ESPANOLA, Ont. – A pair of late power play tallies, in the final minute of regulation, propelled the Hearst Lumberjacks to a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Espanola Paper Kings Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League meeting at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Breaking into Espanola territory in the first minute of the contest on a three-on-one, Hearst connected quickly with Zachary Demers sending a sharp cross-ice pass over to Riley Klugerman, who made no mistake while in close on Paper Kings goaltender Andrew Gaulton.
The Espanola power play went to work at 16:25 of the first and saw Benjamin Lacroix get credited for the tying tally.
Moving to the middle period, it was more from Lacroix at 5:47 as he picked up his second of the night.
Drawing level late in the second, the Lumberjacks’ Demers picked up another point on the night with his first goal of the season, which came at 17:02.
An action-packed third period saw Paper Kings captain Joshua Romolo put his club in front at 6:17, only to see Andrew Morton answer for the Lumberjacks, five minutes later, while his side was up a skater.
Jonathan Lush looked to give Espanola the decision at 18:37 with his first in the league, but Mason Svarich provided his opening NOJHL tally with 42 seconds to play.
Then, while still on the power play, Noah Janacki buried the game-winner in thrilling fashion to give Hearst the late road victory, as he also picked up his first league goal at 19:43.
Ethan Dinsdale got the triumph in net for the Lumberjacks while Gaulton suffered the loss.