Game 1 of the remade Espanola Paper Kings/Sudbury Cubs rivalry has gone to the underdogs. Working overtime, Espanola left Sudbury on Thursday with a 4-3 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League triumph.
Formerly the Express, now the Paper Kings, Espanola improved its early season record to 2-1-0 with the win. Sudbury now has a record of 3-0-1 to begin the 2022-2023 NOJHL regular season.
Yan Bessette’s overtime power play goal lifted the Paper Kings to the 4-3 decision over the Cubs. In a seesaw match, Espanola led 2-0 before Sudbury rebounded to take the lead with three straight goals ahead of the Paper Kings forcing OT with a third period marker by Kyle den Ouden.
16-year old rookie goalie Drew Gaulton, a highly coveted second round pick of the Sudbury Wolves at the 2022 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft, made 27 saves to post the win for Espanola. Gaulton has started and finished all three games for the Paper Kings to begin the season.