Canadians edge Express in NOJHL Showcase opener



Release Date: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016

Photo credit: Miranda Zilkowsky

Canadians edge Express in NOJHL Showcase opener

SUDBURY, Ont. – Noah Serre’s second goal of the game coming with 7:05 to go in regulation was the game-winner as the Rayside-Balfour Canadians edged the Espanola Expreee 6-5 in a high-scoring Game 1 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase Tuesday morning at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury.

The two teams came out firing offensively in the opening period with the sides combining seven goals, including four by the Canadians.

Serre started the offensive outburst at 3:34 before Nate Viberg connected on the power play less than a minute later.

The goals kept coming in the session with Cayse Ton, Matthew Neault and Chad Denault connecting for Rayside-Balfour while Dominik Lavergne tallied twice for Espanola.

MacKenzie Aiken tied it for the Express during an early man advantage in the second while teammate Colton Sandboe put Espanola in front at 16:36.

Rayside-Balfour came right back however notching the equalizer 41 seconds later as Kyle Liinamaa celebrated his first NOJHL goal as his tucked in the tying marker on a nifty wrap around that he stuffed passed the pad and skate on Espanola netminder Logan Sawka.

Moving on to the final stanza it was the Canadians that prevailed on Serre’s game-winner.

The Express pulled Sawka late in favour of an extra attacker, but time ran out as Rayside-Balfour earned the two points in the standings.

MacKenzie Savard picked up the win making 25 saves on 27 attempts in nearly 47 minutes of relief.

Owen Johansson started for the Canadians and allowed three against on 10 shots before giving way to Savard.

Newcomer Kyle Alaverdy began in net for Espanola and allowed four in one period of work making 12 saves.

Sawka started in goal to begin the second and suffered the setback handling 29 of the 31 shots he faced.