GALLERY: Express steam past Crunch

ESPANOLA, Ont. – Credited with 27 saves in the live scoring, Espanola Express goaltender Matthew Loney registered his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League shutout Friday in blanking the Cochrane Crunch 6-0 in a get together held at the Regional Recreation Complex.

Ty McHutchion’s team-leading 23rd tally put Espanola ahead 3:45 into the proceedings as he buried one from the slot in beating Cochrane starter Michael Nickolau.

They tacked on another half way through the first period when Yan Bessette blasted a low shot from between the hash marks that went under Nickolau.

Extending their cushion in the latter moments of the second stanza, Benjamin Lacroix was left with a tap-in into the open side thanks to some crisp passing by teammates Eric Barnard and Bessette.

Moving to the third period, Liam Bridgeman picked up his first NOJHL goal by wiring one from the left of the net, during a man advantage opportunity, 31 seconds in.

Extending their lead, Alexander Christopoulos also clicked on the power play as he snagged a loose puck and made no mistake with a wrister from the slot.

Capping off the home ice victory was Garreth Sturgess at 13:33 as he too picked up his initial league tally after banging in a loose puck during a goal-mouth scramble.

Doing the rest was Loney who won for a third time in his past four starts.