ESPANOLA, Ont. – The new-look Espanola Paper Kings impressed in their debut, defeating the Cochrane Crunch 7-3 Friday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair held at the Regional Recreation Complex.
The two teams traded tallies in the first half of the opening period with Collin Lapointe connecting for Cochrane before Liam Bridgeman answered for Espanola.
Blake Menard’s nice rush into the zone helped the Crunch go back on top as he drove to the net and wristed a shot over the blocker of netminder Andrew Gaulton.
Drawing level once more, the Paper Kings’ Alexander Christopoulos took a nice pass from Blake Peters-Davey, who provided a solid fore-check, and set him up in front, where he whipped in the equalizer.
Deep into a man advantage early in the second, the guests regained the lead when Liam Boswell sent a perfect feed from behind the net to a waiting Cameron Frost, who finished off his first NOJHL goal.
After Kobe Braham finished off an odd-man rush to bring Espanola level once more, Peters-Davey then put the Paper Kings in front for good at 16:08 as he burst past a Cochrane defender before outwaiting the goalkeeper and lifting in his first in the NOJHL.
Moving to the third, defenceman Spencer Horgan made a nice move at the right point and skated in before snapping one in off a partial screen that got by Jake Dubinsky in the Crunch net.
Capping off the Espanola win, Atley Gringorton backhanded in a rebound from the top of the crease before Braham wrapped things up offensively, in the final minute, by sliding one into an open corner.