Canadians hold off Eagles rally to record to 4th consecutive victory

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – The Rayside-Balfour Canadians skated out to three first period goals and then withstood a Soo Eagles comeback bid before going on to take a 4-2 decision Sunday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Chelmsford Arena.

Ethan Lavallee started the early offensive outburst for Rayside-Balfour 73 seconds into the contest.

The home side then tacked on another at 7:46 on a Taylor Woolcott effort while Lavallee notched another in the frame four minutes later.

After a scoreless middle stanza, Sault Ste. Marie took advantage of a power play that carried over into the third when Kobe Keller collected his ninth marker of the season at 43 seconds.

Continuing to battle back, the Eagles moved to within one with 2:53 to go on a Christian Bardarson, but the Canadians secured the win late thanks to a Matthew Neault empty net effort in the final minute to wrap things up.

Lavallee assisted on that final goal to complete a three-point night.

MacKenzie Savard finished up with 31 stops in picking up the win for Rayside-Balfour who earned their fourth straight triumph.

Carter McPhail started for the Soo, but was replaced by Shane Brancato after the third Canadians marker allowing the three against on seven attempts. Brancato was spotless in relief handling all 19 shots fired his way.