Eagles hold off Canadians with 5-3 win

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Soo Eagles got two goals apiece from Riley Jensen and Kobe Kellar to help them pull out a 5-3 victory over the visiting Rayside-Balfour Canadians Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Pullar Stadium.

First period play saw Rayside-Balfour notch the lone tally of the first frame with Giordano Biondi collecting his 12th of the campaign at 15:52.

Battling back in the back half of the second stanza, the Eagles struck three times, including two on the power play, to gain the lead heading into the third.

After Keller tied it at 10:55, a Dominic Skrelja man advantage effort put Sault Ste. Marie in front deep in the stanza while Jensen’s 11th made it 3-1 thanks to another power play chance at 18:51.

Battling back in the first half of the final frame, the Canadians clicked twice to tie it on markers from Ethan Lavallee and Kyle Liinamaa.

However, the Eagles regrouped and got the eventual game-winner off the stick of Jensen with 8:08 left in regulation.

The Soo held the one-goal lead until the late going when Keller iced it with an empty netter in the final minute to help secure the home ice decision.

Skrelja added two assists to go along with his goal for a three-point night.

Eagles starter Shane Brancato finished with 24 saves to pick up the win while Sebastien Plamondon in the Canadians net faced 40 attempts in defeat.