COCHRANE, Ont. – A pair of third period tallies from Mason Bazaluk broke open a one goal game and helped send the Hearst Lumberjacks on their way to a 6-2 decision over the Cochrane Crunch in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Sunday at Tim Horton Event Centre.
Picking up his first NOJHL marker, 3:21 into the opening frame, Hearst’s Jett Mintenko finished off a frenzy in front as he whipped one into the open side on Cochrane starter Jake Dubinsky from close range.
Heading to the middle stanza with the narrow lead, the Crunch tied it at 9:49 when Liam Boswell supplied his sixth of the season as he won a race and stuffed in a wrap around on Lumberjacks’ goaltender Matteo Gennaro.
However, the visitors countered quickly to retake the lead when Emile Pichette converted midway through the match-up, after taking a Mason Svarich pass in the slot and ripping one over the blocker of Dubinsky.
The Hearst power play then went to work later in the frame and saw them go up 3-1 when Tyler Patterson struck for the 10th time this season after neatly redirecting a crisp pass in front by Riley Klugerman, who was stationed deep on the right side.
An early strike to begin the third saw Brayden Westberry notch his first NOJHL goal for the Crunch by blasting in a low shot from the left point.
Once again though, the Lumberjacks replied in prompt fashion getting goals 50 seconds apart to make it 5-2 with still over 16 minutes to play.
Bazaluk got the guest’s fourth effort as he tucked one under Dubinsky after taking an Andrew Morton feed.
Then on the next shift, Brayden Palfi picked up his third of the year as he completed a flurry of activity by striking from between the hash marks.
Putting the game away, Bazaluk bagged his club’s second man advantage marker on the day as he was left alone in front and finished off the rebound from a Mathieu Comeau attempt.
With the result, Hearst snaps a four-game winless run as they improved to 13-6-2-0.
In defeat, Cochrane fell to 5-15-1-0.