Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – Liam Rampersad’s first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League goal, coming 46 seconds into overtime, lifted the Hearst Lumberjacks to a narrow 3-2 triumph over the Timmins Rock Saturday, in a hotly-contested affair at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
There was plenty of intensity in a scoreless opening 20 minutes in this battle between the top two teams in the NOJHL East Division standings.
Action in the second stanza saw Hearst strike first as Mason Svarich finished off a crisp three-way passing play by steering one into the open side on Rock netminder Patrick Boivin for his 15th goal of the year.
Collecting the assists on the tally were Andrew Morton and Mathieu Comeau, with the latter’s effort helping him run a consecutive game point streak to eight in a row.
Staying 1-0 Lumberjacks into the third period, Timmins tied it nearly six minutes into the session.
There, they countered in transition and saw Nolan Ring fire a shot high and wide, but have the puck bounce back in front where a waiting Brandon Rossetti was there to lift in a backhand from close range before Hearst goalkeeper Ethan Dinsdale could get across his crease to keep it out.
Taking the lead at 16:32, the Rock then clicked on a man advantage as Brady Harroun took a cross-ice feed from Nicolas Pigeon and sent a shot from the right circle through Dinsdale that trickled across the line.
With the helper, Pigeon raised a current league-best point streak to 15 in succession.
Coming right back to force extra time though, Comeau connected for the hosts less than a minute later by firing the equalizer by Boivin.
Hearst then won it in OT on a two-on-one where Zachary Demers set-up Rampersad who guided in the game-winner to end it.
With the outcome, the Lumberjacks won for a sixth straight time and improved to 23-7-2-0 overall.
Despite picking up a point in defeat, Timmins saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end as they fell to 22-5-3-2 on the season.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel