VIDEO / GALLERY: Lumberjacks snap Thunderbirds lengthy winning streak

Photos: Northern Lights Photography

HEARST, Ont. – A pair of late second period goals broke open a tie game and helped propel the Hearst Lumberjacks to an eventual 6-2 triumph over the Soo Thunderbirds Sunday at Claude Larose Recreation Centre to conclude regular season competition in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.

The result also put an end to a 12-game winning streak Sault Ste. Marie had been riding.

Hearst was quick to strike, beginning the scoring just over a couple minutes in after a Thunderbirds’ defender lost an edge, which allowed DonHeaven Veilleux to dart in alone from his own blueline, before making a number of in-close dekes and working the puck under netminder Maverick Fletcher.

Coming right back, the Lumberjacks added another 28 seconds later when Weslee Crosswell stuffed in his first NOJHL goal, after depositing the rebound off a Noah Janicki right point attempt.

The Soo cut into the deficit midway through the frame on an odd-man rush that saw Jacob Smith slam in his 29th of the campaign off a Kelsey Ouellet attempt that was initially stopped by the pad of Hearst’s Russ Decoste.

A frenzied finish to the second stanza saw three goals scored in the late going, including two by the home side.

After the T-Birds tied it at 17:54, off a turnover that allowed Jackson Truchan to set-up Callum McAuley, the Lumberjacks came right back moments later to retake the lead when Janicki sent Alex McDonald in on Fletcher where he lifted a backhand over the blocker.

Damien Bourdon-Lemoyne then provided a buzzer beater as he darted down the left wing and while driving hard to the net snapped a shot past the downed Soo goaltender at 19:58.

In the third, the hosts went up by three when Aiden Kalin spun and whipped in a low shot to extend the lead.

Hearst then put the game away with under four minutes remaining when affiliate forward Lex Lamontagne connected in his NOJHL debut as he took a Bronson Babyak feed from below the goal line and swatted it into the open corner.

The victory helps the Lumberjacks finish up the regular season at 36-16-4-2.

In seeing their winning streak come to an end, the Thunderbirds finish at 39-14-4-1.

Both clubs will now gear up for the upcoming playoffs, which get underway Thursday in various venues as well as online at

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel