It was yet another narrow margin of victory.
For the third straight outing to begin the 2020-2021 regular season, a game between the Espanola Express and French River Rapids was decided by one goal.
But for the first time in the early going of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League slate, the Express was able to take down the Rapids.
Former French River forward James Eng tallied twice and added an assist to lead Espanola to a 5-4 triumph over the visiting Rapids.
French River had taken the first two games of the season against Espanola, winning both matches via the shootout in 6-5 and 5-4 decisions.
The two teams will meet again in a 2 p.m. match on Sunday in Espanola with the Express taking a 1-0-2 record into the game and the Rapids showing a 2-1-0 mark. Both teams now have four points from three games to start the season.
In Friday’s home ice win, Devon Savignac, Isaac Westlake and 16-year old rookie stalwart Luke Bibby scored for Espanola while Cooper Bowman with a pair, Ryan Smith and Troy Andrews replied for French River.
Owen Willis got the win in relief for the Express, stopping 22 of 23 shots in 24 minutes of work.