GALLERY: Paper Kings smother Crunch

COCHRANE, Ont. – Supplying a five-goal first period was more than enough as the Espanola Paper Kings went on the smother the Cochrane Crunch 8-2 Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League get together at Tim Horton Events Centre.

The early outburst saw Espanola take control from the outset as they carried their big cushion to the initial intermission.

Lucas Signoretti got the Paper Kings going as he got a piece of a Joshua Rumolo shot from up high that changed directions and sailed over the shoulder of Crunch netminder Marcus Ouellet.

Coming right back off the draw, the visitors struck again with Yan Bessette bagging his sixth of the season as he completed off a nice rush into the Cochrane zone by teammate Spencer Horgan.

A couple of Benjamin Lacroix markers then made it 4-0, as he converted from the left circle initially, then once again from a similar spot on the ice, but during a man advantage.

The Paper Kings’ fifth tally in the final minute of the first as Kyle den Ouden scored by finishing off a Blake Peters-Davey pass while right on top of Ouellet.

Back-up Jake Dubinsky entered the game for the Crunch to begin the middle frame, but he was left with little chance on a sixth Espanola goal that deflected off of Jonathan Lush situated in front at 1:55.

The home side did counter with efforts from Joshua Liu, at even strength, and Liam Boswell, while shorthanded, to pull to within four.

Liu’s contribution came as he kept the play on side at the blueline, then made a couple of crafty moves before whipping a shot past Paper Kings’ goalkeeper Jake Marois from the top of the left circle.

As for Boswell’s man-down marker, he one-timed a Ryan Eckliff backhander, which helped the latter collect his first NOJHL point, with the assist.

Signoretti made it 7-2 though late in the period as he dashed down the left wing on a two-on-one and while electing to shoot, picked the short-side corner on Dubinsky.

Espanola then capped off the road win in the third as Aiden Pethick clicked on the power play by finishing off a rebound from Justin Seguin’s point shot.

The road win for Marois was his second in as many nights as the Paper Kings raised the season record to 9-6-1-2 while the loss saw Cichrane fall to 4-13-1-0.

The eight goals scored by the visitors is the most tallies by an Espanola side, in their most recent tenure in the NOJHL.

The previous high was six against the same Cochrane side, back on February 27 of this year, when they were still dubbed the Express.