GALLERY: Hearst cruises past Kirkland Lake

Photos: Allyson Demers

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – After falling into an early deficit, the Hearst Lumberjacks answered back with seven unanswered tallies to collect their eighth straight Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory, with a 7-1 decision over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Friday at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.

Trading early tallies, the Gold Miners struck shorthanded on a goal credited to Luca Maiuri, only to see Jett Mintenko answer back for the Lumberjacks by snapping a shot off the post, then going in and batting the loose puck out of mid-air and in.

Hearst then went in front for good while down a skater as Brayden Pafli sent a nice cross-ice pass across to Cody Walker, who steered it past Kirkland Lake netminder Ethan Barron.

Not done there, the guests tacked on two more and went quickly up 4-1 with still plenty of time remaining in the first period.

Zachary Demers split the defence and put one over the glove of Barron for his club’s third of the session prior to Riley Klugerman whipping one blocker side from the top of crease midway through the frame.

Adding a fifth goal prior to the intermission, Mason Bazaluk banged one in from the left of the net, coming off a deflection in front off a Noah Janicki attempt from the left point.

Moving to the second, Hearst went up by five, moments after Kirkland Lake was thwarted on a two-on-one and saw them counter quickly and send Mason Svarich in alone, who made no mistake with his chance to make 6-1 with still half a game to play.

Mintenko then picked up his second of the contest and he shovelled one into the open side while situated to the left of the net on Braydon Garnhart, who had entered the contest midway through the night.

That would be it in terms of any further scoring as the Lumberjacks cruised to the one-side road triumph.

With eight wins in a row, Hearst improved to 25-7-2-0 on the campaign while the Gold Miners dropped to 3-29-1-0.