NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Friday, March 11, 2016
Eagles blast Express to take 2016 NOJHL playoff opener
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Soo Eagles got a hat trick and two assists from Chris Murphy to help them roll to a lopsided 11-0 victory over the Espanola Express Friday in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League 2016 playoff opener at Pullar Stadium.
The best-of-three series will now shift to the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex for Game 2 Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. with the Express needing to win to force a third and deciding game Monday back at Pullar Stadium.
Sault Ste. Marie took control early jumping out to a 4-0 lead after one period of play on markers by Roman Gaudet, Mike Winn, Murphy and Landon Hubbard.
The Eagles kept coming in the middle session as they notched four more markers to go up by eight after 40 minutes.
Winn, Gaudet and Murphy collected the first three tallies in the stanza before Blake Mastaw picked up his first of the postseason at 14:19.
It was more of the same in the final period as the hosts fired home three more to round out the scoring getting goals from Murphy, Jacob Palmerio and Hubbard to complete the romp.
Reed Gregory and Alex Rowe dished out three assists apiece for the Soo who saw 16 of their skaters register at least one point on the night.
Cam Bruggrabe kicked out all 27 shots he faced to post the shutout for the Eagles.
Espanola starter Kevin Labelle suffered the loss allowing six against on 28 attempts while Simon Wood stopped 23 of 28 in 29 and a half minutes of relief.
NOJHL quarter-final playoff schedule
No. 4 Soo Eagles vs. No. 5 Espanola Express
Eagles lead best-of-three series 1-0
Game 1: Eagles 11 Express 0
Game 2: Sunday, March 13 @ Espanola 2 p.m. (Recreation Complex)
Game 3*: Monday, March 14 @ Soo Eagles 8 p.m. (Pullar)
*- if necessary