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Rainville backstops Express to shootoutout victory over Lumberjacks

ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Espanola Express rode a stellar 36-save performance from goaltender Joel Rainville, along with handling all three attempts he faced in the shootout, to backstop his side to a 3-2 decision over the Hearst Lumberjacks in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Saturday at the Regional Recreation Complex.

Espanola came out quickly notching the night’s opening marker 23 seconds into the match-up thanks to Connor Tessier.

Hearst was solid in the second stanza as they scored twice to go up 2-1 with Blaise Arkle notching his fifth and sixth goals since joining the Lumberjacks as they carried the lead into the third.

There the Express battled back to force overtime when Diego Pasula converted on a man advantage opportunity at 15:06 to help keep the contest going.

In OT neither side would manage to convert, however Bret McInall picked up the lone marker in the shootout while Rainville kept the Hearst shooters at bay to pull out the win on home ice.

The Lumberjacks’ Nicholas Tallarico finished with 32 stops in the narrow setback, with his efforts helping the visitors pick up a point in defeat.