ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Greater Sudbury Cubs got two goals apiece from Oliver Smith and Samuel Assinewai to lead them to a 5-3 decision over the Espanola Paper Kings in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Friday at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Greater Sudbury set the tone early in this one, striking three times in the opening 10 minutes of the contest.
Smith went to the net and cashed in the Cubs’ initial marker 88 seconds after a couple of cracks at it from close range.
The visitors then went up by a pair at 5:42 when Pierson Sobush found himself free in front and made no mistake when receiving the puck as he snapped his team-leading 43rd goal of the season, in beating Espanola netminder Jake Marois.
Continuing to press, Greater Sudbury notched another midway through the frame on Smith’s second as he finished off a two-on-one by putting a low shot past Marois.
Staying 3-0 Cubs into the middle session, the Paper Kings cut into the deficit at 2:24 when Benjamin Lacroix moved down the left wing before making a nice move into the slot where he fired a nice shot past Cubs’ goalkeeper Noah Metivier.
However, the guests got that back by converting moments into a man advantage where Sobush sent a hard pass across to Assinewai, who guided it into the open corner.
Assinewai then added another at even strength with eight seconds left in the session to put Greater Sudbury up by four after two as he moved in and buried one from between the hash marks.
In the third, the home side got two back in the late going to pull closer thanks to Liam Bridgeman at 15:48 and Spencer Horgan in the final minute.
Bridgeman’s effort saw him chip one over the pad of Metivier before Horgan converted from a similar spot on the ice during a power play, with Marois on the bench for an additional skater, prior to time running out.
The victory helps the Cubs raise their record to 44-10-2-0 while Paper Kings fall to 27-22-2-3.