Eagles strike 11 times in romp over Express

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Soo Eagles picked up a team season-high 11 goals Friday night to send them on their way to an 11-4 decision over the Espanola Express in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Pullar Stadium.

Espanola did get off to a good start early thanks to Tristan Poissant, 64 seconds after the opening face-off, as his ninth goal of 2017-18 finished off the work of Matthew Reynolds and Henry Laukkanen.

Sault Ste. Marie came back to tie things up midway through the first period compliments of Austin Rowe while Mikey Butcher put the Eagles up 2-1 at 13:18.

A pair of late strikes saw the Soo tack on two more as Kellan Tharaldson connected on the man advantage with 1:38 seconds left in the session before Jacob Palmerio notched his 20th goal of the season at 19:48.

It was more Eagles to begin the middle session as Palmerio picked up one more just 58 seconds in to make it 5-1.

Isaac Tkachuk got one back for the Express during a power play chance at 9:13 only to see George Orfanos counter for the Soo less than a minute later.

The Eagles kept coming and added their seventh of the night at 17:39 when Christian Bardarson struck shorthanded to notch his league-leading 34th goal and put them up by five after two.

Each side would score once in the opening minute of the third with Jackson Thomas connecting for Espanola while Gianni Vitali countered for the Soo.

Jake Saxton then added to the Eagles’ tally total with his side up a man at 3:17.

Leonidis Mihalochristas’ first NOJHL goal helped the Express notch their fourth of the night, but Nick Techel tacked on two for the Soo to finish off the night’s scoring as he reached the 25-goal goal plateau on the year.

Nine different Soo skaters had multi-point nights, including Rowe and Techel who finished up with four points apiece.

Shane Brancato made 20 saves to pick-up the win while Adam Scott and Ryan Hale combined to face 61 shots in defeat for Espanola.