Greater Sudbury Cubs’ forward Oliver Smith earned a hat trick on Dec. 3 to propel the squad to a 6-3 win over the Espanola Paper Kings at the Regional Recreation Complex in Espanola on Sunday.
Greater Sudbury opened the scoring in this Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League matinee. The Cubs’ Brock Houser fired the puck from the point which eventually found its way onto the stick of Smith on the right side, who slammed it into the open side on Espanola starter Jake Marois.
“The marker saw Smith score for a fourth straight outing,” the team said.
Espanola tied it up at 12:10 of the first after Owen Fergusson forced a turnover in the neutral zone. This gave Lucas Signoretti the chance to dart in alone and tuck in a low backhand for his NOJHL-leading 26th tally of the season.
Less than a minute into the second, Smith would do it again, chipping around a defender to go in uncontested on Marois. A nice move later and the puck slipped the puck in between the Kings’ netminder’s legs, making it 2-1 Cubs.
Espanola would tie it back up after Jack Lynes won the draw and sent it right back to Kyle den Ouden, who quickly sizzled a shot past Cubs goalkeeper Noah Metivier.
Tied 2-2, Sudbury would retake the lead yet again, thanks to Smith supplying his third of the day at 11:22, hammering in a one-timer off a Samuel Assinewai set-up.
Sudbury would score again a few moments later after Ben Lacroix whipped one upstairs from the right circle on Marois to make it 4-2
After the Kings swapped out Marois and replaced him Andrew Gaulton, a late four-on-three earned another goal for Espanola saw Spencer Horgan work a quick give-and-go with Fergusson, before slamming in his 17th of the season.
The Cubs went back up by two when Smith left the puck for Assinewai, who came in over the blueline and wired it over the glove of Gaulton into the top right-hand corner.
The guests then wrapped up the road result with a long-range, man-down, empty netter from Josh Kavanagh in the late going to round out the scoring.
With the victory, Greater Sudbury moves to 24-7-0-0 overall, while with the loss, Espanola falls to 18-11-0-0.