KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – A Gavin Brown goal 18 seconds into overtime was the difference as the surging Rayside-Balfour Canadians pulled out their seventh Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory in a row Saturday in an entertaining 5-4 victory over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
A free-wheeling opening frame saw each team tally twice to knot the affair at 2-2 after 20 minutes.
Matthew Belanger got the Canadians going 75 seconds into the contest with help from Mitchell Martin and Graeme Siren.
The assist by Martin helped him extend a consecutive game point streak to six in the process.
Kirkland Lake first-year forward Landis Antonic tied it at 12:58 as he tallied for a third straight outing.
Moving on to later in the frame, Oliver Smith put the visitors back on top at 17:22 with his fifth, only to see Nick Wagner answer for the home side before the session was complete.
The Gold Miners then took the lead midway through the middle stanza on Seth Coulter’s first NOJHL goal.
Back and forth they went with the Canadians’ Samuel Vachon knotting the affair at 3-3.
Not done there, RBC went back in front at 15:34 with Belanger burying his second of the evening.
Continuing to score, Kirkland Lake levelled the proceedings once more as Connor Van Weelie tallied for a second-straight game, early in the third, while also running a modest point streak to three games in knotting the affair and help send it to extra time.
Skating three aside to begin OT, Brown made quick work to end it as he took cross-ice feed from Nicholas DeGrazia, kicked the puck up with his skate, and chipped the game-winner underneath Gold Miners netminder Ryan McNair to end it.
A 38-save effort helped David Bowen earn the decision in goal for the Canadians, winning his fifth straight start, while McNair saw 35 shots in defeat, while earning a point in the setback.
Game Photos courtesy of CapturingTheMoment.ca