Friday, December 14, 2018 – ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Espanola Express scored eight times in a contest for the first time in over two and a half years as they went on to snap the Rayside-Balfour Canadians five-game winning streak with an 8-3 triumph in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Friday at the Regional Recreation Complex.
The offensive outburst was the most goals Espanola has racked up in a game since March 9, 2016 when they also scored eight times in a win vs. French River.
Rayside-Balfour roared out the gate to commence Friday’s contest when Ethan Lavallee buried his ninth 27 seconds in with help from Ryan Mooney and Kyle Liinamaa.
Espanola answered that less than eight minutes later, as while on the power play, Matais Salem converted on the man advantage to knot the affair at 1-1.
The Express came right back a couple shifts later to go on top with Hunter Halcrow collecting his third of the season at 10:28.
It was more from the home side before the session was complete as Diego Pasula made it 3-1 at 14:32 as he picked up his seventh.
The goals kept coming in the session as the Canadians clicked while up a skater courtesy of Liinamaa’s 10th of 2018-19.
Not to be outdone, Espanola added a fourth goal of the period thanks to Chase Lammi at 18:30 to spell an early end to Rayside-Balfour starter David Bowen’s night in favour of Sebastien Plamondon.
The two sides then tightened up defensively in a scoreless second stanza.
Moving on to the third, the Canadians had a power play that carried over and they capitalized 51 second sin thanks to Giordino Biondi, who picked up his 10th of the year.
However, Bret McInall’s team-leading 16th put the Express back up by two less than three minutes later.
Lammi and McInall both scored again during man advantage opportunities to put the game out of reach before McInall capped off the result with an empty netter for his second hat trick of the season.
Halcrow and Lammi joined him with three-point nights in the victory.
Joel Rainville made 31 saves to record the win for Espanola.
Bowen suffered the loss allowing four on 12 attempts while Plamondon handled 19 of 22 in lengthy relief.