CHELMSORD, Ont. – The Rayside-Balfour Canadians collected a pair of first period goals and it proved to be just enough as they went on to edge the Blind River Beavers 2-1 in a closely-contested Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Sunday at Chelmsford Arena.
Up a skater early, Rayside-Balfour got going as Gavin Brown tallied for a third straight contest to put the hosts in front 1-0 before things were two minutes in.
The Canadians then tacked on another late in the opening period when Dylan Bertrand put in his third with help from Matthew Belanger and Carson McMillan in what proved to be the game-winner.
Blind River cut into their deficit 3:47 into the second stanza as the NOJHL’s leading goal and point-getter Caleb Serre scored for a 23rd time on the campaign and raised his overall point total to 49.
It was a defensive battle the rest of the way with goaltenders Cameron Lamour of Rayside-Balfour and the Beavers’ Jackson Hjelle shutting the door.
Lamour finished with 35 saves to post the win while Hjelle made 21 stops in the narrow setback.
With the result, the Canadians move into a tie for top spot in the NOJHL West with Blind River at 33 points apiece, but the Beavers do hold one game in hand.