Rayside-Balfour rolls to 12th straight victory after thumping Thunderbirds

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The hottest team in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League racked up their 12th consecutive victory Saturday as they went on to thump the Soo Thunderbirds 7-1 at John Rhodes Community Centre.

Breaking a scoreless game late in the opening period, Rayside-Balfour broke the deadlock at 17:51 thanks to Giordano Biondi as he notched his 10th tally of the campaign.

The Canadians then took control with a three-goal outburst in the middle session with Nicholas DeGrazia, Biondi and Matthew Belanger all connecting in the frame as the guests took a 4-0 lead into the second intermission.

After Gregory Arnburg scored on the power play midway through the third for his first of the season to extend the RBC cushion, Tyler Savard of Sault Ste. Marie would break Rayside-Balfour goaltender David Bowen’s shutout bid with 6:59 remaining in regulation to make it 5-1.

The visitors did add later markers from Brett Jacklin and Mitchell Martin to secure the road triumph and run their winning streak to a dozen outings in succession.

A three-assist night from Gavin Brown contributed to the triumph.

Bowen finished with 37 saves to pick up the win.

Soo starter Same Evola allowed three against on 14 attempts and suffered the loss while Dakota Meyer handled 15 of 19 in nearly 31 minutes of relief.

Game Photos: Bob Davies