NOJHL 2nd round playoff preview: Blind River Beavers vs. Rayside-Balfour Canadians



Release Date: Thursday, March 16, 2017

NOJHL 2nd round playoff preview: Blind River Beavers vs. Rayside-Balfour Canadians

SUDBURY, Ont. – After a breakthrough year that included a franchise record for wins in the season, the Blind River Beavers earned home ice advantage in their best-of-seven series against the Rayside-Balfour Canadians that starts Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Blind River Community Centre.

Blind River ended up second in the NOJHL West with 68 points, which included 32 victories, the most the organization ever had in a single campaign.

Rayside-Balfour was third in the division with 60 points after they went 28-24-3-1 overall.

The Beavers had the edge on the Canadians in goals for at 214 compared to 191 and also boasted fewer against at 162 over the 200 their opponent gave up.

There were nine get togethers between Blind River and Rayside-Balfour during the season with the Beavers holding a narrow 5-4 edge.

Max Khull had two game-winning goals against the Canadians and assisted on another with the RBC deciders were spread out among four skaters.

It was Zak Lambrecht who was the leading point getter for Blind River against Rayside-Balfour as he racked up a dozen points on four goals and eight assists.

Caleb Serre and Max Khull were next with 11 points apiece.

Tristan Simm and Brett Whitehead tied for the Canadians lead in offensive numbers vs. the Beavers with eight each.

They were followed by Cayse Ton, who picked up seven.

Simm’s four goals led the club in that department.

CCM Hockey first team NOJHL all-star Yianni Liarakos led Blind River in scoring throughout the year and also finished tied for second overall in the league with 78 points. His 11 game-winning goals led the NOJHL.

League rookie of the year Kyle Liinamaa paced the Canadians offensively with 53 points with his 41 assists also leading the team. He was also second in NOJHL rookie scoring.

Goaltender Myles Hektor went 3-1 for Blind River in decisions over RBC while Aidan Doak was 2-3.

Cameron Lamour earned two victories for Rayside-Balfour vs. the Beavers against four defeats with Owen Johansson having a triumph in his lone result.

The team that wins this series will meet either the Soo Thunderbirds or Soo Eagles in the West Division final.

West Division semifinal
No. 2 Blind River Beavers vs. No. 3 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Best-of-seven series
Game 1: Thursday, March 16 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 2: Saturday, March 18 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 3: Sunday, March 19 @ Rayside-Balfour 6:30 p.m. (Chelmsford)
Game 4: Thursday, March 23 @ Rayside-Balfour 8 p.m. (Chelmsford)
Game 5*: Saturday, March 25 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 26 @ Rayside-Balfour 6:30 p.m. (Chelmsford)
Game 7*: Tuesday, March 28 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Community Centre)
*- if necessary

With files from NOJHL statistician and historian David Harrison