Photos: Northern Exposures
ELLIOT LAKE, Ont. – A well-balanced attack provided by the Espanola Express Sunday, highlighted by a Ty McHutchion hat trick, sent them on their way to an 8-2 triumph over the Elliot Lake Red Wings in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League meeting at Centennial Arena.
The visiting Express opened the scoring near the 12-minute mark of the first period as Todd McBain stole the puck off an Elliot Lake defender at the Red Wings’ blueline then darted down the right wing before picking the corner on the home side’s Colton Donaldson.
Another giveaway helped give the guests another as Kobe Braham was provided an ill-timed cross-ice pass in the slot where he made no mistake for his sixth tally of the year while also giving him goals and points in three-straight outings.
It was more from the visitors nearly eight minutes into the second stanza when Giovanni Perillo put a nice pass over to McHutchion move moved hard to the net and finished one off from close range for his fifth of the season.
Going to the power play a few shifts later, Espanola went up by four as James Eng made a nice spinning tip in at the top of the crease that also clipped off the skate of an Elliot Lake blueliner before bouncing into the net.
Eng converted once more at 17:01 as he split the defence the came down on a breakaway and promptly ripped one over the glove of Donaldson to make it 5-0.
Getting one back in the final moments of the second, the Red Wings’ Cole Kimble was credited with a goal after the disk was stuffed on a rebound off a right point blast by Ethan Mercer.
In the final frame, Ryder Gregga entered to play net for Elliot Lake, however Espanola’s McHutchion greeted him with a quick backhand from in close at 1:24.
Some crisp puck movement during a two-man advantage helped the Express extend their lead as Owen Harris was the recipient of the multi-way passing play.
McHutchion then capped off his first NOJHL three-tally performance moments into a power play with 7:38 to go.
Josh Tomasi did strike shorthanded in the late going off an man-down rush for the Red Wings to round out the scoring.
Patrick Boivin made 24 stops to record the win while Donaldson and Gregga combined to face 48 shots in defeat.