Thriller in Blind River

February 5, 2017

BLIND RIVER — Fast-paced, edge-of-the-seats action with a total of 85 shots on goal. And last-minute heroics to top it off as the Blind River Beavers delighted a Saturday-night crowd with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Elliot Lake Wildcats here at the Memorial Community Centre.

Staring a looming 1-0 defeat straight in the eyes, the Beavers tied the game with 31 seconds to play in the third period. And not done with the last-minute drama, the Beavers won the game outright with 15 seconds remaining in overtime.

Yianni Liarakos was the hero for the Beavers tallying both the tieing and winning goals with quick-release shots that whizzed past Wildcats goalie Matt Kostiw. The goals for Liarakos were his 30th and 31st of the season.

Ty Hannaford had given Elliot Lake a 1-0 lead with just over six minutes to play in the first period, a goal that looked as though it might stand as the game winner until Liarakos clicked as the clock ticked.

The Beavers barely made it to the final minute of the third period down 1-0 as they had to kill off a pair of late, questionable penalties that gave the Wildcats successive power plays. But despite some good chances, Elliot Lake could not beat Blind River goalie Aidan Doak.

Blind River was full marks for the victory. Despite being out-shot 47-38, the Beavers had the better scoring chances and were still going strong in the third period and overtime while Elliot Lake was showing noticeable signs of fatigue.

Forward-turned-defenseman Anthony Pullicino turned in a standout effort on the Blind River blueline, logging major minutes with regulars out of the lineup.

The win for the Beavers improved their record to 27-17-3, good for 57 points and second place in the West Division of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Playing an effective road game, the fifth-place Wildcats got a point from the OT setback and bumped their record to 18-21-7.


…It was my first time in Blind River for a hockey game in a few years and the lighting and comfort improvements made to the Memorial Community Centre were noticeable. And it was nice to see so many familiar faces among the long-time supporters of the Beavers.

…Attendance for the game was announced at 279 but it appeared as though there were 350 or more fans at the well-played, noisy match.

…With my wife, Mary, and family friends Kevin and Lisa Caruso, we enjoyed a fabulous pre-game, prime-rib dinner at Pier 17. We also stayed overnight at the comfy, cozy Pier 17.

…We also checked in for a few pre-game beers at one of my favourite haunts, the Riverside Tavern, and enjoyed the company of co-owner/bartender Ken Kennedy.

PHOTO: Blind River celebrates one of the late-game goals in Saturday’s victory over Elliot Lake.

What you think about “Thriller in Blind River”

  1. Happy You enjoyed Blind River !!
    Great Review as usual .
    Blind River Fans were definitely in the House last night and Yianni Liarakos certainly added to the excitement.

    ” Go Beavers Go”

  2. It was an exciting game for us Beavers fans. It always is when we play Elliot. We have to compete with their fans & their bells.

  3. I imagine they still have your special chair at the Riverside eh Randy??? Glad you had a goodtime and enjoyed our new and improved Beavers.

  4. You should come here more often Randy we luv it when you come to Town to watch the Beavers and vissit our little Town!

  5. Speaking of Playoff format, apparently a bunch of Beaver fans were saying the Elliot Lake Wildcats are out…. this is not true if current standings were to stick we would be entering a mini series of best of 3. Then the winner of that series plays the Top team and 2nd and 3rd duke it out….. we have been in a constant state of improvement 🙂 we aren’t going anywhere without a fight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *