ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – The rolling Rayside-Balfour Canadians stayed unbeaten in 2020 as they skated to their ninth straight win of the new year as they edged the Elliot Lake Wildcats 5-4 in overtime Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Centennial Arena.
Action in the opening 20 minutes saw Elliot Lake hold the edge as they got goals from Logan Gallagher and Jordan Bechtold to give them a 2-0 lead through one.
The teams traded man advantage markers in the first half of the second stanza with Benjamin Hatanaka connecting on the power play for Rayside-Balfour while Tysne Stranski countered for the Wildcats.
A couple of goals in quick order helped the Canadians draw level after two periods compliments of Oliver Smith and Gavin Brown to knot the affair at 3-3.
Third period play saw Noah Bradburn put Elliot Lake back on top early, only to see Brown notch a shorthanded effort at 8:55 to help send it to extra time.
In the OT, Rayside-Balfour captain Zachary Snow proved to be the hero as the RBC defenceman buried the game-winner at 3:49 to help extend his club’s winning streak.
Smith and Nicholas DeGrazia dished out two assists to aid the Canadians cause while Stranski had a pair of helpers for the Wildcats.
The offensive efforts by DeGrazia now gives him points in 10 straight outings.
Rayside-Balfour had a big lead in shots on net, 59-26 overall, with Nicholas Heinzle getting the win while Jonathan Lemaire’s efforts helped Elliot Lake earn a point in the narrow setback.
Game Photos courtesy of Northern Exposures Photography