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GALLERY: Canadians continue torrid pace with win over Thunderbirds

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – The hottest team in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League continue their torrid pace by racking up their 10th consecutive triumph as they defeated the Soo Thunderbirds 7-3 Sunday night at Chelmsford Arena.

Oliver Smith got the home side going 5:43 into the contest as he connected on the power play.

Smith and Gavin Brown then tallied just over a minute apart midway through the first period to put them up by three.

Picking up one of the assists on the Brown goal was Nicholas DeGrazia, who extended a point streak to 11 straight outings while he also got on the score sheet in 16 of his past 17 outings.

Sault Ste. Marie did get one back late in the stanza when Cooper Smyl collected his 15th of the campaign.

In the middle frame, DeGrazia reached the 25-goal plateau at 6:22 to put the hosts back up by three.

The Thunderbirds drew closer once more before the period was complete thanks to Colton Hayes half way through the game as he scored for a second straight night.

Moving to the third, Rayside-Balfour put the game away with tallies less than a minute apart thanks to Smith, who finished off a hat trick during a man advantage and Mathieu Dokis-Dupuis at even strength.

Action in the third period saw Mitchell Martin cap off a four-point night as he struck shorthanded to go with three earlier assists at 16:20 to make it 7-2 RBC.

Still up a skater though, the Soo rounded out the scoring with a man advantage effort as he picked up his 15th moments later to wrap things up offensively.

Rayside-Balfour netminder David Bowen made 36 stops in the victory as the Canadians improved to 10-0 in 2020.

Thunderbirds starter Sam Evola faced 36 shots in defeat.