The Sudbury Nickel Barons were assessed just four minor penalties in the first two periods, but that was enough to allow the visitors to score three times with the man advantage — all in the second period — as the Rivermen exploded for a total of six goals to beat the Barons 8-3.
Cray Roberge scored the final two for Espanola, with singles coming off the sticks of Corbin Bean, Ryan Attwood, J.T. Walters, Robert Smythe, Blake Peavey and Connor Gilmartin.
Brody Brunet, Jimmy Roy and Giovanni Foschia responded for Sudbury, which sat deadlocked at 2-2 after twenty minutes of play before completely unraveling in the middle frame.
The offensive explosion provided a comfortable cushion for midget call-up Kevin Labelle, finishing with 27 saves between the pipes in registering the win for the Rivermen. Espanola chased Sudbury starter Michael Muzykamidway through the second period, with Andrew Lefebvre not faring a whole lot better.
Coach Jason Young and company look to re-group for a re-match Feb. 7 in Espanola. The team will be in Cochrane on Sunday, facing the Elliot Lake Bobcats, with the hosts contemplating a potential franchise move in the off-season.
Sudbury remains three points ahead of the North Bay Trappers in sixth place in league standings, well back of the Bobcats in fifth. The NOJHL regular season schedule comes to an end for the Nickel Barons on March 8, with the team paying a visit to the red-hot Soo Thunderbirds.