GALLERY: Espanola skates by French River in NOJHL Showcase opener

PHOTOS: Petrah Joehl – Sudbury Light Event Photography

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Espanola Paper Kings saw Jack Lynes tally twice, including notching the game-winner while shorthanded, to help send them on their way to 6-3 victory over the French River Rapids in the opener of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase Tuesday at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

It took Espanola just over a minute to open the scoring, when Lucas Signoretti collected his sixth of the season in beating French River starter Brady Dyer.

A sizzling Cameron Jansa got that back for the Rapids at 4:40, after a turnover, with the teams playing four skaters aside, that allowed him to go dashing in on a breakaway.

Making no mistake with his opportunity, Jansa made a couple of crafty dekes before snapping a shot over the blocker of Paper Kings’ netminder Jake Marois to give him goals in six consecutive league contests.

Countering a couple of shifts later, off the giveaway, Espanola went back in front on a two-man advantage that saw Spencer Horgan glide in from the point and hammer a one-timer that flew past Dyer from inside the left circle.

Going up by a pair at 11:51, Graydon Guthrie pressured the puck off a defender and went to the net where he lifted in a close-range backhand.

Second period play saw the Paper Kings make it 4-1 when Lynes struck shorthanded as he stuffed in a rebound after Horgan had gone hard to the net.

Adding a man-down marker of their own, half way through the contest, French River’s Matthew Shulist broke past a defender and darted in on Marois before tucking one between his legs.

Regaining their three-tally edge, Lynes potted another by firing one into the open side during a power play at 14:49.

Elijah Grant entered to begin the third, between the pipes, for the Rapids.

Espanola got to him however with under five minutes to go as Signoretti made a nice pass to Blake Peters-Davey, who sent one top shelf over Grant.

The Rapids did pick-up one final marker to cap off the scoring thanks to Tyler Treanot’s initial NOJHL goal, as he clicked by chipping in a loose puck from the top of the crease.

Earning NOJHL Showcase player of the player of the game recognition were their respective clubs were Signoretti and Dyer.

With the result, Espanola moves to 6-3-0-0 on the campaign, while French River 1-8-0-0.

Both teams are back it Wednesday in Day 2 play of the Showcase, with the Paper Kings meeting Iroquois Falls at 1:40 p.m., while the Rapids tangle with the Soo Eagles at 4:15 p.m.