ESPANOLA, Ont. – The efforts of Atley Gringorten saw him score three times to propel the Espanola Paper Kings to a 6-2 triumph over the Blind River Beavers in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair Friday at the Regional Recreation Complex.
All business early on, Espanola roared out to a 3-0 first period lead on an even strength contribution from Gringorten as well as a pair of late man advantage markers courtesy of Kyle den Ouden and Conor Walton.
Gringorten’s goal came off a rebound in front that he lifted over a screened Blind River starter Charlie Burns.
As for den Ouden’s tally, he backhanded in a Yan Bessette feed from the top of the crease while the Paper Kings were up a skater.
Still on the power play a minute and half later, Walton sizzled one from the top of the left circle for his first NOJHL goal, to put the hosts up by three after 20 minutes.
After a scoreless second stanza, which featured Burns foiling Spencer Horgan of Espanola on a penalty shot, things really opened up offensively in the third.
Gringorten began the outburst 73 seconds in as he forced a turnover and then banged in a rebound off a Liam Bridgeman chance.
Getting that back, Beavers’ defenceman Nicholas Brady blasted a low shot though Paper Kings’ goalkeeper Andrew Gaulton from the left side.
Capping off his three-tally night three minutes later, Gringorten was sent in on a break where he made a couple of quick dekes before firing one into the top left corner.
A misplay at the Espanola blueline by a Blind River defender allowed Michael Leech to dart in alone and made no mistake with a quick snap shot for his initial NOJHL tally.
Getting the night’s final goal was the Beavers’ Kaeden McArthur as he one-timed a nice rush and set-up by teammate Gavin Rocha.