Skrelja’s 20th lifts Eagles over Express

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A Dominic Skrelja power play goal with just over nine minutes remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Soo Eagles went on to slip past the Espanola Express 3-2 Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at Pullar Stadium.

First period saw the Eagles go in front early as Hayden Clark picked up his third of the season at 3:19.

Espanola answered though before the first period was complete when Collin McGuire collected his second of the campaign, which came at 16:34 to help send the sides to the intermission knotted at 1-1.

In the second, the lone marker there came nine minutes in when Jacob Bumbaco scored for a second straight game and also ran a modest point streak to three in the process.

The final frame saw the visitors draw level once more as Zach Trempner scored at 5:58 to even the proceedings at two.

Then up a skater, Sault Ste. Marie’s Skrelja supplied his 20th tally of the season with assists going to Clark and Malik Ali.

Soo starter Shane Brancato did the rest, finishing with 25 saves to record the victory.

Espanola’s Joel Rainville meanwhile faced 33 shots against in the narrow defeat.