Game Photos – Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – An Eric de Repentigny effort 19 seconds into the overtime completed the comeback as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Sunday afternoon at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Collecting the opening tally on the day, 12 and a half minutes into the contest, Hearst’s Tyren Grimsdale jammed in a loose puck laying in the crease off a goal-mouth scramble.
Answering back with the equalizer midway through the middle session, Niklas Albrecht drew the Gold Miners level with his team-leading 17th tally of the season as he cut out from behind the net and stuffed one in on a wrap around before Lumberjacks’ netminder Matteo Gennaro could get across in time to keep it out.
However, Hearst struck twice in the latter stages of the period to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Riley Klugerman made it 2-1 at 16:24 as he was the beneficiary of a turnover that allowed him to skate in on top of Kirkland Lake goaltender Keaton Lyons and make a move to his right before lifting in a backhand.
Then up a skater in the final minute, Robbie Rutledge, coming off a four-goal game Saturday, converted following some crafty stickwork from in close.
The marker was his 21st of the season, which tied him for the league-lead with French River’s Domink Godin.
In the third, Luciano Supino of the Gold Miners snagged a loose puck in the neutral, then skated in a put a perfect drop pass on the tape of Albrecht, who wired in his second of the afternoon, and 18th overall, from between the hash marks at 2:19.
Setting up shop to the left of Lyons, Rutledge put in his league-best 22nd midway through the period to put the guests back up by a pair.
Drawing closer yet again, Ryan Evenhuis potted his eighth with 8:15 to go in regulation as he neatly tipped in a John-Paul Scaringi shot from the right side, just inside the blueline.
They then tied it at 17:04 off a face-off win that saw defenceman Lucas Renzoni move to mid-ice and fire a chance on net that Camille Marcoux collected and buried the tying tally to force extra time.
Skating three aside in OT, the home side capped off the comeback early as a pass back by a Hearst player skipped off the side boards and got by a stumbling Lumberjacks’ defender, which permitted de Repentigny to skate right in and lift the game-winner over the blocker of a sprawling Gennaro to end it.
Shots on goal finished up 46-34 in favour of the Lumberjacks with Lyons picking up his first league victory while Gennaro suffered the defeat in an outing that saw his club pick up one point.
VIDEO “Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel