HEARST, Ont. – A Mathieu Dokis-Dupuis marker with just over eight minutes remaining proved to be the game-winner as the Rayside-Balfour Canadians skated to their eighth consecutive Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory by defeating the Hearst Lumberjacks 5-2 Friday in front of 755 spectators at Claude Larose Arena.
With both clubs entering the night with unbeaten runs, it was the visiting Canadians who capitalized first when Zachary Snow slid one in to open the scoring at 15:36 with assists going to Oliver Smith and Jett Leishman.
Heading to the second stanza, Rayside-Balfour added another early in the session as Leishman finished off Benjamin Hatanaka feed in the first minute.
Answering that, Hearst cut into the deficit past the midway point of the contest as Dominic Dumas tallied for a fifth time on the campaign.
Continuing to rally, the Lumberjacks tied it early in the third compliments of Ethan Schmor’s picked up his opening NOJHL goal.
However, Dokis-Dupuis got that back for the Canadians at 11:55 in what proved to be the difference maker.
They then got some insurance off the stick of Matthew Belanger later before Samuel Vachon iced it with a late marker to secure the road decision.
Rayside-Balfour netminder David Bowen made 27 saves to extend his club’s winning streak to eight while improving his club’s record to 8-2-0-0 overall.
Liam Oxner faced 34 attempts for Hearst who saw a four-game unbeaten run come to a close as they fell to 5-2-0-0.
Game Photos courtesy of Marianka Cantin