BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers saw Ryan Peck tally twice as part of a 5-2 triumph over the Elliot Lake Wildcats in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Wednesday evening at the Blind River Community Centre.
Elliot Lake were the first on the board in the contest as Eric Conley scored for a third consecutive outing as he racked up his 17th of the campaign at 17:39.
Blind River bounced right back just 28 seconds later though with Peck also notching his 17th to knot the affair at 1-1 after one while giving him points in five straight games vs. the Wildcats this season.
Action in the middle session saw the Beavers take the lead four minutes in as Sam Harris finished off the work of teammates Ryan Mulligan and Nathan Balkwill, who picked up his second assist of the night.
The next shift saw the home side add another with Ethan Graham making it 3-1 at 44:43, which turned out to be the eventual game-winner.
Battling back, Elliot Lake pulled back to within one past the midway point of the second stanza thanks to Noah Minns, who scored for a 19th time in 2018-19 as the NOJHL’s rookie scoring leader extended a modest point streak to four games in succession.
Trading tallies, Blind River’s Peck picked up another at 12:54 to restore their two-goal cushion and put them up 4-2 through two.
They then saw their captain Caleb Serre help secure to victory as he rounded out the scoring in the latter stages of the third period.
Ryan Nielsen joined Balkwill with a two-assist evening to aid the Beavers offensively.
Jackson Hjelle made 28 saves to record the win for Blind River while Wildcats starter Dominic Boily faced 43 shots in defeat.
With the result, it determined that Elliot Lake will finish fifth in the NOJHL’s West Division standings are will meet either Blind River, the Soo Eagles or possibly the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in the opening round best-of-three play-in survivor series beginning next month.
The Beavers and Eagles are now tied for third in the division with 53 points apiece while the second place Canadians have 61 points to their credit.
Game Photos courtesy of Crystal Serré