ESPANOLA, Ont. – A well-balanced effort that saw seven different skaters collect multiple points sent the Espanola Paper Kings past the French River Rapids 7-3 Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League matinee at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Visiting French River notched the day’s initial tally, just over five minutes into the match-up off some quick pressure, that eventually saw Kai Clayton bury a shot from the slot.
Espanola countered with an equalizer, moments into a man advantage, as Lucas Signoretti wheeled along the blueline then zipped a pass up to Owen Fergusson, who quickly whipped it past Rapids’ goalkeeper Elijah Grant.
The Paper Kings then took the lead a couple of shifts later thanks to Jack Lynes pulling up on a two-on-one sending a sizzler over the glove of Grant into the top right-hand corner.
Going to work once more late in the first period, some crisp puck movement by Espanola on a five-on-three was finished off by Dario Sacino from the top of the crease as he hammered in his eighth of the campaign at 19:50.
In the second stanza, the Rapids got back to within one near the midway mark of the season when Daniil Grishachev darted down the right wing and snapped a shot that clipped off a Paper Kings defender and eluded netminder Andrew Gaulton.
Regaining their two-goal lead, David Sibilevych collected his first NOJHL goal at 12:34 as he found himself free in front and lifted in a pass over a sprawling Grant.
A solid forecheck on a dump in resulted in a fifth for the home side and saw Lucas Signoretti bury his team-leading 17th tally of the season.
French River made it 5-3 in the third when Dominic Bzdyl put a backhand through Gaulton to pull the guests to within a pair.
Putting the game in command near the midway point of the period, Espanola’s Spencer Horgan started a rush, then finished it off with a tap-in on assists from Atley Gringorten and Sibilevych.
Blake Peters-Davey then sealed the home ice victory with an empty netter in the final minute to wraps things up.
The win sees the Paper Kings improve to 13-6-0-0 overall while the Rapids fell to Rapids 3-15-1-0.