CHELMSFORD, Ont. – In a fifth-straight one-goal game between the two clubs, George Orfanos of the Soo Eagles scored on a partial breakaway 30 seconds into overtime to lift his side to a 3-2 victory over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Thursday at Chelmsford Arena.
The visiting Eagles would also strike first in the contest when Ryan Dacks collected his fifth marker of the campaign with help from Tommy Buis and Malik Ali.
Rayside-Balfour answered though in the final minute of the first period thanks to a Samual Vachon goal at 19:33.
The Canadians then notched the lone tally of the second stanza as defenceman Ethan Lavallee picked up his first of the season with under five minutes remaining in the frame.
Sault Ste. Marie tied it once more nearly three minutes into the third when Dominic Skrelja’s 10th levelled the proceedings.
The Eagles then converted quickly in OT as Orfanos scooped up an errant back pass near his own blueline then outraced a Canadians defender to the net where he snapped the game-winner into the top right hand corner over the glove of netminder Nicholas Heinzle to end it.
Shane Brancato made 39 saves to record the win while Heinzle’s 33 stops helped earn a point for the hosts.
The outcome sees the Eagles improve to 12-10-1-2 on the year while Rayside-Balfour slips to 16-7-2-0, but moves into top spot in the NOJHL West Division, one point clear of the Blind River Beavers, who do however hold two games in hand on the Canadians.