Proficient power play sends Beavers past Thunderbirds

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers rode the strength of four power play goals on their way to earning a 5-1 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds Saturday in a chippy, yet action-packed Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at the Blind River Community Centre.

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, special teams helped the Beavers gain the upper hand in the second stanza as they connected twice on the power play to go up by two entering the third.

Zach Senecal got Blind River going with a man advantage effort at 8:08.

Matthew Murray then put the home side ahead 2-0 later in the second.

Sault Ste. Marie capitalized on a power play of their own in the third to pull within one thanks to Nick Smith at 9:07.

However the Beavers bounced right back and collected their third extra man effort of the evening a couple shifts later when Dylan McMahon scored for a 24th time in 2017-18.

A fourth special teams marker saw Blind River go up by three at 12:18 thanks to Max Khull.

Tristen Bernard then capped off the Beavers’ triumph in the final minute to round out the scoring.

Caleb Serre chipped in with two assists to bolster the Blind River offensive cause.

Cam Burggrabe made 47 saves to pick-up up the decision while Brandon Gordon faced 48 shots in defeat.

With the win, the Beavers improved to 28-16-2-0 and moved to within three points of the Thunderbirds 29-10-2-1 in the race for first place in the NOJHL’s West Division standings.

The Soo does however hold four games in hand on Blind River.