ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Soo Eagles started strong by notching the night’s first five goals as they went on to cruise past the Espanola Express 8-3 Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up held at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Sault Ste. Marie set the tone early by striking five times in the opening frame starting with Raf Praysner’s first at 5:36.
Caleb Wood and Mihali See then tallied 58 seconds apart to go up by three.
The Eagles weren’t done in the period as they tacked on two more in rapid succession later with George Orfanos and Riley Jensen both finding the back of the net in the latter half of the stanza.
Espanola came back in the second as Jarod Hurley struck twice with a pair of power play markers to pull within three only to see Jake Lamberty and Brett Morich score deep in the period to take a 7-2 cushion into the third.
Lamberty then added another in the third before Espanola’s Malcolm Gamelin’s first NOJHL goal in the final seconds with assists going to Hurley and Dylan Labelle to round out the scoring.
See, Kyle Quinn and Drew Wotta dished out two assists each for the Soo.
Joseph Benedetto picked up the win for the Eagles making 34 saves along the way.
Joel Rainville suffered the loss for the Express seeing 49 shots in defeat.