Late goal lifts Canadians
Voodoos battle back with three-goal third to double up Rapids
SUDBURY — An Eric Eschweiler power-play goal with 6:15 left in regulation was the decider as the Rayside-Balfour Canadians bounced back to defeat the visiting Hearst Lumberjacks 3-2 in NOJHL play Thursday evening at Chelmsford Arena.
It was one of two NOJHL contests played on Thursday, with the other seeing the Powassan Voodoos battle back to defeat the French River Rapids 4-2.
In Sudbury, it was all Hearst in the opening 20 minutes as the guests tallied twice to gain the early edge on markers from Mathew Eardley and Bradley Golant.
Regrouping in the second stanza, it was Rayside-Balfour’s turn to connect as they notched two markers of their own to level the proceedings with Noah Serre and Ethan Lavallee both finding the back of the net for the Canadians.
The home side then completed the comeback in the back half of the third period, as Eschweiler scored during a man-advantage opportunity to help pull out the win.
Benjamin Hatanaka assisted on the final two Rayside-Balfour goals, as he extended a modest point streak to three games in the process.
With single helpers of their own on the night both the Canadians’ Evan Krassey and the Lumberjacks’ Max Griffioen have recorded at least one point in each of the past seven games.
Shots on goal in the contest favoured Rayside-Balfour by a 30-24 count, with David Bowen picking up the win while Nicholas Tallarico suffered the defeat. VOODOOS 4 RAPIDS 2
Meanwhile, at the Powassan Sportsplex the Voodoos erased a one-goal deficit by notching three unanswered third-period markers to pull out a 4-2 victory over the Rapids.
Entering the contest having gone 2-0-1 in their past three outings, French River got off to a solid start once again by get on the board first as Will Frustaglio made it 1-0 midway through the night’s initial period as he collected his ninth tally of the campaign.
A late man advantage helped the Voodoos draw level before the frame came to a close as Tomas Yachmenev tied it during the power play at 18:58.
Being up a skater in the second period helped the Rapids go back on top, with Frustaglio connecting once more to give him 10 goals on the season at the 4:46 mark.
Moving on to the third period, Powassan leveled the proceedings once again courtesy on Rico Rossi’s first NOJHL goal at 2:12, during another power-play chance.
Specials teams were prevalent yet again, with Ryan Mills picking up the eventual gamewinner during a man advantage with less than five minutes left in regulation.
The Voodoos then secured the home win in the late going, as Brett Shawana put one into an empty net at 19:01 to wrap things up offensively.
Christian Cicigoi made 26 saves to earn the triumph in his fourth straight start and his club’s fifth in succession.
Marshall Frappier faced 38 shots against in the narrow setback for French River.