Lopez, Hepler lead Elliot Lake past Espanola


Release Date: Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lopez, Hepler lead Elliot Lake past Espanola

ESPANOLA, Ont. – The Elliot Lake Wildcats got three points apiece from Chad Lopez and Cole Hepler to help lead them to a 6-2 victory over the Espanola Express Wednesday evening Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the Regional Recreation Complex.

The Wildcats set the tone for the contest as they stormed out to a 4-0 lead after one period of play.

Hepler’s 37th goal of the season four and a half minutes in got Elliot Lake going offensively.

Lopez made it 2-0 at 11:39 of the frame before teammates Ryan Hackett and Liam Blais, while shorthanded, supplied later markers to put the visitors in control.

Austin Pultz notched his second of the campaign 4:40 into the second to put the Wildcats up by five.

Espanola got one back 50 seconds later courtesy of a Dominik Lavergne effort, who scored for the 13th time for the Express.

The home side added another a couple shifts later as Riley Nadeau beat Elliot Lake starter Aaron Mackay on a penalty shot attempt.

The score stayed 5-2 until just past the seven-minute mark of the third when Lopez picked up his second of the evening and 18th overall to round out the scoring.

Troy Button and Nathan Campbell supplied two assists each for the Wildcats.

Mackay made 25 saves to secure the win.

Kevin Labelle started for Espanola and suffered the loss allowing four against on 17 attempts in one period of work.

Simon Wood entered the game to begin the second stanza and stopped 25 of 27 in relief.