Photos: Marlène Rheault
HEARST, Ont. – Skating out to an early three-goal lead, the Hearst Lumberjacks rode the strength of that to top the French River Rapids 4-1 Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League game at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Like he did in a home ice victory over Elliot Lake Friday, Mason Svarich slammed in a power play marker for Hearst before this contest was five minutes in as he buried a one-timer from the right circle at 4:49.
The Lumberjacks came right and struck again on the next shift when Gregory Harley sent a crisp feed over to Emile Pichette driving to the net where he steered one in under Rapids’ netminder Ben Gustafson.
Hearst kept coming and made it 3-0 before the halfway point of the first period with Pichette potting another at 9:14 as he took a drop pass from Tyler Patterson and promptly whipped in a short side shot from the left of the net.
French River did get one back late in the frame when Abram Snider spun and fired a shot towards the goal that hit teammate Josh Russell and bounced past Matteo Gennaro in the Lumberjacks’ net.
Action in the middle session saw no goals scored as the clubs hit the second intermission with the score standing at 3-1 for the hosts.
Boasting the NOJHL’s best power play proficiency, Hearst clicked again on the man advantage when Riley Klugerman snagged a loose puck and converted on a wrap around with 8:10 to play.
Holding firm defensively the rest of the way, the Lumberjacks raised their record to 12-3-1-0 and maintain their lead atop the league’s East Division.
With the loss, Rapids dipped to 3-12-0-0 on the year.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel