Elliot Lake eliminates Rayside-Balfour


Release Date: Thursday, March 24, 2016

Elliot Lake eliminates Rayside-Balfour

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – The Elliot Lake Wildcats got four points apiece from Cole Hepler and Spencer MacLean to help them rout the Rayside-Balfour Canadians 9-2 Thursday evening in Game 5 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at Centennial Arena.

In earning the victory, the Wildcats win the best-of-seven series 4-1 and now move on to the West division final against either the Soo Thunderbirds or Soo Eagles. The T-Birds lead that series 3-0 heading into Game 4 Friday at Pullar Stadium.

Things did look good for the Canadians through one period of play as they notched the lone tally in the session off the stick of NOJHL top defenceman award recipient Kyle Fransen, who connected on the power play at 4:45.

Elliot Lake bounced back in the middle session however scoring three times to go up 3-1 through 40 minutes.

Connor Rider and Hepler had the first two, including first one during a man advantage, while Chad Lopez added the other.

The Wildcats then blew the game open in the third by striking six times.

Hepler’s second of the night and seventh overall started the barrage at 4:11.

Quick efforts, 79 seconds apart, from Nathan Campbell and Liam Blais made it 6-1 before Otis Goldman’s fourth of the postseason midway through the session brought the Canadians closer.

In the end however, Elliot Lake proved to be too much as they finished off the series with a pair of late markers from Artur Terchiyev sandwiched around one from MacLean to wrap things up.

In all, 13 different Wildcats’ skaters picked up at least one point in the triumph.

Elliot Lake netminder Aaron Mackay made 26 saves to record the win.

MacKenzie Savard started for Rayside-Balfour and suffered the loss allowing seven against on 39 attempts while Jessie Morin stopped seven on nine in relief.

NOJHL Playoff Series
West Division semifinal
No. 2 Elliot Lake Wildcats vs. No. 3 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Elliot Lake wins best-of-seven series 4-1

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: Elliot Lake 9 Rayside-Balfour 2