Photos: Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – A Liam Boswell man advantage marker midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Hearst Lumberjacks held off the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-3 in a tightly-contested Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair Saturday at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
The vaunted Hearst power play helped the visitors open the scoring, 11 minutes into the match-up, when Alex McDonald sent a cross-ice feed over to Jacob Emmanuel Jr., who cruised into the left circle and zipped a shot, short side, on Kirkland Lake starter Braydon Garnhart for his initial NOJHL tally.
Getting an equalizer during a man advantage, 14:47 into the second period, Ryan Greco banged in a rebound in front off a Bruce Grey attempt from the point to draw the home side even.
Answering back, the Lumberjacks Owen Hey broke up a play in his own zone and darted down the ice on a partial break, where he was obstructed, which resulted in a penalty shot being called.
On his opportunity, Hey skated in slowly, then made a couple of quick head fakes before putting a shot through the legs of Garnhart.
Tacking on another before the second intermission, Hearst broke out on a two-man dash down the ice where Mathieu Comeau finished off a crisp give-and-go with teammate Tyler Patterson.
Pulling to within one in the third, the Gold Miners’ Noah Woodard was sent down the left wing where he drove hard to the net and snapped a shot that Lumberjacks’ goalkeeper Tristan Boileau could not quite control and had the puck trickle across the goal line at 6:55.
Another man advantage marker from the visitors made it 4-2 midway though the session as some nice passing saw Patterson send a cross-ice feed over to Boswell, who snapped it in from the right side.
Countering quickly, Kirkland Lake got that back less than a minute later when Joseph Bastien-Picard corralled a Martin Brusoe shot from the right point and had a couple of chances before beating Boileau.
Hearst held on from the defensively to collect the road victory with Boileau getting his initial NOJHL win, while Garnhart suffered the narrow setback.