Photos: Justin Cairns
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Espanola Paper Kings answered back from an early deficit and went on to down the Soo Eagles 5-3 Friday to win their seventh Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League game in succession, with a road triumph at Pullar Stadium.
The Eagles took flight just over five minutes into the contest when Cooper Fredericks wheeled out from behind the Espanola net and whipped a shot past netminder Jake Marois.
Sault Ste. Marie then doubled their lead midway through the opening period as Lucas Caulfield collected his 10th tally of the campaign as he knocked in a rebound off a Paper Kings’ turnover.
Getting one back in the final minute of the first, Atley Gringorten tucked in a loose puck off a spinning shot by teammate Josh Russell at 19:40.
The visitors then drew level early in the middle frame after Braydon Bruce blasted in his first NOJHL goal by cranking one from the left point that flew by Soo starter Anthony Zolezzi.
Lucas Signoretti then made it 3-2 Espanola as he elected to shoot on a two-on-one and sent a sizzler by the blocker of Zolezzi.
Notching another, Owen Fergusson forced a giveaway for the Paper Kings and fired it cross-ice where Blake Peters-Davey was there to swat it in.
The Eagles regrouped to make it a 4-3 score when Zach Sweitzer put a pass in between the hash marks where a waiting Tyler Fortson was there to fire it in at 11:38.
A late five-on-three helped Espanola supply some insurance near the end of regulation when defenceman Spencer Horgan made no mistake with a sharp wrist shot from the slot.
In extending their current heater, the Paper Kings improve to 25-13-0-0 overall and with the setback, the Eagles fall to 20-15-1-1.