Liinamaa notches only goal; Lachance posts shutout as Canadians blank Beavers

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – A Kyle Liinamaa power play goal at 13:19 of the third period proved to be the lone marker of the night while Brayden Lachance stopped all 40 shots he faced to record the shutout as the Rayside-Balfour Canadians edged the Blind River Beavers 1-0 Friday in a tightly contested Game 5 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at Chelmsford Arena.

Rayside-Balfour now leads this best-of-seven affair 3-2 with Game 6 slated for Sunday evening in Blind River at 7:30 p.m.

The stellar goaltending in the series featuring Lachance of Rayside-Balfour and Garret Boyonoski of the Beavers continued as they kept the contest scoreless through the first two frames in the match-up.

Picking up a two-man advantage in the final frame, Blind River killed off the first minor penalty, but Liinamaa connected moments later with the remaining power play as he fired home what would be the game-winner past the Beavers’ goalkeeper.

Lachance did the rest to post the shutout to give the Canadians the series lead while also extending a goalless streak against Blind River to 98 minutes and 24 seconds.

The marker for Liinamaa gives him a team-best three in the series while also topping the team in playoff points with five.

Boyonoski made 41 saves in the narrow defeat for Blind River.

NOJHL Playoffs

Series E
West Division semifinal
No. 1 Rayside-Balfour Canadians vs. No. 4 Blind River Beavers
Rayside-Balfour leads best-of-seven series 3-2
Game 1: Blind River 4 Rayside-Balfour 1
Game 2: Rayside-Balfour 3 Blind River 2
Game 3: Blind River 8 Rayside-Balfour 1
Game 4: Rayside-Balfour 3 Blind River 2 (OT)
Game 5: Rayside-Balfour 1 Blind River 0
Game 6: Sunday, March 25 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game7*: Tuesday, March 27 @ Rayside-Balfour 5:30 p.m. (Chelmsford Arena)
*- if necessary

Photos courtesy of Rob and Caleigh Fera: