Eagles hold off late surge to edge Canadians

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – The Soo Eagles picked up a pair of goals, including the game-winner, from Charley Hanewall then withstood a late surge to edge the Rayside-Balfour Canadians 4-3 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Thursday at Chelmsford Arena.

The Eagles were flying in the opening period of the contest as they registered a trio of tallies in just over an 11-minute span to gain the upper hand early.

George Orfanos got Sault Ste. Marie going at 6:42 as he notched his 12th of the campaign while Raf Praysner reached double digits on the season with his 10th a couple shifts later.

The visitors added one more before the session was complete on a Hanewall effort at 17:52 to extend their cushion.

Entering the middle session, Rayside-Balfour got on the board midway through it with Noah Serre striking shorthanded to bring the home side to within two.

It stayed that way until seven and a half minutes into the final frame when Hanewall scored again to make it 4-1 for the Soo.

Canadians` captain Evan Krassey then tallied twice, 14 seconds apart, in the late going to bring his team to within one, but the Eagles held on from there to preserve the road triumph.

Nathan Soilis chipped in with two assists to aid the guests` offensive cause while Soo goaltender Shane Brancatto finished with 39 saves to record the victory.

David Bowen in the Rayside-Balfour net faced 36 shots in a losing cause.