Hearst handles Elliot Lake

HEARST, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks picked up two goals apiece from Max Griffioen and Raphael Lecours to help aid in a 7-2 triumph over the Elliot Lake Wildcats Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Claude Larose Arena.

The hometown Lumberjacks pressed the pace in the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the Wildcats 21-10 in the session, but originally saw Elliot Lake strike first on an Eric Conley shorthanded effort at 4:59.

However, Hearst’s pressure eventually paid off late in the frame as they tallied twice in a 30-second span with Griffioen and Lecours both connecting before the period expired.

The Lumberjacks didn’t stop there as they tacked on two more early in the middle stanza starting with Jake Desando’s 11th just 17 seconds into the frame followed by George Young’s fourth just past the three-minute mark to go up 4-1.

They then added another at 7:13 to spell the end of Elliot Lake starter Dominic Boily’s night as Griffioen added his second of the evening and 13th overall that resulted in backup Justin Vertesi going in to man the nets the rest of the way for the Wildcats.

Going to the power play helped the visitors get one back as Connor Taylor collected his team-leading 13th at 12:56 to make it 5-2.

Lecours’ second of the evening added another eight and a half minutes into the third to extend their cushion before Blaise Arkle finished off the romp during a power play.

Bradley Golant dished out three assists to chip in offensively for Hearst.

Lumberjacks starter Tomi Gagnon made 24 saves to pick up the win.

Boily in the Elliot Lake net suffered the loss allowing five against on 31 attempts with Vertesi saving 19 of 21 in relief.