Canadians withstand late Eagles rally to pull out 4-3 triumph

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – The Rayside-Balfour Canadians picked up three points apiece from Matt Neault and Evan Krassey to build up a lead on the Soo Eagles before holding off a late rally in a 4-3 triumph in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Thursday at Chelmsford Arena.

Nick Techel gave Sault Ste. Marie a solid start as he notched his 13th goal of the season just 23 seconds into the contest to give the visitors an early lead.

However the Canadians came right back with the equalizer during a power play chance with Neault tying it at 1:39.

Krassey put Rayside-Balfour up 2-1 near the four-minute mark of the middle frame before Neault connected again on the power play at 10:49 to make it 3-1 after 40 minutes.

In the final frame Krassey set-up Jordan Spadafore at 7:55 as the Canadians extended their cushion to three.

Continuing to battle, the Eagles clawed their way back into it at 15:41 on a Jonathan Lakhani effort while teammate Hayden Clark moved the Soo to within one with 1:48 remaining in regulation.

However Rayside-Balfour stiffened up defensively in the final moments to hold on for the victory.

Shots on goal in the match-up were 36 apiece with MacKenzie Savard posting the win while Carter McPhail suffered the defeat.

Photo courtesy of Rob and Caleigh Fera: