Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – Oliver Smith’s second goal of the game, coming in the final minute of overtime, helped the Greater Sudbury Cubs stave off a late comeback bid by the Hearst Lumberjacks and prevail 4-3 Friday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Needing just 57 seconds to strike first in the contest, Greater Sudbury converted quickly to take the early lead.
On the play, Samuel Assinewai skated out of his own zone and sent a pass up to Smith, who split the Hearst defence and went in alone on goaltender Tristan Boileau where he neatly tucked a backhand between his legs.
Countering, the Lumberjacks drew level at 6:30, while shorthanded, when Maddoc Newton forced a turnover and worked his way up the left wing before eventually shoveling a one-handed feed, on a second try, across to Cooper Moore, who lifted the equalizer by Cubs’ goalkeeper Noah Metivier.
Moving to the middle frame, Greater Sudbury struck twice in back-half of the session to go up 3-1.
Hudson Chitaroni notched the second one for his club, on the night, during a power play as he took a nice pass from Josh Kavanagh and hammered in a one-timer from the right circle.
Kavanagh then got into the act at 12:30 by cranking a blast of his own that flew over the pad of Boileau for his first of the season.
Pulling to within one at 10:40 of the third period, Jack Nolan tipped in an Adam Boucher attempt from the right point while parked in front of the net.
Continuing to press, Hearst forced extra time with just over three minutes remaining in regulation when Adam Shillinglaw blasted a low shot from the left side past a screened Metivier.
Moving to OT, the Cubs pulled out the road victory late when Assinewai put a feed through the crease that clipped off the skate of Smith and past Boileau to end it.
The win sees Greater Sudbury improve to 15-4-0-0 on the year while the Lumberjacks earned a point in defeat, falling to 8-8-2-1 overall.