Game Photos – Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – An Eric de Repentigny effort 19 seconds into the overtime completed the comeback as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners rallied for a 5-4 victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Sunday afternoon at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Collecting the opening tally on the day, 12 and a half minutes into the contest, Hearst’s Tyren Grimsdale jammed in a loose puck laying in the crease off a goal-mouth scramble.
Answering back with the equalizer midway through the middle session, Niklas Albrecht drew the Gold Miners level with his team-leading 17th tally of the season as he cut out from behind the net and stuffed one in on a wrap around before Lumberjacks’ netminder Matteo Gennaro could get across in time to keep it out.
However, Hearst struck twice in the latter stages of the period to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Riley Klugerman made it 2-1 at 16:24 as he was the beneficiary of a turnover that allowed him to skate in on top of Kirkland Lake goaltender Keaton Lyons and make a move to his right before lifting in a backhand.
Then up a skater in the final minute, Robbie Rutledge, coming off a four-goal game Saturday, converted following some crafty stickwork from in close.
The marker was his 21st of the season, which tied him for the league-lead with French River’s Domink Godin.
In the third, Luciano Supino of the Gold Miners snagged a loose puck in the neutral, then skated in a put a perfect drop pass on the tape of Albrecht, who wired in his second of the afternoon, and 18th overall, from between the hash marks at 2:19.
Setting up shop to the left of Lyons, Rutledge put in his league-best 22nd midway through the period to put the guests back up by a pair.
Drawing closer yet again, Ryan Evenhuis potted his eighth with 8:15 to go in regulation as he neatly tipped in a John-Paul Scaringi shot from the right side, just inside the blueline.
They then tied it at 17:04 off a face-off win that saw defenceman Lucas Renzoni move to mid-ice and fire a chance on net that Camille Marcoux collected and buried the tying tally to force extra time.
Skating three aside in OT, the home side capped off the comeback early as a pass back by a Hearst player skipped off the side boards and got by a stumbling Lumberjacks’ defender, which permitted de Repentigny to skate right in and lift the game-winner over the blocker of a sprawling Gennaro to end it.
Shots on goal finished up 46-34 in favour of the Lumberjacks with Lyons picking up his first league victory while Gennaro suffered the defeat in an outing that saw his club pick up one point.