GALLERY: Big night for Morton in Hearst victory over French River

Photos: Northern Lights Photography

HEARST, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks saw Andrew Morton score three times and assist on another as part of an 8-3 victory over the French River Rapids in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Saturday at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.

A five-goal first period saw the Lumberjacks take a 3-2 lead into the intermission.

Morton put the home side in front four and a half minutes into things by beating French River’s Brady Dyer on a breakaway by tucking one between the goaltender’s pads, after being sent in alone by Adam Shillinglaw.

Countering during a two-man advantage marker midway through the frame, Matthew Campanella drew the Rapids level by whipping in a rebound from the top of the crease past Hearst starter Ethan Dinsdale, off a Jordan Bax attempts moments before.

Morton’s second of the stanza, put the hosts back on top at 17:29 as he buried a nice feed from Gregory Harley.

Answering once more, the visitors came right back to knot the affair at 2-2 compliments of Alexandre Dubuc who stuffed in a loose puck after Dinsdale had initially stopped Ryley Wolfe who had gone in alone.

Back and forth they went with Hearst regaining the lead in the final minute after Mason Svarich fired in his 30th of the season from between the circles.

The tallies kept coming in the middle frame and saw the Lumberjacks’ Zachary Demers convert at 1:02 after taking a Morton cross-ice feed and chipping it by Dyer.

Moving back to within one, a solid French River forecheck resulted in Dubuc being set-up alone in front where he promptly put a shot past Dinsdale.

Staying 4-3 Hearst into the third, some more Morton magic saw him slam in his third of the night just 21 seconds in with help from Brayden Palfi and Shillinglaw.

Mathieu Comeau then helped put the game away seven minutes later as he buried a pass sent his way from Emile Pichette.

After that, Lumberjacks’ defenceman Ethan Kitsch then made a nice move to supply a seventh for the hosts as he forged a path to the high slot and ripped one by Dyer.

Demers later darted down the right wing and put a wrist shot through the Rapids’ goalkeeper to round out the night’s scoring

The win was Hearst’s ninth in a row and 40th of the season as they improved to 40-11-2-0 overall while with the loss, the Rapids dropped to 8-41-2-1.