NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Blind River advances to first-ever NOJHL final with series win over Soo Eagles
BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The impressive season for the Blind River Beavers continues as they earned their way Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s championship series after defeating the Soo Eagles 5-1 Saturday at the Blind River Community Centre to take the West Division Final in five games.
The remarkable turnaround of the Beavers under first-year head coach Kyle Brick sees the club now moving on to their initial NOJHL final where they’ll take on the Powassan Voodoos, who are also making their first league championship appearance.
The schedule for the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy finals will be announced once it is confirmed.
In Saturday’s contest, an early power play helped Blind River strike quickly as Max Khull snapped one past Sault Ste. Marie starter Kade Phipps from the left face-off circle at 2:21.
Roman Gaudet drew the Eagles level at 11:49 as his splendid individual effort saw him slip past a trio of Beavers defenders before firing the equalizer that eluded Aidan Doak in the Blind River goal.
The home side went back in front however close to six minutes later during a five-minute man advantage as Cole Peck whipped one from the point that was deflected in by Anthony Bastianello.
The Beavers added one more while on the extended power play for their third special teams’ strike coming with 34 seconds left in the session when Yianni Liarakos wristed one from the point that sailed into the Soo net.
Zak Lambrecht added to the Blind River cushion six and a half minutes into the middle stanza as he took a Mark Bastianello pass on the left side and buried his chance to make it 4-1.
The potent Beavers’ power play connected for a fourth as defenceman Peck unleased a high blast in the third period that found the top corner to add some insurance.
Khull chipped in with two assists to complete a three-point night.
Doak made 37 stops to post the win for Blind River while Phipps faced 40 shots in a season-ending defeat for the Eagles.
NOJHL West Division Final
No. 2 Blind River Beavers vs. No. 4 Soo Eagles
Blind River wins best-of-seven series 4-1
Game 1: Blind River 2 Soo Eagles 1
Game 2: Blind River 3 Soo Eagles 0
Game 3: Soo Eagles 5 Blind River 0
Game 4: Blind River 4 Soo Eagles 1
Game 5: Blind River 5 Soo Eagles 1