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Paper Kings come back to beat Eagles

Espanola scored four unanswered goals in the third period to beat the Eagles
NOJHL action between the Soo Eagles and Espanola Paper Kings at Pullar Stadium on Nov. 25, 2023.

It had the makings of a low-scoring game through 20 minutes, but the Soo Eagles and Espanola Paper Kings made up for it.

After going scoreless through 20 minutes, the teams combined for 10 goals in the final two periods of what turned into a 6-4 Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League win for the Paper Kings over the Eagles at Pullar Stadium on Saturday night.

The Eagles got on the board first thanks to goals 50 seconds apart early in the middle stanza.

Jacob Swiatek opened the scoring with his first goal of the season as he scored shorthanded 2:12 into the period. Suttin Majeske then made it 2-0 Eagles at 3:02.

Espanola wasted little time tying the game at two thanks to back-to-back goals by Kyle den Ouden 14 seconds apart just over three minutes later.

The Espanola forward made it a one-goal game with a power play marker at 6:23 before tying the game seconds later with his seventh goal of the season.

The Eagles took a 3-2 lead into the dressing room thanks to a goal by Kenny Belanger Jr., his 16th of the year, at 13:20.

Belanger scored his second of the night to make it a 4-2 game with a power play marker 4:17 into the third period.

Epsanola made it a one-goal game again thanks to a goal by Owen Fergusson just 38 seconds later.

High-scoring forward Lucas Signoretti scored his 23rd goal of the season at 7:47 to tie the game for the Paper Kings.

Fergusson then scored his second of the night with 2:47 to go in regulation time to give Espanola the lead for the first time in the game.

Signoretti sealed the win with a shorthanded, empty net goal in the final minute of play for the Paper Kings.

Fergusson finished the night with two goals and three assists for the Paper Kings. Signoretti had two goals and an assist in addition to the two-goal night for den Ouden for Espanola.

Espanola goaltender Jake Marois stopped 46 shots in the win.

Along with the two-goal night for Belanger, Swiatek had a goal and two assists and Jack Paweski assisted on three goals for the Eagles.

Goaltender Marino Ramirez stopped 50 shots for the Eagles.

After Saturday’s results, four points separate four teams in the West Division between second and fifth. The Blind River Beavers sit second with 38 points while the Eagles are third with 37. The Soo Thunderbirds are fourth with 35 and the Paper Kings are fifth with 34. The Beavers and Thunderbirds were in action against each other on Saturday night with Blind River picking up a 5-3 win on home ice.

For Espanola, the win snaps a four-game losing skid as the team improves to 17-10-0-0. The Eagles fall to 18-9-0-1.

The Eagles return to action on Dec. 2 at home against the Elliot Lake Vikings.