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GALLERY: Minns pots pair as Blind River wins in Espanola

ESPANOLA, Ont. – Caleb Minns had a pair of goals, including the game-winner, as the Blind River Beavers went on to defeat the Espanola Paper Kings 7-2 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Sunday matinee at the Regional Recreation Complex.

Coming off a home ice defeat Saturday evening, Blind River came out with a purpose in this one, skating out to a 2-0 lead after one period of power play.

Minns got the Beavers going nearly seven minutes into the match-up with his 50th point of the season as the visitors broke out quickly in transition and saw him pick the corner on Paper Kings’ netminder Creedon Dyck.

Blind River then went up by two at 11:10 thanks to Zane Burleigh’s first of the season as he moved in from the left point and fired one through a crowd from the side boards, off a faceoff win.

Then midway through the middle session, after handing some sustained Espanola pressure, Minns tacked on another to give him 20 tallies on the campaign and points in five straight.

It resulted after Jesse Dupuis won a race to the puck on a dump in and worked it in front, which allowed Minns to whip it in from the top of the crease.

That tally for him matches a career single-season high for the forward, who has already registered a personal best 51 points.

The guests then put another one by Dyck when defenceman Owen Arnold potted his initial NOJHL marker by putting a rising attempt off the goalkeeper’s glove with a shot after the Beavers controlled another draw.

This resulted in backup Nick Marson entering the Espanola net.

Pressing the pace to begin the third, the Paper Kings scored just 38 seconds in with Lucas Signoretti reaching the 20-goal plateau as he buried a chance into the open side from in close.

With that, it saw him score in a fifth consecutive contest and pick-up at least one point in seven in a row.

Answering back to help put the game away, Blind River’s Ethan Pegg made a end-to-end odd-man rush against multiple defenders and beat Dyck, who had re-entered the game to begin the final frame, with a harmless looking shot.

That resulted in Marson returning for Espanola the rest of the way.

The Beavers then saw Jacob Kovacs split the defence on a power play and promptly fired his chance into the bottom right corner.  

Signoretti did get one more back for the home side off a nice deflection from an attempt from the point.

Finishing off the road triumph, Michael Gallagher notched a shorthanded, empty netter to round out the scoring.

With the victory, Blind River moves to 26-10-2-2 overall while the Paper Kings fell to 19-15-2-2.