Photos: Rene Lanoix
HEARST, Ont. – Dylan Ford of the Hearst Lumberjacks collected the lone marker in the shootout as his side pulled out a narrow 2-1 win over the Timmins Rock Friday in a highly-entertaining Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at the Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
A free-wheeling first frame saw each side generate chances, but it was Hearst that collected the only goal of the session, which came late in the period.
It was off a face off win deep in Timmins territory and saw Ford snap a shot on net from the point that was deflected past Rock netminder Gavin McCarthy by Maxandre Pelletier parked in front at 18:48.
Heading to the second stanza, it went end-to-end once more, but neither side would convert offensively as the Lumberjacks carried their one-goal edge into the third, in a game filled with playoff-type atmosphere.
There, the Rock battled back to force overtime off a splendid rush up the ice by Cameron Dutkiewicz as the defenceman powered his way down the left side and put a back hand towards the net that goalkeeper Liam Oxner stopped, but the Timmins blueliner quickly corralled the rebound the chipped it into the upper portion of the net off a partial deflection.
Nothing else was settled throughout the rest of regulation and the five-minute overtime, to send it to extra shots to decide who got the additional point on the evening.
After Oxner made a pad save on Rock captain Tyler Schwindt, Hearst’s Ford sped down the ice on his chance and ripped it into the left corner with a sizzling wrister.
After a miss on each side, Nicolas Pigeon had a chance to keep it going for the visitors, but he lost control of his opportunity as it slid harmlessly wide to give the hosts the decision.
In the end, Oxner got the win as the Lumberjacks improved to 34-9-8-2 while McCarthy helped his club earn a point in defeat as the Rock dropped to 33-7-5-2 overall.