Photos: Chelsea Solomon
ESPANOLA, Ont. – A Kyle Caron marker with just over eight minutes left in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the home town Espanola Express skated to a 5-3 decision over the Greater Sudbury Cubs in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League meeting Friday at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Espanola opened the scoring five and a half minutes into the match-up as Josh Boucher forced a turnover and got it over to James Eng who fired a shot on net that bounced in the air before Boucher came in and knocked it into the net out of mid-air past Cubs starter Joel Rainville.
It was more from the Express deep into the opening frame on a two-on-one that saw Kobe Braham fire a cross-ice pass over to Giovanni Perillo, who in turn waited for the Great Sudbury netminder slide to his left before sweeping right and tucking it into the open side.
Heading to the second stanza, the visitors would cut into the deficit at 8:04 thanks to Billy Biedermann bagging his fourth of the season as he jammed one in from close range, moments after being thwarted by Espanola goalkeeper Reid Gates.
Getting that back before the second intermission, Espanola’s Todd McBain picked up his first NOJHL tally at 16:25 by tipping in an attempt from the left point.
In the final frame, Greater Sudbury struck shorthanded 62 seconds in catching Gates not getting back to his net in time, which allowed Kyler Campbell to bag his NOJHL-leading 11th goal of the season.
Building on that, the guests tied it at 6:51, while skating four aside, and saw Seth Coulter collect his first of the season as his long-range effort found its way from just inside the blueline.
Opting to replace Gates in favour of back-up Patrick Boivin after that, the Express got back on track, retaking the lead in the back half of the third Caron finished off the rebound from a Ty McHutchion shot from the left wing.
Greater Sudbury took their goalkeeper out with a minute and a half remaining in an effort the tie it and force overtime, but Braham of the Express won a race down the ice and slid a backhand into the open net to wrap up the win for Espanola.
Shots on goal finished up 41-25 in favour of Espanola with Boivin getting the win in relief, while handling all four attempts he saw, while Rainville suffered the loss.