HEARST, Ont. – After building up a three-goal lead, the Hearst Lumberjacks needed to withstand a late comeback bid before eventually prevailing with a narrow 4-3 victory over the Cochrane Crunch in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter Sunday at Claude Larose Arena.
Setting the tone early, Hearst opened the scoring less than two minutes into the contest as Olivier Cloutier-Faucher connected on the power play for his 15th tally of the campaign.
The Lumberjacks then added another man advantage effort just past the midway point of the first frame as Alex Cannon banged in his 10th at 10:38.
Not done there, the home side got one more late in the session off the stick of Spencer Silver to increase their cushion.
In the second stanza, it was a much-tighter frame that was scoreless as the hosts carried their 3-0 lead into the third.
Cochrane did get themselves on the board at 10:53 of the final period thanks to Matthew Minichiello, who connected on the power play for his 10th goal for the Crunch.
Cannon then restored the Hearst edge at 16:11 for his second of the day to help them go up 4-1 and seemingly in control.
However, the visitors answered that just 19 seconds later to pull within two thanks to Jacob Seyers.
Not down there, Owen Perala made it 4-3 with over two and a half minutes to play to really make it interesting.
The Crunch did pull netminder on a couple of occasions for an extra attacker in an attempt to force overtime, but the Lumberjacks held firm from there to secure the victory.
Hearst held the edge in shots by a 44-31 margin with Liam Oxner picking up the win while Wickson suffered the loss.
Game Photos courtesy of Marianka Cantin