Nikitin’s late game-winner sees Gold Miners nip Express

ESPANOLA, Ont. – Marshal Nikitin’s second goal of the game, coming with 3:48 remaining in regulation, saw the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners nip the Espanola Express 4-3 Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the Regional Recreation Complex.

A flurry of activity in the latter stages of the first period saw Kirkland Lake skate out to a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.

Jake Semmens sent the Gold Miners on their way at 13:14 via the power play while teammate William Mizuik struck just eight seconds later to up the visitors lead in rapid succession.

Espanola did get on the board 17 minutes into the session thanks to Joel Grandbois’ first of the season, only to see Nikitin connect for another man advantage effort for his side at 19:22.

Connor Tessier’s fifth pulled the Express closer 24 seconds into the middle frame and Logan Fennema tied it for Espanola at 17:09.

It stayed 3-3 until the late going of the contest when Nikitin notched the game-winner as Kirkland Lake went on to pull out the victory.

Isaac Tkachuk had two assists for Espanola in the match-up.

Registering the win in net for the Gold Miners was Cade McEwen, who made 25 stops along the way.

Jacob Hutchings meanwhile faced 31 shots in the setback for the Express.