Photos: Chelsea Solomon
ESPANOLA, Ont. – A three-goal third period outburst broke open a close game as the Elliot Lake Red Wings went on to secure a 7-3 triumph over the Espanola Express in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League matinee Sunday at the Regional Recreation Complex.
An early surge saw the teams combine for three goals before the midway point of the first period.
Espanola got the first marker, 95 seconds in, as Adam Shillingshaw fired a shot from the point that was picked up and fed to James Eng in front where he stuffed one in past Elliot Lake goalkeeper Nolan Chartrand.
Countering, the Red Wings came right back to tie it when Josh Tomasi fed a cross-crease backhand to Alex Antoine, who redirected in his third tally of the season.
Elliot Lake then took the lead at 5:07 when Hayden Cattani potted his first in the NOJHL by chipping one in from a sharp angle past a sprawled Patrick Boivin in the Express net.
Not done there, the visitors added a third goal in the period thanks to Dayton Clarke, as he won a race up the ice and went in alone on Boivin, before ripping one, blocker side, to make it 3-1 after one.
In the back half of the middle session, the goal count increased, beginning with a Devin Shoreman extra-man effort for the Red Wings as he clicked off a turnover by zipping a shot into the bottom-left corner.
Following that, Boivin gave way to back up Reid Gates, between the pipes for the hosts.
Answering back, the Express got back on track with back-to-back tallies from Eng and Perillo to make it a one-goal game.
Eng’s effort came as Espanola blocked a shot that allowed Perillo to send a perfect feed over to him where no made no mistake from close range.
Meanwhile, Perillo’s marker resulted after taking a Boucher pass then darting in over the blueline before wiring a shot that beat Chartrand on the blocker side.
Early in the third period, the Red Wings went back up by a pair as Brock McNaughton used an Espanola defender as a screen and ripped a shot into the left side of the net to make it 5-3, 42 seconds in.
Clarke then clicked again for Elliot Lake as he took a clean cross-ice pass from Brodie Kearns and lifted an attempt into the top right-hand corner for his second of the contest and sixth overall.
Capping off the road victory, Cameron Dial scored with his club up a skater in the latter stages as he pinched in from the right point and made no mistake for his first NOJHL marker, to round out the scoring.
Chartrand finished with 40 saves to pick up the win.
Boivin suffered the loss allowing, six on 27 chances, while Gates handled three of four in nearly 10 minutes of relief.