Photos: Chelsea Solomon
ESPANOLA, Ont. – Patrick Boivin kicked out each of the 29 shots he faced to collect his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League shutout in a 4-0 triumph over the Soo Eagles Friday at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Making their long-awaited return to NOJHL game action, the Eagles, did allow the night’s opening tally, five and a half minutes in as Kyle Caron collected his first goal in league play.
It came as Espanola finished off a nice three-way passing play with Caron completing the work of linemates Ben Couvier and Ty McHutchion.
Adding to their lead in the second stanza, Laurent Bienvenue-Freeman picked off a clearing attempt on the left-wing boards and snapped a shot from the point that clipped off teammate McHutchion in front and skipped by Eagles netminder Ryan Gilmore.
Building on that, Kobe Braham collected a loose puck and darted down the ice on a shorthanded breakaway and neatly tucked a backhand through the Soo goaltender’s legs to make it 3-0 at 14:27.
Josh Boucher then helped Espanola secure the home ice victory midway through the third, in what was the final tally of the night.
The Eagles’ Gilmore faced 36 shots against in the Soo’s first league regular season contest since February 29th of 2020.
GAME NOTE: With the border still closed to Canadians for to travel to the U.S., by land, Saturday’s contest between the Eagles and Express, that was scheduled to be held at Pullar Stadium in Michigan, will now be held in Espanola.
The Soo will serve as the home team for that match-up and will get underway at 7 p.m.