Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – The surging Soo Eagles skated to their sixth consecutive Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory Friday night as they defeated the Hearst Lumberjacks 4-3 at the Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Visiting Sault Ste. Marie took the lead midway through the first period off a shorthanded marker by Jack Paweski as he beat Lumberjacks’ goaltender Tristan Boileau to extend a consecutive game point streak to seven in succession.
Moving to the middle stanza, Hearst drew level on a five-on-three and after catching a pair of Eagles’ players up ice, broke in on a three-on-one that was nicely passed around before Aiden Kalin whipped one by Marino Ramirez before he could get across his crease at 8:39.
Still knotted at one heading into the third period, the Soo came out hard and after a turnover, Landon Stevens fired a second chance under Boileau, 44 seconds into the frame.
Battling back with another equalizer, eight minutes later, the Lumberjacks drew level when Alex McDonald steered in a feed from Damien Bourdon-Lemoyne from the left of the net.
Retaking the lead once more, the Eagles’ Coby Fox kept a play in the Hearst zone, which allowed Paweski to set-up Alex Freund, who ripped a shot by Boileau from the left circle.
A couple of shifts later, the Eagles’ Benjamin Pouliot came down the right side on an odd-man rush and made no mistake with a glove-side shot with 4:15 to go, in what proved to be the game-winner.
Getting their goalie out for an extra attacker late, the Lumberjacks pulled to within one after Tyler Patterson had a couple of cracks in close before snapping one past a downed Ramirez.
They pressed again to tie it, but the Soo held on as time expired to take the road victory.
While extending their winning streak, the Eagles raised their record to 9-2-0-1 while Hearst fell to 5-7-0-1 with the loss.