Photos: Helene Rancourt
BLIND RIVER, Ont. – The Blind River Beavers notched a pair of power play markers and successfully handled a lengthy two-man disadvantage to help send them on their way to a 4-2 triumph over the Elliot Lake Red Wings in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Tuesday night at the Blind River Community Centre.
The evening initial tally came off some impressive stickhandling by Beavers’ rookie forward Thomas Dimoulas and saw register his first NOJHL goal as powered around an Elliot Lake defender on the left wing and ripped a shot high past Red Wings’ starter Cameron Smith, just over seven minutes into the proceedings.
Continuing to set the pace, the hosts tacked on another at 16:25 when Gavin Rocha made a crisp short-range pass from the right of the net that found Evan Fraccaro at the top of the crease, where he quickly redirected the puck in for his fourth of the season.
Action midway through the middle stanza saw Elliot Lake have a great chance to get on the board as Zachary Vickerman dashed down the ice on a clear-cut breakaway, but Blind River goalkeeper Gavin Disano patiently outwaited him and made a solid stop.
The visitors did connect at 13:19 of the session though as Alex Antoine won a race to a bouncing puck, then proceeded to wheel along the right wing boards before driving to the net and neatly lifting one over Disano’s glove.
Getting that back before the second intermission, the Beavers’ Ethan Pegg wired one over Smith’s blocker from the right circle while his club was on a man advantage.
The Red Wings picked up a lengthy five-on-three late in the period, but could not solve the Blind River penalty killers, that featured multiple shot blocks by forward Jesse Dupuis.
Up a skater themselves, early in the final frame, the home side extended their cushion at 3:09 off some nice movement and saw Joshua Thompson tip in a rising wrist shot from Caleb Minns while parked in front.
Elliot Lake did get one final marker back in the late going as Evan Dantas sent one through a maze from point that found its way through with 1:37 remaining, just moments before a Beavers’ infraction was nearing expiration.
With the win, Disano improved to 4-0 on the campaign, on a night where he collected his 20th league victory, as his team raised their record to 6-1-0-0 overall, while taking sole possession of first place overall in the NOJHL standings.
In defeat, the Red Wings dropped to 3-5-0-0.