NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Sunday, March 13, 2016
Eagles complete sweep of Express
ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Soo Eagles jumped out to a five-goal first period lead and never looked back as they defeated the Espanola Express 10-2 Sunday afternoon in Game 2 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division quarter-final at the Regional Recreation Complex.
With the result the Eagles win the best-of-three series 2-0 and will now advance to take on the No. 1 seeded Soo Thunderbirds in NOJHL West Division semifinal action.
The schedule for that best-of-seven affair will be announced once finalized.
In Sunday’s contest, it was over early as Sault Ste. Marie scored early and often in the opening 20 minutes starting with markers from Bradley Hofelich and Chris Murphy’s fourth of the series.
Jacob Palmerio made it 3-0 at 8:14 of the session while Roman Gaudet added one via the power play four minutes later.
Gord Helmuth then capped off the Eagles first period outburst with 6:23 left in the period.
The Soo kept in going in the latter stages of the middle stanza striking three times in a 38-second span on tallies by Gaudet, Reed Gregory and Helmuth before Espanola got on the board with 53 seconds left in the session via Shane Snow’s man advantage effort.
Riley Nadeau added one more for the Express, on the power play, at 14:47 of the final frame before Gaudet’s third of the day 48 seconds later and a second from Murphy in the final minute rounded out the scoring.
Gaudet also had two assists for a five-point day while Gregory had a trio of helpers to go with his goal.
Cam Bruggrabe started for the Eagles and picked up the victory stopping 25 of 26 in nearly 42 minutes of work.
Jack Deines came in for the Soo early in third and finished up with 13 saves on 14 attempts in relief.
Kevn Labelle suffered the setback for Espanola seeing 49 pucks fired his way in the season-ending defeat for the Express.
NOJHL quarter-final playoff schedule
No. 4 Soo Eagles vs. No. 5 Espanola Express
Eagles win best-of-three series 2-0
Game 1: Eagles 11 Express 0
Game 2: Eagles 10 Express 2