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Hearst outlasts Powassan in shootout

HEARST, Ont. – Alec Johnson tallied twice in regulation then notched the lone marker in the shootout as the Hearst Lumberjacks pulled out a 5-4 decision over the Powassan Voodoos in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Saturday in front of 733 fans at Claude Larose Arena.

A free-wheeling first frame saw both sides score twice as Max Johnson and Alec Johnson connected for Hearst while Rico Rossi and Samuel Bourdages countered for Powassan.

The Voodoos then took their first lead 53 seconds into the middle stanza on Joe Whittet’s sixth of the season.

Back and forth they went with Maxim Lacroix tying it for the Lumberjacks during a man advantage only to see Tomas Yachmenev collect his team-leading 17th at 15:46 as the visitors carried a 4-3 cushion into the intermission.

Heading to the third, Hearst forced overtime late in a power play chance as Alec Johnson notched the equalizer with under six minutes left in regulation.

After the OT failed to produce a winner, it was Alec Johnson who was the only one to connect in extra shots to give the home side the win for a third straight outing while improving to 5-0-2 in their past seven games.

Nicholas Tallarico in the Hearst net made 46 stops in 65 minutes of work then handled all three attempts he faced in the shootout to secure a well-deserved victory.

Making his NOJHL debut, Reece Proulx, saved 24 of 28 in the Powassan net helping the Voodoos pick-up a point.