Espanola Rivermen rake in the wins

ESPANOLA—The Espanola Rivermen had another successful weekend, with two wins under their belt in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play.

On Friday, Espanola’s Cray Roberge, Brandon Major, Brennen Dubchak and Corbin Bean combined for 12 points as Espanola rolled on home ice over slumping Blind River.

The Rivermen took a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes on tallies by Roberge and J.T. Walters.

After Matthew Neault pulled the Beavers to within one at 18:07 of the middle session, Brennen Dubchak answered right back for Espanola just 16 seconds later to restore the two-goal cushion.

Major then connected at 19:10 to put his side up 4-1 following two periods of play.

Espanola then put the game away in the final frame outscoring the visitors 3-1 on efforts by Alex Martin, rookie defenceman Nathan Campbell, with his first in the NOJHL, and Brandon Janke while Marc Pompei countered for Blind River.

Bean finished with three assists for the winners.

Joakim Jutras faced 15 shots in the win for the Rivermen who improved to 17-10.

Shaun Gerbinki was pelted with 47 pucks for the Beavers who saw their winless drought reach 13 games as they dropped to 4-21-0-1 overall.

The Rivermen won the game 7 to 2 over the Beavers.

On Sunday the Rivermen had the Espanola crowd to their feet when they faced the Kirkland Lake Goldminers, this time in a nail-biting double overtime game.

Brennan Dubchak buried his 20th goal of the season 46 seconds into double overtime to propel the Rivermen over the Gold Miners putting an end to Kirkland Lake’s franchise-best eight-game winning streak in a tightly contested match-up at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.

After a scoreless opening period the Gold Miners got on the board first as Everett Thompson beat Espanola starter Joakim Jutras at 3:51 of the middle stanza.

Duane Wainman then levelled the proceedings two and half minutes later on the power play to knot the score at 1-1.

It stayed that way through the third period and the five-minute first OT session before Dubchak scooped up the up puck in his own territory with the sides going three skaters aside as he raced down the right win and wired the winner past Kenny Thompson in the Kirkland Lake net to end it 2 to 1.

Shots on goal favoured Kirkland Lake 31-26 on the night as Espanola improved to 16-10 on the season.