Photos: Northern Exposures Photography
MASSEY, Ont. – The Espanola Paper Kings roared back from an early deficit and countered with five third period goals to help them rally for a 7-5 win versus the Elliot Lake Vikings Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Massey & District Community Arena.
A quick start saw the Vikings tally twice before the match-up was two minutes old to gain an early edge.
Nathan Marincola got the initial marker as he banked in a shot off of Espanola starter Jake Marois from a sharp angle just 69 seconds in.
Elliot Lake came right back and tacked on another moments later after controlling a face-off, then seeing Noah Aboflan kick the puck up with his skate and snap it into the open corner for his team-leading 15th of the season.
The Vikings’ power play then went to work and saw Aboflan notch his second of the night as he skated into the left circle and ripped one top shelf, blocker side, over the shoulder of a screened Marois.
A late man advantage helped the Paper Kings get on the board, when Jack Lynes slammed in a rebound from in close on goalkeeper Matt Vahramian.
Getting another, moments into the second period, Owen Fergusson made it 3-2 as he chopped in a loose puck laying in the crease off a point blast, generated from a turnover.
Regrouping, Elliot Lake went back up by a pair when Liam Bridgeman finished off a rebound after his side won a draw cleanly.
Another early period effort brought Espanola to within one as Graydon Guthrie clicked 19 seconds into the third, moments into a man advantage with a low backhand.
Another Paper Kings power play helped them tie it a few shifts later, with Guthrie tipping in a Spencer Horgan shot.
The comeback continued when Cayden Kowal went in on one-on-three and proceeded to wire a shot over the blocker of Vahramian.
A fourth man advantage effort saw Espanola score once more as Fergusson buried a loose puck from in close midway the period.
Pulling to within one with 2:11 to go, Owen Kahl jammed one in during a furious goal-mouth scramble.
However, the Paper Kings secured the comeback win with a long-range, shorthanded, empty netter from Horgan to close things out.
The win helps Espanola improve to 21-13-0-0 on the season and with the loss, the Vikings fall to 5-20-1-4.