ESPANOLA, Ont. – A solid return by Espanola Paper Kings’ goalkeeper Andrew Gaulton helped his side crown the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 7-1 Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Battling back to return following a lengthy injury, Gaulton made his initial appearance in the Paper Kings’ line-up since back on October 4.
A solid forecheck by Espanola’s Atley Gringorten helped the hosts get off to a solid start as his diligence behind the net put a play on front when Kyle den Ouden swooped in a snapped one by Kirkland Lake netminder Ethan Barron.
Adding another at 8:30, the Paper Kings carried the play and saw Lucas Signoretti and Benjamin Lacroix combine to set-up Jonathan Lush, who made no mistake from in close for his 11th tally of the campaign.
Taking their two-goal lead into the second period, Espanola tallied twice early to make it 4-0 before the session was two minutes in.
Signoretti sent a feed across to Graydon Guthrie who converted from in close at 1:20 before Blake Peters-Davey scored moments later as he steered in a Jack Lynes pass.
Kirkland Lake got on the board five and a half minutes into the stanza, thanks to Alex McDonald, who stuffed in a backhand off a Mason Brownlee chance.
Going back up by four, Lacroix provided his 12th of the campaign at 7:31 when he made a dash up ice and proceeded to tuck one between the legs of Barron.
Guthrie’s second of the night helped put the game away in the third as he cashed in on a rebound of his own chance moments before.
Lynes then rounded out the scoring as he was left alone in front and converted from close range at 13:45.
With the outcome, the playoff bound Paper Kings moved to 28-22-2-3, while in defeat, the Gold Miners dropped to 7-47-1-1.