Paper Kings take series lead on Beavers

ESPANOLA, Ont. – The high-flying Espanola Paper Kings continued to click offensively Sunday as they went on to trounce the Blind River Beavers 8-1 in Game 3 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at the Regional Recreation Complex.

The Paper Kings now lead the best-of-seven match-up 2-1 heading into Game 4 at home Tuesday at 7 p.m., and on

It took Espanola just 19 seconds to get on the board as Grant Booth sent an attempt towards the target from the high slot that knuckled past Blind River starter Gavin Disano.

Continuing to press the pace, the Paper Kings went up by a pair during a five-on-three as Spencer Horgan put a pass across to Lucas Signoretti, who snapped in a shot from the top of the left circle.

Still on the power play, the home side made it 3-0 midway through the first as Horgan glided in the back door and whipped an Owen Fergusson feed by a diving Disano.

Moving to the middle frame, Espanola went ahead by four when they went to the net and saw Atley Gringorten finish off a give-and-go with Fergusson.

Not done there, they added another off a two-on-one with Gringorten slamming in a rebound off a Signoretti shot at 12:54.

An extended two-man advantage helped Blind River get on the board late in the session with Evan Fraccaro leaving Jesse Dupuis with plenty of net to shoot at, who converted from left side, in beating Paper Kings’ goalkeeper Jake Marois.

Heading to the third period, the Paper Kings collected some insurance just over seven minutes in with Fergusson finishing a cross-ice set-up from Gringorten.

A couple of shifts later, Nicolas Saucier spun and notched his initial playoff marker, then saw Jackson Drigo pick-up his first postseason marker, as he reached across the top of the crease and shovel in his chance to cap-off the one-sided result.

NOJHL West semifinal
Blind River Beavers vs. Espanola Paper Kings
Espanola leads best-of-seven series 2-1

Game 1: Beavers 6 Paper Kings 3
Game 2: Paper Kings 7 Beavers 3
Game 3: Paper Kings 8 Beavers 1
Game 4:
 Tuesday, March 26 @ Espanola 7 p.m. (Regional Recreation Complex)
Game 5: Thursday, March 28 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)
Game 6*: Friday, March 29 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m. (Regional Recreation Complex)
Game 7*: Sunday, March 31 @ Blind River 2 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)
*-if necessary