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Wildcats pull out late win vs. Canadians

ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – Elliot Lake Wildcats’ defenceman Cole Burton’s first goal of the season, coming with just 27 seconds remaining in regulation, helped his side pull out a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Saturday at Centennial Arena.

A late first period power play helped Elliot Lake open the night’s scoring when Tanner Hicks connected in his NOJHL debut to put the home side up 1-0 after 20 minutes.

Rayside-Balfour tied it early in the second stanza while shorthanded with Matthew Dokis-Dupuis putting in his sixth of the season at 1:54.

The Canadians then added another man-down marker a couple shifts later off the stick of Ethan Lavallee.

Eric Conley leveled the proceedings once more though as the Wildcats’ forward found the back of the net for the fourth time in 2018-19 only to see an Eric Eschweiler man advantage marker at 16:27 make it 3-2 for the visitors after two.

Lavallee then connected for Rayside-Balfour 42 seconds in on a power play only to see Caleb Minns counter quickly to bring Elliot Lake back to within one.

Up a skater, the Wildcats drew even at 3:14 with Connor Taylor knocking in his club-leading 12th to make it 4-4.

Then with overtime looming, Burton’s heroics helped the home side complete the comeback late and pick-up the win.

Burton also dished out two assists for Elliot Lake for his first career three-point game.

Dominic Boily made 31 stops to earn the win for the Wildcats David Bowen in the Rayside-Balfour net handled 26 of 31 in the loss for the Canadians.