The Espanola Express rallied with two third period goals, including the equalizer 27 seconds remaining in regulation, to help them earn a 3-3 double overtime draw versus the Soo Eagles in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Friday January 5th at the Regional Recreation Complex.
After a scoreless opening first period, Espanola opened the scoring three and a half minutes into the second stanza thanks to Jarod Hurley’s second goal of the season with assists going to Joel Grandbois and Jackson Heacock.
Sault Ste. Marie drew level just 24 seconds later though as Christian Bardarson finished off the work of linemates Nick Techel and Kobe Keller.
Going on the power play later in the session, Bardarson added another to reach the 25-goal plateau on the season to put the visitors up by one after 40 minutes.
It was more Bardarson in the third as hit finished off a hat trick at 5:41 to put the visitors up by a pair.
Battling back, the Express moved to within one a couple minutes later compliments of Logan Fennema’s sixth.
Then with time running out, Espanola notched the equalizer in the late going as Grandbois tied it in dramatic fashion.
Neither side would score in the each of the two five-minute overtime sessions as the two clubs settled for one point apiece on the night.
Keller assisted on all three of Bardarson’s tallies while Heacock and Josh Zlatinszky doled out two helpers for the Express.
Adam Scott made 39 saves between the pipes for the Express while Carter McPhail had 41 stops in net for the Eagles.
“Full credit to Espanola! The played hard all night. We managed to a squander a 3-1 lead because we just weren’t willing to do the necessary things like get pucks deep! Both goals were a result of turnovers that allowed odd man rushes. It wasn’t a real pretty game but I expect us to be a lot better tomorrow night” said Eagle coach Jim Capy.
The Eagles will host the Express in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan at the Pullar Stadium in a 7:00 p.m puck drop.