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Paul Lefebvre - MP for Sudbury
Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019
Directly from road trip to Sudbury Showcase for local NOJHLers
by Randy Pascal

The first true northern road trip of the season would have to qualify as only mildly successful for the Rayside-Balfour Canadians, posting a record of 1-2-0 over the course of the Thanksgiving long weekend.

The Canadians took a while to get rid of their bus legs on Friday night, falling behind 4-0 after two periods of play and eventually dropping a 4-2 decision to the Cochrane Crunch.

The defending league champs scored a pair of goals late in the opening frame, with both Hunter Buzzi and Zach Hayes beating Rayside netminder David Bowen, before adding another just over three minutes into period number two.

Jacob Stos made it back to back goals, on the power play, for Cochrane, with teammate Trent Grimshaw picking up a third midway through the period. The Canadians finally got on the board at 10:34 of the third, as Kyle Liinamaa drilled home a short-handed marker, with assists doled out to Zachary Snow and Bowen.

Jett Leishman wrapped up the scoring in the dying seconds, registering his first goal of the year. While a pair of tallies did not do a whole lot of good for coach Steve Lauzon and the lads in game one, that was all that was needed the next night in Hearst.

Giordano Biondi and Evan Krassey pulled the trigger in the second period and Rayside goaltender Sebastian Plamondon turned aside all 27 shots that he faced, as the Canadians blanked the Lumberjacks 2-0.

A spirited final affair would see the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners improve their season mark to 8-2, defeating the visiting Rayside-Balfour contingent 4-1 Sunday afternoon.

The Canadians opened the scoring just 43 seconds into the middle stanza, with veteran Brady Maltais handling the honours, before the Miners stormed back, securing a 3-1 lead before the end of the frame.

Gregory Trudeau-Paquet, Quinn Schneidmiller and James Scott gave Kirkland Lake a lead they would never relinquish, with Jaren Debolt closing things out with the only goal of period three.

Jean-Marc Brisson earned the start between the pipes for Rayside, but gave way to Bowen at the 6:49 mark of the second, with each puckstopper surrendering a pair of goals apiece.

The net result from the weekend finds Rayside sitting at 5-5-1-1 (12 points), good for third place in the NOJHL West Division, two points behind the Blind River Beavers, and three points ahead of the Elliot Lake Wildcats.

The Canadians move directly into a very busy week, with the NOJHL Showcase in Sudbury on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Canadians are pitted back up against Hearst at 1:40 p.m. tomorrow, battling the Powassan Voodoos Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., and closing out a three in three with a return to Chelmsford to face the Voodoos, this time with a 7:00 p.m. puck drop.

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