Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – A three-tally day by Mason Svarich was enough to lead the Hearst Lumberjacks past the Cochrane Crunch 8-2 Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Seeing their first game action in just over a week, the Lumberjacks showed little signs of rust as they opened the scoring 83 seconds into Sunday’s contest on Riley Klugerman’s team-leading 18th goal of the season.
That marker came about as Zachary Demers drove wide around a Cochrane defender on the right side and set-up Klugerman, who had two cracks at it before sliding one past the outstretched pad of Crunch starter Jake Dubinsky.
Heart then went up by two midway through the first period, with Demers finishing off a solid cycle play that eventually saw him get fed in front off a Tyler Patterson feed and quickly snap a shot by Dubinsky for his 10th tally of the campaign.
Action in the second stanza saw the home side go up by three at 8:47 as Mathieu Comeau helped dig the puck free along the end boards and put a play in front that was promptly finished off by Andrew Morton.
The assist for Comeau helped him extend a point streak to six straight contests.
Cochrane did answer that on the next shift though as Liam Boswell took a Yenry Jibb pass behind the goal line and lifted in a short-side backhand on Lumberjacks’ goalkeeper Ethan Dinsdale for his 25th goal of his NOJHL career.
Regrouping, the hosts came back later in the session with two quick strikes to push their lead to 5-1 in a matter of moments.
It began with Morton skating hard down the right wing and putting a cross-crease pass over to Mason Svarich, who easily steered it into the open side of the net.
Hearst then came right back off the draw as Comeau completed a goal-mouth scramble with help from Morton and Svarich.
That also saw Dubinsky give way to back-up Marcus Ouellet.
Jibb did get one back for the Crunch prior to the second intermission as he worked his way by a defender and finished a Will Stewart pass from close range.
Breaking it open in the third, the Lumberjacks tacked on three more before the 10-minute mark to put the game out of reach.
Svarich made 6-2 at 1:23 as he wheeled out of the corner and put one upstairs on Ouellet for his second of the day.
Newcomers Cameron Shepheard and Tyler Bortkiewicz then both picked up their initial points in their league debuts as he they combined to set-up Emile Pichette for a close-range chip-in.
Svarich then completed his hat trick and rounded out the scoring at 9:45 by slamming one in from the top of the crease for his initial three-goal game in the league.
The result was Hearst’s fourth consecutive victory as they ran their overall record to 21-7-2-0.
In defeat, Cochrane fell to 6-24-1-0.
The two clubs will meet again Friday in a 7 p.m. start over at Tim Horton Events Centre and on HockeyTV.com.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel