Photos: Chelsea Solomon
ESPANOLA, Ont. – A Caleb Minns man advantage marker near the midway point of the match-up proved to be the game-winner as the Blind River Beavers went on to edge the Espanola Express 2-1 Friday in a tightly-contested Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at the Regional Recreation Complex.
The visiting Beavers also kicked off the night’s scoring near the seven-minute mark of the first period when Ethan Pegg lifted an attempt through a maze in front from inside the left side of the blueline that was redirected by Alexander Tingay in the slot for his initial NOJHL tally.
Power plays helped each side connect once in the second stanza, beginning with the Minns effort for Blind River at 8:33, followed by Adam Shillinglaw of Espanola a couple of minutes later.
Minns’ marker came as he moved in from the left point and waited for a screen to develop before zipping one past Express netminder Patrick Boivin.
As for Shillinglaw’s goal, his first in the NOJHL, it came following some nice puck movement by the home side as he took a feed a fired a low shot under a diving Blind River Jeremi Jeremi Delaquis in the Beavers’ net.
On a man advantage late in regulation and with Boivin out for an extra attacker to have two additional skaters, Espanola pressed to tie it and force overtime, and had a number of chances to do so, but Delaquis held firm to secure the road victory.
In all, the Blind River stopper made 26 saves on the night in a winning cause while Boivin saw 34 attempts put his way in the narrow defeat.