Brancato stops 34 as Eagles blank Express

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Shane Brancato stopped all 34 shots he faced to post his first shutout of the season as the Soo Eagles stopped the Espanola Express 7-0 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Friday at Pullar Stadium.

It was all Sault Ste. Marie from the onset as they tallied twice before the game was a minute and a half old thanks to early goals from Caleb Wood and Kyle Quinn.

Mikey Butcher then put one in for the home side just before the first period expired to make it 3-0 after one.

It was more Eagles in the second stanza as Hayden Clark and Dominic Skrelja added to the onslaught to extend the cushion to five after two.

The Soo then put it away in the third as Raf Praysner and Wood’s team-leading 13th finished off the one-sided result.

Butcher, Praysner, Nathan Solis and Brendan Blair chipped in two assists each in the win.

Joel Rainville started for the Express and suffered the loss allowing five against on 39 attempts in 40 minutes of work while Alex Allison handled 15 of 17 in third period of relief.