COCHRANE, Ont. – Getting two goals in each of the first two periods, the Cochrane Crunch would need each of them before eventually holding off a comeback bid by the Hearst Lumberjacks and prevailing 5-3 Tuesday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Tim Horton Events Centre.
The Lumberjacks clicked just 50 seconds to open the evening’s scoring as Tyson Moore finished off his ninth tally of the campaign with help from Kobe Barrette and Nicholas Grandy as he scored for a second straight outing.
Picking up the evening’s initial man advantage opportunity, the Crunch then went up 2-0 at 5:22 compliments of Billy Paschen.
It was around the same time in the middle session that the home side extended their cushion when Owen Perala picked up his 18th of the season.
Cochrane kept coming as affiliate Ryan Maynard, who was making his season debut, notched his first NOJHL goal at 16:29.
Hearst did get on the board late in the frame as Trystan Mughal’s sixth brought the guests to within three.
In the third, the Lumberjacks added another midway through period off the stick of Olivier Cloutier-Faucher as his 19th came during a man advantage opportunity.
The visitors kept coming and pulled to within one with just over five minutes left in regulation, courtesy of Sebastien Doucet, to set-up an exciting finish.
Hearst then had a late power play to try and even the score, but the Crunch killed that off and eventually saw J.P. Moreira put one into an empty net with 33 seconds remaining to round out the night’s scoring.
Cochrane captain Hunter Buzzi was credited with three assists to help lead his squad to the win.
Shots on goal finished up 36-32 in favour of the Lumberjacks with Tomi Gagnon getting the victory.
Liam Oxner started for Hearst and suffered the loss, allowing four on 15 attempts while Patrick Boivin handled all 16 chances he faced in over 23 minutes of relief.