Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – The Espanola Paper Kings scored three times in the final few minutes of regulation to take down the Hearst Lumberjacks 4-2 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Friday at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
A tightly-contested opening frame saw neither side convert offensively as the clubs hit the first intermission still in search of a goal.
Moving to the middle stanza, Hearst broke the deadlock seven minutes in with Tyler Patterson supplying his seventh of the season as he split the Paper Kings defence off a Gregory Harley feed and went in, deked to his right, and lifted a backhand past goalkeeper Jake Marois.
Coming right back off the draw, Espanola drew level just 12 seconds later thanks to Lucas Signoretti collecting his initial NOJHL goal off a three-on-two that saw him cut to the middle and put one upstairs from the slot high over the glove of Lumberjacks’ starter Ethan Dinsdale.
Tied at 1-1 into the third, the Lumberjacks regained the lead at 11:06 when Zachary Demers got by a defender then sent a crisp cross-crease pass to a hard-charging Mason Svarich who chipped it over Marois, to give him goals in three straight.
Battling back, the Paper Kings drew level once more compliments of Kobe Braham, who led the NOJHL in shorthanded tallies last season, as he struck again by flying down the ice on a man-down break and ripped a shot past the blocker of Dinsdale at 15:33.
Not done there, Espanola went in front while on a four-on-three power play as Signoretti moved into the high slot and whipped in the game-winner past a partially screened Hearst goalkeeper.
Capping off the comeback, Jack Lynes won a race down the ice and completed the road win with an empty netter in the final moments.
Picking up the victory in his Paper Kings debut was Marois while Dinsdale suffered his first loss of the season in defeat.