Game Photos: Marc-André Longval
HEARST, Ont. – A Riley Klugerman marker 87 seconds into overtime was the difference as the Hearst Lumberjacks held off the Powassan Voodoos 5-4 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Saturday at Claude Larose Arena.
The Voodoos needed just 32 seconds to take flight in the contest as a nice pass up-ice by Ryan O’Dell allowed Cameron Lemcke to skate untouched down the left wing where he made a sharp fake to his left and buried a shot on Hearst starter Liam Oxner.
Countering with an equalizer at 4:44, the Lumberjacks’ Robbie Rutledge notched his 15th tally of the season as he finished off a solid forecheck by Zachary Demers, which allowed Raphael Lajeunesse to put an original bouncing puck towards the target that Powassan netminder Alex Bugeja could not contain.
Regaining the lead via the man advantage, Jackson Buffam helped send the Voodoos to the intermission up 2-1 as he potted one from the left side off some crisp movement by his teammates.
Drawing even midway through the second, Alex Hunt took a drop pass from Mathieu Comeau and snapped a shot from the slot that clipped off Bugeja’s glove and fluttered across the goal line to know the affair at 2-2.
Hearst then took the lead late in the frame as Dylan Ford moved to the right circle and put an attempt on net that found its way through and into the net.
Going up by a pair early in the third on a delayed penalty, Rutledge stuffed in his second of the night as he snagged a rebound off Bugeja’s pad and tucked it into the net.
Battling back, Powassan pulled to within one with 2:02 remaining as Alexander Bradshaw picked up his team-leading 18th tally as he cranked a one-timer from the high slot with Bugeja out for an extra attacker.
They then tied it with their netminder out once more in the final minute when Ben White picked up the equalizer at 19:08 as he finished off a goal-mouth scramble to the left of Oxner.
With one point apiece assured, the clubs headed to OT to see which side would get the extra one.
There, Klugerman won it for Hearst as drove wide then hard to the net where he jammed in the decider to end it with help from Ford.
Oxner made 18 saves on the night to get the win while Bugeja’s 39 stops helped his team earn a point in defeat.
VIDEO “Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel