ESPANOLA, Ont. – Owen Fergusson had a pair of second period goals, including the eventual game-winner, as the Espanola Paper Kings went on to down the Greater Sudbury Cubs 5-3 Saturday in a physical Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League meeting at the Regional Recreation Complex.
The hometown Paper Kings got started with Logan Cicchelli’s first NOJHL goal, which came 3:11 into the contest, as he corralled a face off won by Jack Lynes, then spun in the slot and fired a low shot that got by Cubs’ netminder Noah Metivier.
Adding another prior to the opening intermission, after Espanola forced a turnover, that allowed Dario Sacino to wire one high over the blocker of Metivier at 15:28.
In the middle session, the league’s leading goal-getter, Greater Sudbury’s Nolan Newton, added two more to his ledger to knot the affair at 2-2.
His initial effort came at 4:23 as teammate Cameron Shanks chipped a puck around a defender and came in on a two-on-one and fed it in front where Newton neatly redirected it by Paper Kings’ netminder Andrew Gaulton.
Newton then notched his NOJHL-best 17th as he banged in a rebound from in close, off a Shanks shot.
Regrouping, the home side answered with a pair of tallies of their own to take a 4-2 lead to the second intermission.
Fergusson found himself free to the right of a net and buried a feed across to him at 8:35, then struck again just over seven minutes later as he flew out of his own zone and used a quick passing play with Lucas Signoretti before wiring in a shot, low blocker side.
In the third period, Greater Sudbury got back to within one with four minutes remaining thanks to Samuel Assinewai as his sharp snap shot from up top flew past the glove of Gaulton.
However, Espanola added some insurance moments later as Signoretti benefitted from a giveaway that allowed him to skate in alone and make a couple of crafty dekes before depositing the insurance marker at 16:54 to close out the scoring, with his 10th tally of the campaign.
The result has the Paper Kings improving to 9-5-0-0 on the season, while the league-leading Cubs fell to 11-2-0-0 overall.