On Thursday January 11th in Chelmsford, Ontario at the Chelmsford Arena, the third place Rayside Balfour Canadians hosted the fourth place Soo Eagles in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League west division action. In the last meeting between the Eagles and Canadians, the Eagles fell to the Canadians 3 – 2 on January 7th in Chelmsford.
33 seconds past the halfway mark of the opening period, Alec Schwab gives the Eagles a 1 – 0 lead with Jake Lamberty and Kyle Quinn adding the contributors on Schwab’s first of the season. Evan Krassey evens the game 1 – 1 for Rayside Balfour 4:21 into the second with Davis Edmunds and Matthew Neault setting up Krassey’s tying goal. With the hosts on a power play at 8:09, Shane Donovan scores the go – ahead goal with Taylor Woolcott and Brandon Atkins notching the helpers on Donovan’s goal. Hayden Clark finds the back of the Canadians net for his third of the season to tie the game 2 – 2 at the 8:41 mark of the middle stanza. Bobby Price drew the assist on Clark’s tying goal. With 3:46 remaining in the period, Kyle Liinamaa sends Rayside Balfour into the second intermission up 3 – 2. Jacob Partridge and Woolcott had the helpers on Liinamaa’s goal.
With the Eagles on a power play and sinking an unassisted goal, Christian Bardarson fires his 27th of the season and the Soo’s third of the contest 5:14 into the final period to pull the visitors even 3 – 3 with the Canadians. Matthew Neault gives Rayside Balfour a 4 – 3 lead at 15:01 of the period to bring the lead to 4 – 3 with Krassey and Donovan registering the assists. Krassey finds Canadian Justin Janowski at 16:59 of the final period to give Rayside Balfour a 5 – 3 win over the Eagles. Soo goaltender Carter McPhail turned away 46 of 51 shots in Chelmsford Thursday evening.
“We played minus two of our top forwards, Palmerio and Rowe and our top defenseman Owen Kipke. Lost two more defense for the game after the first. Hard to fault our effort tonight! We gave up two goals late because of fatigue mistakes. Our goaltending needed to be better tonight and our PP is 1 for 12 in the past 2 games. Saturday’s game is a must for us or we will be digging ourselves a hole we can’t get out of” said Eagles coach Jim Capy.
Next up for the Eagles will be January 13th when the Soo hosts the Canadians at the Pullar Stadium in a 7:00 p.m west division match – up.