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Cubs - Paper Kings rivalry produces a little bit of everything
2024-02-09

The Greater Sudbury Cubs and Espanola Paper Kings could easily meet up in the first round of the NOJHL playoffs - and based on last night's game at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, fans might expect ... well, just about anything.

This most recent version of the fast-growing rivalry between two teams that do not appear to like each other very much featured: overtime, a penalty shot, a spirited fight, a gross misconduct and three ten minute misconducts - one of which came at the expense of Sudbury defenceman Mason Chitaroni, who was none too pleased when his stick was retrieved from the Espanola bench, following a nearby skirmish, but now with a broken blade.

(while it would appear likely the twig was snapped while in the possession of the Paper Kings bench area, none of those allegations have been proven in a court of law)

You might want to buy your tickets early if this is any indication of what the post-season intensity might hold in store.

For the record, an overtime goal from Hudson Chitaroni on a feed from Josh Kavanagh secured Sudbury the 4-3 win in overtime in a contest that included a little bit of everything.

The Cubs outshot Espanola 14-10 in the opening frame but trailed 1-0 when defenceman Braydon Bruce whistled a low shot that worked his way through a glut of players and past Sudbury netminder Noah Metivier.

The homeside stormed out of the gates in the second, taking control of the encounter with power play goals from Samuel Assinewai and Oliver Smith and an even strength tally from Cameron Shanks slipped in between those two.

But just when it appeared that the Cubs might be ready to put this one to bed, speedy Espanola forward Lucas Signoretti drew a penalty shot and converted on the effort that was anything but speedy as the part-time Wolves' call-up lallygagged his path towards Metivier before deftly deking the netminder.

The second goal of the game for Braydon Bruce knotted the game at three, setting the stage for the overtime heroics.

Adding fuel to the fire, the teams are back at it tonight in Espanola - so we will have to wait and see what that game summary holds in store.

It should be interesting.

Dairy Queen - Sudbury - Kingsway / Val Caron