Photos: Jeremy Seguin
FRENCH RIVER – Clicking on all cylinders offensively for a second-straight night, the Espanola Paper Kings defeated the French River Rapids 7-3 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Saturday at Noelville Arena.
After Espanola took the front-end of this home-and-home set Friday with another seven-goal effort, the clubs kept the tallies coming early in this one as the teams both scored twice before the contest was 12 minutes old.
Lucas Signoretti opened the outburst for the Paper Kings with his team-leading 17th marker when he cranked a one-timer from in close off the post and in off a turnover forced behind the net by Devin Mauro.
The Rapids answered that a couple of shifts later thanks to Connor Picard connecting for a fourth straight outing as he put a shot through an Espanola defender from the slot that sailed past netminder Creedon Dyck.
Retaking the lead at 11:06, the visitors made it 2-1 courtesy of Blake Peters-Davey, who chipped one over the outstretched pad of goaltender Brady Dyer.
However, the hosts came right back to knot the affair once more when Matthew Hill took an Aidan Baker pass and slammed it in for his seventh, as well as seeing Baker bank his first NOJHL point.
Moving to the middle stanza, the Paper Kings took their third lead of the night by converting on the power play as Signoretti wheeled out from the corner boards and set-up Alexander Christopoulos, who went in and put one short side, over Dyer’s blocker at 3:19.
Espanola then went up by two 10 minutes later as Mauro dashed down the ice off a draw in his own zone and got a shot off while being impeded by a pair of Rapids’ defenders that was stopped by Dyer, but Christopoulos came in right behind him and notched his second of the period.
In the final frame the Paper Kings’ Cayden Kowal helped secure the victory by cranking one upstairs while left alone on the left side at 6:44.
Adding another six minutes later, defenceman Brinn Burleigh sent one from the point through a screen for his first NOJHL goal.
Getting that back on the next shift, French River blueliner Jack Ginocchi snagged a rising puck at centre then drove into the Espanola zone where he caught Dyck moving and lifted in a rising backhand into the top left corner on his 21st birthday.
Peters-Davey then wrapped up the scoring for the guests with his second as he finished off a rebound following a rush by Kowal.
With the win, the Paper Kings improved to 18-14-2-2 on the year while the Rapids dipped to 6-29-0-1.