FRENCH RIVER – A Dawson Waddell marker with just over nine minutes remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the surging Hearst Lumberjacks won their seventh consecutive Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League game Saturday as they skated to a 5-3 triumph over the French River Rapids at Noelville Arena.
Capitalizing on the initial man advantage opportunity of the night, Hearst opened the scoring just past the six-minute mark of the contest on Max Griffioen’s 21st of the season.
French River got that back with a power play effort of their own at 11:23 as Philippe Daoust notched his 16th as the rookie forward reached the 40-point plateau on the year.
The visiting Lumberjacks regained the lead early in the second period as Daniel Fisher and Troy Daniels combined to set-up Cameron Clark for his 11th.
Once again though, the Rapids countered with the equalizer as Levi Siau tied it three minutes later.
In the late going of the session, Hearst went back in front as George Young’s sixth at 18:04 put the visitors up 3-2 through two.
The see-saw affair saw French River tie it in the third when Siau converted again, this time via the power play at 8:48.
However, Waddell broke the deadlock a couple of shifts later as the visitors went back in front for good.
Bradley Golant then struck shorthanded as he scored into in the final moments to secure the road decision.
Hearst goalkeeper Tomi Gagnon finished with 42 saves to register the win while Rapids’ netminder Niko Manetas made 26 stops in defeat.
Game Photos courtesy of Dal Photography