GALLERY: Hjelle posts shutout as Blind River wins in Hearst

HEARST, Ont. – Blind River Beavers netminder stopped all 35 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season in leading his club to a 2-0 triumph over the Hearst Lumberjacks in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Friday at Claude Larose Arena with 727 fans on hand.

Following a scoreless first frame, Blind River would open the scoring late in the second stanza, via the man advantage, as the NOJHL’s leading scorer, Caleb Serre notched his 24th tally of the campaign at 19:15 to give the guests the narrow edge after 40 minutes.

Moving on to the third period, it was a goaltender’s battle right down to the end.

In the late going, Hearst pulled their starter, Liam Oxner, for an extra attacker in an attempt to try and tie it and force overtime, but it was the Beavers who broke out of their own zone that eventually saw Serre slide one into the empty net with 20 seconds to remaining for his 25th overall to secure the road victory.

Nathan Balkwill assisted on both of Serre’s tallies.

Oxner finished with 19 stops in the narrow defeat.

With the win, Blind River moves back into top spot in the NOJHL West, one point ahead of the idle Rayside-Balfour Canadians, while the Lumberjacks stay in third place in the East.

Game Photos courtesy of Marianka Cantin