ESPANOLA, Ont. – A well-balanced attack saw the Espanola Paper Kings collect goals from five different skaters Saturday to help them down the Soo Thunderbirds 5-2 in a chippy Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division affair at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Espanola began the night’s scoring six and a half minutes into the match-up when Spencer Horgan snapped a shot from the right point that went through a maze jammed in front and saw the loose puck fall into the crease where Jack Lynes moved in and chipped it past a sprawling Kolton Bourret in the Sault Ste. Marie net.
The Thunderbirds came right back however to tie it up as Declan Gallivan put a backhand in front that clipped off a Paper Kings defender right to Jacob Smith, whipped a shot high over the glove of goaltender Andrew Gaulton for his first league tally.
Countering quickly, the home side regained the lead at 9:16 when a Horgan attempt was partially blocked and changed direction right to Dario Sacino, who buried an attempt into the open side.
Going up by a pair, six and a half minutes into the middle session, Owen Fergusson clicked on a tally with assists being credited to Lucas Signoretti and Graydon Guthrie.
Moving to the third, the Soo got back to within one early with Gallivan connecting on the power play, 43 seconds in.
However, the hosts got some insurance off the stick of Blake Peters-Davey with four minutes remaining before teammate Atley Gringorten iced it with a late empty-netter to help Espanola move to 2-0, early in the campaign.
In defeat, the Thunderbirds slipped to 1-1.