Younger and less experienced, the Espanola Express nonetheless showed a good compete level against the veteran-laden Soo Thunderbirds this weekend.
After scoring a dramatic, come-from-behind, 4-3 win over the Thunderbirds on Saturday, Espanola dropped a 4-1 decision — including empty net goal — to the visitors from the Soo this afternoon.
At any rate, the Express — which does not have a single 2000 birth date player on its roster while the Thunderbirds have five — heads into the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League holiday season with an even record of 4-4-2 through 10 games.
The Soo, meanwhile, takes a record of 4-3-1 from eight games into the Christmas break.
In today’s game, 20-year old captain Avery Rebek sparked the Soo with a pair of goals while rookie forwards Ty Zachary and Tyler Doucette tallied once apiece. Doucette’s goal was into an empty net.
Cameron Walker, with his seventh goal of the season, scored for Espanola, which received an eye-popping, 49-save effort from goalie Owen Willis.