CHELMSFORD, Ont. – An Alex Simard power play goal with just over six minutes in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Espanola Express stormed back with four unanswered tallies to pull out a 5-3 come from behind triumph over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Thursday evening at Chelmsford Arena.
Espanola also struck first in the contest when Lukas Lyszak put the Express on track three and a half minutes in.
The Canadians countered though as they tallied twice in the latter stages of opening frame as Mitchell Martin and Brady Maltais both found the back of the net.
With the goal, Maltais extended a point streak to seven straight outings.
Moving on to the middle stanza, it was more from Martin as he added another at 7:16 to give him 12 so far this season in putting the hosts up by a pair.
Espanola then began their rally after picking up a man advantage late in the middle stanza and capitalized with 22 seconds remaining on a Zach Trempner effort.
The visitors then came out quickly in the third to knot the affair 1:20 in on Josh Boucher’s equalizer.
They then got the game-winner off the stick of Simard during a man advantage opportunity as they made it 4-3 at 13:46.
With Rayside-Balfour starter Nicholas Heinzle on the bench for an extra attacker, the Express finished off the comeback when Tyler Nelson powered his way out of his own zone and beat a Canadians defender in a race to the empty net where he sealed the outcome by lifting in a backhand effort to round out the night’s scoring.
Espanola captain Mattias Salem chipped in with two assists to aid his club’s cause.
Express goalkeeper Joel Rainville made 29 saves to record the win while Heinzle faced 26 attempts in defeat.