Rayside-Balfour rolls over Espanola

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – A six-goal second period broke open a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Thursday evening at Chelmsford Arena as the Rayside-Balfour Canadians rolled to a one-sided 11-0 victory over the Espanola Express.

Rayside-Balfour was quick to get on the board in this one as Evan Krassey collected his 20th goal of the season just 20 seconds after the opening face-off.

Kyle Liinamaa then extended the home side’s cushion late in the first period as he notched his 19th tally of the campaign at 18:01.

The Canadians clicked again in the opening moments of the middle frame off the stick of Ryan O’Bonsawin with teammate Christian Gaudreau then making it 4-0 a couple shifts later.

Liinamaa’s second of the night and 20th overall upped the cushion at 3:18 while Baldino Aiello and Gaudreau continued the onslaught to put them up by seven with still a half of game to play.

Canadians’ captain Matthew Neault got into the act at 13:11 to go along with three assists he picked up to aid their offensive cause.

Moving on to the third, Jacob Partridge put in his 14th on the year before Krassey added another before Noah Serre rounded out the scoring in the final minute to complete the romp.

Liinamaa chipped in with a couple of assists to join Neault with four-point nights.

Jean-Marc Brisson finished with 23 stops to pick-up the win in net for Rayside-Balfour while also earning his second shutout overall.

Adam Scott started for Espanola and suffered the loss while Ryan Hale also saw time in goal for the Express as the duo were blitzed for a combined 69 shots against in defeat.

The victory moves the Canadians to within a point of a share of top spot in the tightly-contested NOJHL’s West Division as they improved to 29-13-2-1 on the season.

Photos courtesy of Rob and Caleigh Fera:  www.sudburylight.ca