GALLERY: Power play paces Espanola past Blind River

ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Espanola Paper Kings scored three times on the power play to lift them to a 3-2 win over the Blind River Beavers Tuesday in Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Division semifinal at the Regional Recreation Complex.

With the outcome, the Paper Kings now lead the best-of-seven series 3-1, heading into Game 5 Thursday in Blind River at 7 p.m.

Collecting their initial man advantage marker, Espanola took the lead 12:18 into the contest when Kyle den Ouden took a shot, that was stopped by Blind River’s Noah Tegelaar, but Spencer Horgan was right there to slam in the rebound.

Coming back to tie it three minutes later, Evan Fraccaro jammed in a loose puck off a Jakob Kovacs attempt from the slot.

Moving to the middle frame, the teams traded chances, but the session was scoreless as they hit the intermission still even at 1-1.

In the third, the Beavers forced a turnover which allowed Daniel Vasic to fire a shot through Paper Kings’ goalkeeper Jake Marois.

Another Espanola power play provided a tying tally just over five minutes in when they pressured a giveaway that allowed a open Lucas Signoretti to convert from the slot with a quick shot.

The Paper Kings’ third extra-man effort saw den Ouden finish off a rebound from the right of Tegelaar with 5:42 to go in what proved to be the game-winner.

They then held firm defensively the rest of the way to gain the upper hand in the series.

NOJHL West semifinal
Blind River Beavers vs. Espanola Paper Kings
Espanola leads best-of-seven series 3-1

Game 1: Beavers 6 Paper Kings 3
Game 2: Paper Kings 7 Beavers 3
Game 3: Paper Kings 8 Beavers 1
Game 4: Paper Kings 3 Beavers 2
Game 5: Thursday, March 28 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)
Game 6*: Friday, March 29 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m. (Regional Recreation Complex)
Game 7*: Sunday, March 31 @ Blind River 2 p.m. (Blind River Community Centre)
*-if necessary