SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The surging Rayside-Balfour Canadians won their fifth straight game and improved to 10-1-1 in their past dozen outings after edging the Soo Eagles 2-1 Friday night in a tightly-contested Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at Pullar Stadium.
Rayside-Balfour pressed the pace in the first period, outshooting Sault Ste. Marie 13-6 in the session, but Eagles’ starter Carter McPhail and his Canadians’ counterpart Brayden Lachance were both equal to the task in keeping it scoreless.
An early two-man advantage in the second stanza allowed Rayside-Balfour to strike first on a Ryan O’Bonsawin power play marker at 2:22.
They then got the eventual game-winner in the latter portion of the session off the stick of Jacob Partridge, who notched his 16th of the season, at 17:04.
Moving on to the third, the Eagles pulled to within one with 2:18 remaining in regulation on a Gianni Vialli man advantage effort.
Nick Techel picked up one of the assists on the play as the NOJHL’s leading scorer extended a point streak to 10 straight outings.
However Canadians’ goaltender Lachance shut the door the rest of the way finishing with 15 third period stops and 37 overall in registering the victory.
McPhail meanwhile made 26 saves in the narrow defeat for the Soo.