind River 5 Elliot Lake 2
Game 2: Blind River 6 Elliot Lake 2