GALLERY: Solid start helps Elliot Lake win in Espanola

ESPANOLA, Ont. – Skating out to a four-goal first period sent the Elliot Lake Red Wings on their way to an eventual 7-3 decision over the Espanola Paper Kings in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League get together Friday at the Regional Recreation Complex.

Elliot Lake got the game’s initial marker six minutes off a faceoff and saw Braden Twigg deflect an Ethan Mercer shot from the left point past Espanola starter Creedon Dyck.

The Red Wings added another at 8:16 when Darcy Scott made a nice move at the blueline and moved to the slot where he ripped a shot into the top right-hand corner for the defenceman’s fourth goal of the season.

Continuing to click offensively, the visitors picked up a third marker at 14:28, to chase Dyck in favour of back-up Jake Marois, as Thomas Dimoulas put in a backhand through a partial screen.

Capping off their impressive period, Elliot Lake took a 4-0 lead into the intermission when Mercer fired a shot off the post, then saw Evan Dantas right there to stuff in the loose puck in the final minute.

Heading to the second stanza, the Red Wings went up by five as Silas Crawford scooped up a turnover and wired one blocker side on Marois at 1:23.

Espanola did get one back with a Justin Seguin shorthanded effort just over eight minutes in as he came down the left wing and snapped a shot that netminder Cameron Smith could not control with his glove as it went behind him and slid into the net.

Restoring their big lead at 13:01, Elliot Lake’s Alex Antoine was left alone to whip in a rebound off a Dantas opportunity.

Making it 6-2 after two, the Paper Kings’ Atley Gringorten found himself free at the top of the crease where he lifted one over a sprawling Smith.

Third period play saw Espanola add another with just over four minutes to play when Joshua Romolo knocked in a rebound off a Graydon Guthrie shot.

However, the Red Wings’ Dantas secured the road win as he sent one down the length of the ice into an empty net in the final moments to wrap things up.

With the result, Elliot Lake raised their record to 17-32-1-2 and the Paper Kings fell to 26-21-2-2.