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GALLERY: Rayside-Balfour remains unbeaten in 2020 with win in Espanola

ESPANOLA, Ont. – The surging Rayside-Balfour Canadians racked up their sixth straight victory to begin 2020 by getting two goals apiece from Matthew Belanger, Nicholas DeGrazia and Mitchell Martin to help propel them to a 7-2 decision over the Espanola Express in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Friday evening at the Regional Recreation Complex.

After defeating the Express on home ice in Chelmsford Thursday, the Canadians kept coming on this night as they skated out to a 3-0 lead after one period of play.

Belanger began the early outburst by notching the nights opening two tallies while Brett Jacklin supplied a single at 17:12.

Espanola came out quickly in the middle frame and got one back off the stick of captain Mattias Salem as his 14th of the season made 3-1, 31 seconds in.

Up a skater, Mitchell Martin got that back for Rayside-Balfour with a power play marker at 8:20.

However, the Express countered right off the draw to pull back to within two thanks to Zach Trempner.

Back and forth they went in the session as the visitors converted with the man advantage as DeGrazia deposited his 21st to make it 5-2 after two.

DeGrazia then notched tally No. 22 a minute and a half into the third to extend the RBC lead.

The Canadians kept coming and got one more off the stick of Martin to round out the scoring.

Belanger, DeGrazia and Martin have each scored in three straight while DeGrazia has points in seven straight and Martin has etched his name on the score sheet in six consecutive contests.

DeGrazia also finished the night with two assists for a four-point performance and captain Zachary Snow dished out a trio of helpers in the triumph.

Nicholas Heinzle made 27 saves to pick up the win for Rayside-Balfour while Joel Rainville faced 38 shots in defeat for Espanola.