FRENCH RIVER – The Hearst Lumberjacks rode the hat trick performance of Max Johnson to help them cap off a three-game road trip with a 7-2 triumph over the French River Rapids Sunday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Noelville Arena.
Following a win at the Soo Thunderbirds Saturday, Johnson sent the Lumberjacks on their way with the opening tally of the contest just over three minutes in.
Bradley Golant added one more for the visitors at 11:42 to put them up by a pair.
French River got one back two minutes later when Gregory Trudeau-Paquet picked up his league-leading 18th goal of the season.
However Josh Bifolchi’s first NOJHL goal restored the margin just 38 seconds later to make it 3-1 Hearst after one.
After the Lumberjacks’ Shadow Reuben and the Rapids’ Stephen Calisti traded markers in quick succession in the middle stanza, Johnson tacked on two more in rapid order, including one shorthanded, to put the guests up by four with still a half a game to play.
Heading into the final frame, Hearst’s Alec Johnson finished off the scoring with a power play goal at 12:27 to wrap things up offensively.
Reuben, Spencer Silver and Austin Anselmo all chipped in with two assists apiece to aid Lumberjacks cause.
Shots on net in the contest favoured Hearst by a 57-25 count with Artem Bortovskiy picking up the win.
Spencer Eschyshcyn started for French River and suffered the setback allowing three against on 18 attempts in just over 14 minutes of work.
Andrew Rocha entered in relief for the Rapids after the third Lumberjacks marker and handled 35 of the 39 shots he saw along the way.
Photos courtesy of Dal Photography