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Kirkland Lake holds off late charge to edge Hearst

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – The Kirkland Lake Gold Miners built up a four-goal lead into the final 10 minutes of regulation, but needed to hold off a furious comeback bid by the Hearst Lumberjacks before eventually prevailing 4-3 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division match-up Saturday at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.

After defeating Powassan in overtime Friday, a fired-up Kirkland Lake contingent came out quickly in this one, opening the scoring 2:42 in on a Lucas Branch goal.

It was more Gold Miners past the midway point of the night as Nick Wagner picked up his seventh with assists going to Connor Van Weelie and Robert McLaughlin.

Cameron Neaylon then clicked 41 seconds into the third as his 10th tally of the campaign put the hosts up by three.

After Camille Marcoux made it 4-0 and seemingly had the hosts in control of the contest, Hearst roared back late to make it interesting.

David Gobeil and Jordyn Mughal both clicked on the power play for the Lumberjacks, four minutes apart, to bring the guests to within two.

They then saw Dominic Dumas strike with 1:45 remaining to draw closer as he too converted during a man advantage.

One more power play right after that gave the Lumberjacks a chance to tie it, however Kirkland Lake tightened up defensively from there and held on for the home ice victory, their second in a row.

Kohl Reddy made 24 saves to pick-up the win for the Gold Miners while Liam Oxner saw 38 pucks fired his way in defeat.