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Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018
Winning tough and winning easy
by Randy Pascal

One would never want to read too much into a lopsided win over the Espanola Express, but the Rayside-Balfour Canadians are surely crossing their fingers and toes, hoping to have found at least one answer to their offensive woes.

Ex-OHLer Giordano Finoro netted no less than five goals in his NOJHL debut, leading the Canadians to a 9-2 win over the Express. Kyle Liinamaa, Ethan Lavallee, Baldino Aiello and Darcy Winkler chipped in with one goal apiece as the Rayside crew deal with a tough stretch of the schedule, one that sees them playing seven of their first eight games away from home.

Mackenzie Savrd turned aside 32 shots for the win, but was substantially more prominent two days later, as the Canadians went to double overtime before returning home with a 2-1 win opposite the Blind River Beavers.

Savard finished the contest with 52 saves, earning first star honours. Blind River opened the scoring early in period two, as Max Khull found the back of the net, with helpers dished out to Owen Robinson and Nick Richards.

The visitors waited until five minutes into the third period to draw even as Winkler finished off the efforts of Brandon Atkins and Noah Serré. The game-winning goal would come courtesy of Evan Krassey, burying a pass from Liinamaa just over a minute into the three on three segment of hockey.

Rayside-Balfour will play only their second home game of the season Thursday night in Chelmsford, welcoming the Soo Thunderbirds to town, and travelling north on Friday to meet up with the Timmins Rock.

All 12 NOJHL teams are in Sudbury next week, site of the NOJHL Showcase being hosted at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex on October 10th and 11th. Each team will play two games, with matches running from 11:15 a.m. right through to 9:00 p.m. on both days.

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