Photos: Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – A Christian Genova goal 73 seconds into overtime lifted the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners to a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Espanola Paper Kings Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League get together at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Espanola did take the early lead, just over four minutes into the game, on a play that saw Kobe Braham speed down the left wing then fire a feed in front that was slammed in by Lucas Signoretti past Kirkland Lake starter Braydon Garnhart for his eighth marker in eight outings since joining the club a month ago.
It stayed 1-0 deep in the second period, when the Paper Kings added to their lead and scored on the power play with Atley Gringorten finishing off a nice chip around a defender play by Hunter Friesen, who along with Conor Walton, drew assists on the marker.
Moving to the third, the Gold Miners got on the board at 3:56 as affiliate Mason Brownlee batted in his first NOJHL goal from the right of Espanola netminder Creedon Dyck off a scramble in front.
That tally also brought down a parade of stuffed toy animals onto the ice as the fans fulfilled their part in the club’s annual ‘Teddy Bear Toss’ night.
Building on that, the home side then tied it five minutes later on Alex McDonald’s equalizer off a double deflection that he was the last to touch off a nice set-up from teammate Andronique Stepanian.
John-Paul Scaringi then made it 3-2 Kirkland Lake as his rising attempt from the right circle found its way into the top left corner.
However, the Paper Kings answered that to force extra time with 2:22 remaining in regulation as Blake Peters-Davey jammed in a loose puck during a goal-mouth scramble.
Then, early in the extra session, the Gold Miners broke out of their own zone off a faceoff and saw defenceman Nikolas Joniec drive hard down the right wing and put a play in front that Genova let go that Dyck could only get a piece before it trickled across the goal line to end it.
The result sees Kirkland Lake put an end to a lengthy 12-game winless drought while Espanola settled for a point in defeat.