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Well balanced attack leads Blind River past Espanola

BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers scored three times in each period, which included a hat trick from Jack Sampson, as they went on to prevail in a 9-2 triumph over the Espanola Express Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the Blind River Community Centre.

Blind River took early control of the match-up thanks to a pair of Sampson markers in the first frame along with the eventual game-winner from Jordan Kreller.

After Josh Norman made it 4-0 with a second period power play goal, Espanola’s Makenzie MacMillan cut into the deficit midway through the contest.

Tristen Bernard got that back for the Beavers just as a penalty to them was expiring before Jackson Thomas picked up his first NOJHL marker for the Express at 13:34.

Norman added another for Blind River before the session was done to extend the home side’s cushion to four after 40 minutes.

The Beavers then put the game away in the third on a trio of tallies, including two from Zach Senecal in his second contest back in the league after a 33-goal, 60-point campaign in 2016-17 with the Soo Thunderbirds.

Sampson supplied the other offensive effort in the stanza to complete his first hat trick in league play.

Ryan Mulligan and Max Khull chipped in with three assists each for Blind River.

Garret Boyonoski made 32 saves to record the win for the Beavers while Ryan Hale faced 49 shots in defeat for Espanola.