Canadians edge Express

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – An Ethan Lavallee power play goal midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Rayside-Balfour Canadians went on to edge the Espanola Express 3-2 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Thursday at Chelmsford Arena.

The Canadians also opened the night’s scoring with the lone tally of the opening frame as Matthew Dokis-Dupuis notched his seventh of the campaign at 13:52.

Espanola would draw level deep into the middle stanza with Zachary Matyasik converting during a man advantage opportunity to knot the affair at 1-1 after 40 minutes.

Rayside-Balfour came out quickly in the third to regain the lead thanks to Kyle Liinimaa’s eighth at the 52-second mark.

The Express countered once more to even it at 2-2 at 2:25 as Diego Pasula supplied his second to bring the visitors even.

However, the Canadians went back in front for good with the man advantage as Lavallee buried the difference maker with nine and a half minutes remaining.

Sebastien Plamondon made 26 saves to record the win for Rayside-Balfour as he improved to 4-1 early in his tenure with the Canadians while lowering his goals-against average to a stingy 1.38 and raising his save percentage to a solid .957.

Joel Rainville was strong in defeat for Espanola finishing with 43 stops in the narrow setback.