Photos: Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – The Espanola Paper Kings built up an early lead and never looked back in topping the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 5-1 Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Some early pressure helped Espanola open the scoring near the six-minute of the match-up, that eventually Nicolas Saucier swat one into the open side on Kirkland Lake goaltender Connor Davis, with assists going to Atley Gringorten and Grant Booth.
Tacking on another one, during a delayed penalty call, the Paper Kings’ Jack Lynes took a play to the net and wired a shot into the top corner for his ninth marker of the campaign.
The visitors then made it 3-0 with Lucas Signoretti clicking on the power play as he took a pass in between the hash marks from Blake Peters-Davey and promptly wired it over the glove of Davis.
Getting one back at 7:52, the Gold Miners’ Luca Maiuri collected a bouncing puck that a defender could not contain, which allowed him to skate in and lift a chance over the right pad of Espanola netminder Andrew Gaulton.
Answering that, Espanola tallied twice in the back-half of the session to put the guests up 5-1 after 40 minutes.
Spencer Horgan saw him set-up perfectly by Signoretti, then bury his chance high into the right side for their fourth.
That goal resulted in Kirkland Lake making a goaltending change, and saw affiliate Caleb Shuker replace Davis.
A man advantage effort aided in their next marker as Horgan ripped a wrist shot blocker side from the high slot, that was later credited to Darino Sacino on a slight deflection while he was situated next to Shuker.
Neither side would convert offensively in a chippy third period, with the Paper Kings moving to 11-5-0-0 on the year with the victory and the Gold Miners dipping to 4-9-2-1 in defeat.