ESPANOLA, Ont. – An impressive end-to-end dash with 66 seconds remaining in regulation saw Cameron Walker of the Greater Sudbury Cubs provide a highlight-reel goal to lift his side to a dramatic 2-1 triumph over the Espanola Paper Kings Monday evening in Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League West Divisional semifinal at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Notching the night’s opening tally near the midway point of the first period, Espanola defenceman Justin Seguin pumped a shot through a screen from the left side that sailed over the blocker on Greater Sudbury goalkeeper Noah Metivier.
Still 1-0 for the home side into the second stanza, the Cubs came back to tie it at 11:52 when Walker took a crisp cross-crease feed from Samuel Assinewai and jammed it past Paper Kings’ netminder Jake Marois.
Espanola had a great chance to retake the lead with just over two minutes left in the third as Devin Mauro knocked a puck free and went in alone on Metivier, only to be stymied by the Greater Sudbury stopper.
Then coming back moments later, Walker collected a dump-in deep in his own zone, then skated out from behind his net and darted up ice where he cut through multiple defenders before putting the game-winner over Marois’ blocker to complete the notable rush.
The Cubs now lead the best-of-seven set 3-1 and will look to finish off the series Thursday in a 7:30 p.m. start at T.M. Davies Community Centre and Arena.
NOJHL West Division semifinal
Greater Sudbury Cubs vs. Espanola Paper Kings
Game 1: Cubs 4 Paper Kings 2
Game 2: Cubs 5 Paper Kings 3
Game 3: Paper Kings 3 Cubs 1
Game 4: Cubs 2 Paper Kings 1
Game 5: Thursday, March 30 @ Greater Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (T.M. Davies Arena)
Game 6*: Friday, March 31 @ Espanola 7:30 p.m. (Regional Recreation Complex)
Game 7*: Sunday, April 2 @ Greater Sudbury 2:30 p.m. (T.M. Davies Arena)
Greater Sudbury leads best-of-seven series 3-1