Photos: Bob Davies
SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A Benjamin Thornley-Hall marker in the eighth round of the shootout was the decider as the Hearst Lumberjacks prevailed with a 4-3 decision over the Soo Thunderbirds Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League afternoon match-up at John Rhodes Community Centre.
The day’s initial tally came via an early penalty shot after Hearst’s Zachary Demers was taken down on his way to the net.
On his chance, Demers skated in slowly before making a move to his left then lifting one over to the right past Sault Ste. Marie starter Landon Miller.
The tally extended a consecutive game point streak for Demers to 11.
Coming right back, the Lumberjacks added another when Mathieu Comeau was set-up in the slot and fired a shot off the post and in at 5:17.
Getting one of their own, the Thunderbirds’ Youssef Chaouachi corralled a loose puck in the high slot then drove hard to the net on the right side where he sent a low feed across the crease that was steered in by Jackson Truchan, just over 12 minutes in.
Supplying the equalizer early in the second stanza, Alex Remenda chipped a play past a Hearst defender and went in alone on a breakaway where he moved to his right and sent one over the pad to goalkeeper Ethan Dinsdale.
The Soo power play then helped them go in front off some nice work by Justin Mauro, as he eventually sent a pass across to Ethan Novello, who steered in his 13th of the season.
Heading to the third, Hearst levelled the score while on the power play halfway through the session when Riley Klugerman sent an attempt to the net from a sharp angle and saw it clip off a T-Birds defender and find its way in.
After a scoreless five-minute overtime, extra attempts were needed to determine a winner.
There, Jett Mintenko, Tyler Patterson, Comeau and Thornley-Hall all connected on their opportunities with the latter making a nice deke to his right before depositing a nifty backhand for the decider.
Scoring for the T-Birds on their chances were Chaouachi, Dharan Cap and Tyler Boudreau.
The victory helped Hearst move to 41-13-2-0 on the campaign, while the Soo picked up a point in defeat and went to 35-14-3-3.