Paper Kings rally to sink Rapids

FRENCH RIVER – The Espanola Paper Kings stormed back from a three-goal second period deficit in rallying past the French River Rapids 6-5 Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League game at Noelville Arena.

The hometown Rapids got the early edge in the contest off a nice deflection made by a spinning Matthew Stringer from the right of Espanola starter Alain-Rene Botella at 11:36.

After Stringer was credited with his second of the session by putting a shot through the net, French River then took a 3-0 lead to the intermission thanks to Daniil Grishachev stuffing in a rebound off a Matthew Shulist blast from the right circle.

Both clubs came out firing in the middle session as they combined for five tallies, including three by the Paper Kings.

Jackson Drigo’s initial league marker put the visitors on the board early in the session, but saw Shulist connect on the power play 10 minutes later as he wheeled into the Espanola end and wired a shot into the top right hand corner.

Up a skater themselves a couple of shifts later, Owen Fergusson scored for the Paper Kings as he took his time going down the left wing before cutting in a ripping one short side on Rapids’ goaltender Ethan Carlone.

Going back and forth, the home side’s Cameron Jansa notched his opening league tally at 16:04 by firing a shot from the side boards that eluded a screened Botella.

Opting to make a goaltending change after that, Paper Kings’ back-up Andrew Gaulton entered the contest.

A late man advantage helped the guests pull back to within a pair at 19:07 when Lucas Signoretti converted by steering in a Fergusson feed into the crease.

Moving to the third, a two-man advantage benefitted the guests as they moved to within one as Signoretti used a give-and-go with Spencer Horgan and hammered a one-timer from the right faceoff dot.

A fourth power play marker drew Espanola into a tie midway through the period as Fergusson finished off a three-way passing play with Signoretii and Horgan from the slot.

They then took the lead and completed their comeback at 11:01 when Brayden Hindman picked off a clearing attempt and went in against multiple defenders before scoring off of a couple of close-range chances.

There would be no further scoring the rest of the way as the Paper Kings improved to 3-1 on the season.

In defeat, the Rapids dipped to 0-4.

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