Photos: Helene Rancourt
BLIND RIVER, Ont. – After giving up the game’s initial goal, the Blind River Beavers answered back with eight of their own as they went on to defeat the Elliot Lake Red Wings 8-1 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Tuesday night at the Blind River Community Centre.
The visiting Red Wings would open the scoring midway through the first period when they broke out of their own zone on an odd-man rush that eventually saw Ethan Mercer jam one past Beavers’ netminder Gavin Disano during a goal-mouth scramble.
Blind River came back to tie it at 11:56 when Caleb Minns put a play back to the point where Owen Arnold snapped a shot towards the target that was tipped by Meguire Naughton and got by Elliot Lake goalkeeper Sean Guerin.
Still tied into the second stanza, a fortuitous bounce off one of the stanchions along the side glass helped the home side take the lead.
It came about on Adam Ferreira’s harmless looking dump in from centre ice that was heading towards the corner, but changed direction and caught a helpless Guerin going out of his net as the puck bounced the other way and into the open side.
The Beavers then went up by two with half a contest to play on a Josh Tomasi effort where he jumped into the circle and quickly whipped one in, immediately off a draw won by Naughton.
Blind River added another before the second intermission when Jack Robinson skated down the right wing and put one upstairs for his fourth of the campaign.
Finishing it off in the final frame, the Beavers tallied twice in the opening minute to put the secure the result.
The initial marker quickly off the faceoff, as while on a man advantage to begin the session, the play was pushed ahead and saw Gavin Rocha dart in and snap a shot short side on Guerin seven seconds in.
Connecting again, Caleb Minns collected his 29th goal of 2022-23 as he was sent in alone and neatly put his chance high over the glove that resulted in the end of Guerin’s night in favour of back-up Cameron Smith, who went the rest of the way.
Not done there, the hosts tacked on two more later in the period to round out the scoring.
Andrey Manov set-up his club’s seventh on the night when his cross-crease feed found Joseph Rotilio, who lifted in his first NOJHL goal at 10:15.
Connecting yet again moments later, Matthew Green knocked in a backhand from in close in depositing a rebound off a Minns’ chance from the high slot to wrap things up offensively.
The win for Disano was the 10th in his past 11 starts, in helping the Beavers improve to 39-11-2-2 on the season while in defeat, the Red Wings dropped to 17-34-1-2 overall.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel