ESPANOLA, Ont. – Espanola Express goaltender Joel Rainville turned in a stellar 40-save performance Friday to help back stop his squad to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Soo Eagles in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Sault Ste. Marie pumped 17 shots on Rainville in the first frame while the Express put 11 on Eagles’ starter Joseph Benedetto, but both stood tall to keep the contest scoreless after 20 minutes.
Espanola would strike first early in the middle session when Matthew Reynolds notched his first of the season at 1:54.
The Soo answered with a Kyle Quinn effort just under 10 minutes later as he buried a Riley Jensen feed.
However, the Express came right back and picked up the eventual game-winner off the stick of Mitchell Lee at 13:45.
It stayed 2-1 Espanola until the late going of regulation when Zachary Matyasik iced it for the home side with 55 seconds to go.
Chase Lammi chipped in with two assists to aid the Express cause.
Benedetto faced 30 shots in defeat for the Eagles.