HEARST, Ont. – Clay Ellerbrock tallied three times to help lead the Cochrane Crunch to a 5-2 triumph over the Hearst Lumberjacks in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division action Wednesday evening at Claude Larose Arena.
Cochrane did get out of the gate first, notching the night’s opening tally 5:20 into the contest on Ellerbrock’s fourth of the season.
Hearst came right back however 58 seconds later to knot the affair as Shadow Reuben fed Bradley Golant for his 17th of the campaign.
Heading into the middle frame, the Lumberjacks took the lead at 6:41 as Spencer Silver hit double digits on the year with his 10th goal of 2017-18.
The Crunch came back to level the proceedings once more late in the stanza as Ellerbrock added his second goal of the night at 18:45.
They then scored again less than a minute later as newcomer Levi Johnson picked up his first NOJHL marker in his league debut to put the visitors up 3-2 heading into the third.
It stayed that way until the latter stages of the contest when Austin Stauffer drove hard to the Hearst net and Ellerbrock stepped in and finished off his first league hat trick by chipping in an insurance marker from the side of the crease for Cochrane at 18:48.
Alex Brisson then iced it in the final minute with an empty netter to cap off the road win for the Crunch.
Shayne Battler made 24 stops to post the victory for Cochrane, who improved to 24-11-2-1 on the season with the decision.
Matt Kustra faced 38 shots in defeat for Hearst as their overall record fell to 14-17-2-0 in their first season in the NOJHL.
Photos courtesy of Jimmy Cote Photography