ESPANOLA, Ont. – Joshua Rumolo’s third goal of the game, 5:40 into the third period, was the difference as the Espanola Paper Kings rallied for a 7-6 come from behind victory versus the French River Rapids in a high-scoring Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Sunday matinee at the Regional Recreation Complex.
A fast start helped French River take an early lead as Maksim Tugolukov lifted an attempt from the top of the crease past Espanola starter Andrew Gaulton just 20 seconds into the contest.
The Rapids then capitalized on a turnover to go up by a pair when Matthew Campanella put a pass across to Tugolukov who whipped it in before Gaulton could get across to keep it out.
Answering with one on the power play, Graydon Guthrie dropped a pass back to Lucas Signoretti, who ripped his team-leading 38th goal past netminder Matthew Perdue.
Countering a couple of shifts later, Josh Russell picked up his 20th tally for French River as he was left with a tap-in following another Espanola giveaway.
Pulling back to within one before the first intermission, the Paper Kings’ Rumolo found himself alone to the left of Perdue and quickly buried one short side.
Moving to the second period, Espanola tied it less than two minutes in when Jonathan Lush knocked in a deflection off a Spencer Horgan shot from the right point.
Back and forth they went with French River going back on top on a nice play from Russell from behind the net as he fed Connor Picard in the slot where he quickly connected.
The Rapids’ Tugolukov then notched his hat trick moments into a power play as he skated out from in deep and beat Gaulton from the right side.
That resulted in a goaltending change, with back-up Creedon Dyck entering the contest for Espanola.
Continuing to trade markers, Rumolo made it 5-4 as he cranked a one-timer from left point after being teed up by Horgan, but the guests came right back as Russell went in alone on a breakaway and finished off his second of the day.
An 11th goal in the contest was provided by the Paper Kings’ Blake Peters-Davey as he redirected in a Justin Seguin point blast at 17:18.
Knotting the score once more, Espanola clicked on a two-man advantage early into the third on another by Signoretti, who hammered one from the right circle at 1:19.
Rumolo then completed his three-goal performance as he finished off a Signoretti set-up as the Paper Kings took their first lead of the game with 14:20 to go.
This turned out to be the 13th and final marker of the contest.
With the win, Espanola improved to 29-22-2-3 overall while with the loss, French River dipped to 8-45-2-1.