Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – Hearst Lumberjacks’ affiliate forward Damien Bourdon-Lemoyne’s first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League goal, late in the first period, held up as the game-winner as part of the 5-2 victory over the visiting Soo Eagles Thursday night at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
The result helped Hearst skate to an eighth consecutive NOJHL win, while the Eagles dropped a fifth straight outing.
A free-wheeling opening 20 minutes saw five tallies provided, including a trio by the home side.
The Lumberjacks began the offensive outburst 1:38 into the contest as they broke up a play in the neutral zone, then quickly countered and saw Zachary Demers set-up Tyler Bortkiewicz going to the net where he chipped one by Sault Ste. Marie starter Kameron Ragon.
Chase Tallaire of the Eagles had a quality chance to tie it a couple of shifts later as he forced a turnover and went in on a breakaway, but was denied on a pad save by Hearst’s Kaleb Papineau.
The Soo would notch an equalizer just past the six-minute mark on a Colin Handy effort as he cranked one in with a blast from inside the left circle.
However, the hosts answered that on the next shift as another Lumberjacks’ affiliate player, Xavier Boulanger, potted his initial league tally by snapping a shot by Ragon off a dump-in that skipped out quickly in front off the end boards.
Countering once more, the visitors drew level yet again, half way through the period compliments of Zach Sweitzer’s second of season when he finished off a cross-ice feed from Hunter Friesen off a two-on-one.
The goals kept coming in the session and saw Bourdon-Lemoyne supply the eventual decider deep in the session after he took a Jett Mintenko pass and split the Soo defence before firing a shot past the glove of Ragon at 19:20.
Opting to make a goaltending change to begin the second stanza, Eagles’ back-up Logan Raffaele took over between the pipes.
His efforts, along with those of Papineau, saw no further goals scored until late into the contest.
There, Hearst picked up a pair of empty-net markers, courtesy of Mason Svarich and Bourdon-Lemoyne to secure the home-ice decision.
While the result helped the Lumberjacks extend their winning streak, it also saw Papineau come away victorious in his past dozen starts.
Overall, Hearst moved to Lumberjacks 39-11-2-0 in the NOJHL standings, while the Soo slipped to 21-25-4-1.