Canadians strike for 10 to force Game 5



Release Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Canadians strike for 10 to force Game 5

CHELMSFORD, Ont. – When they certainly needed it, the Rayside-Balfour Canadians offense was firing on all cylinders Wednesday as they reached double digits in thumping the Elliot Lake Wildcats 10-4 in Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at Chelmsford Arena.

With the win, the Canadians staved off elimination, but still trail the best-of-seven series 3-1 heading into Game 5 Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at Centennial Arena in Elliot Lake.

Needing a victory to keep their season alive, Rayside-Balfour struck quickly in the contest as affiliate Damian Giroux notched his first NOJHL goal 41 seconds in.

The Canadians came right back and added another at 1:47 thanks to Connor Brown to take an early 2-0 lead, which resulted in Elliot Lake replacing their goaltender, Aaron Mackay, in place of Al Rogers.

Rayside-Balfour continued to press and added another before the first frame was half complete when Kyle Fransen picked up his second marker of the series at 9:34.

Elliot Lake did get one back three minutes later from Ty Hannaford however the home side countered on Otis Goldman’s third of the playoffs to make it 4-1 Canadians after one period of play.

Mackay re-entered the game for the Wildcats to begin the middle stanza, but the offensive onslaught continued for Rayside-Balfour early with Danny Lepage finishing off a Goldman feed at 1:37.

Liam Blais pulled the Wildcats back to within three 10 minutes later with his second of the postseason.

However the Canadians kept coming and picked up two more late before period was complete on markers supplied by Brown and Bradley Chenier.

Chenier’s second of the night produced one more goal for Rayside-Balfour at 5:23 of the third while Makenzie MacMillan added yet another a minute and a half later.

After the Wildcats Cole Hepler and the Canadians MacMillan traded tallies 26 seconds apart, Hannaford’s second of the evening for Elliot Lake at 15:37 rounded out the scoring.

MacKenzie Savard made 34 saves to post the victory for Rayside-Balfour.

Mackay and Rogers combined to face 38 shots with Rogers suffering the loss in relief.

NOJHL Playoff Series
West Division semifinal
No. 2 Elliot Lake Wildcats vs. No. 3 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Elliot Lake leads best-of-seven series 3-1

Game 1: Elliot Lake 3 Rayside-Balfour 0
Game 2: Elliot Lake 5 Rayside-Balfour 4 (OT)
Game 3: Elliot Lake 4 Rayside-Balfour 3
Game 4: Rayside-Balfour 10 Elliot Lake 4
Game 5: Thursday, March 24 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
Game 6*: Saturday, March 26 @ Rayside-Balfour 7:30 p.m. (Chelmsford)
Game 7*: Tuesday, March 29 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
*-if necessary