Photos: Marc-André Longval
HEARST, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks scored twice on the power play and three times while shorthanded, including a pair into an empty net, as part of a 6-3 victory over the Greater Sudbury Cubs Sunday in a chippy Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Each team contributed offensively before the contest was three and a half minutes old as it was 1-1 early.
Dylan Ford got Hearst on the board at 2:24, moments into a power play, as he took a pass across from Jaden Raad then moved in and whipped one past Cubs’ netminder Joel Rainville from the top of the right circle.
Greater Sudbury came right back though with the equalizer, compliments of Kyler Campbell’s team-best 26th by tucking one through Lumberjacks’ starter Matteo Gennaro.
Gaining a two-man advantage in the second stanza helped Hearst regain the lead at 5:09 as Ford fired one on net from the slot that was stopped by the blocker of Rainville, but Raphael Lajeunesse was there to pick out the puck with the blade of his stick, before pulling it back and placing into the net for his 17th goal of the season.
Drawing level once more, the visitors tied it at 12:42 off a quick break out that resulted in Nicholas Toffoli having a number of whacks at it before lifting over Gennaro.
Going back in front once more, Justin Carriere snagged a clearing attempt and moved in before wiring one over the blocker of Rainville to give the hosts their third lead of the contest.
The Lumberjacks then took a 4-2 lead into the break thanks to a man-down effort from Ryan Glazer as he chipped in a feed put in front by teammate Tyler Patterson.
In the third, the teams continued to go back and forth and saw the Cubs get a third marker off a three-on-one that was completed with precision with Pierson Sobush scoring with assistance from Mathieu Morin and Toffoli.
Picking up a number of late power plays to try and tie it, Greater Sudbury pulled their goalkeeper for an additional skater, but Glazer and Maxandre Pelletier both converted into the empty net to secure the decision.
The outcome resulted in a fourth straight win for Gennaro and an eighth in a row for Hearst at home as they improved to 28-7-2-0 overall.
In defeat, the Cubs fell to 17-12-3-0.