Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – A three-goal night for DonHeaven Veilleux propelled the Hearst Lumberjacks to a 6-3 triumph over the French River Rapids Saturday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
French River came out quickly and took the lead 46 seconds into the contest when Kai Clayton banged one in from the right of Hearst starter Russ Decoste for his 10th tally of the season.
Answering back on the evening’s initial man advantage opportunity a couple of shifts later, as Veilleux redirected a Tyler Patterson attempt that squeezed through Rapids’ netminder Brady Byer.
The Lumberjacks then took the lead at 13:35 as recently acquired Max Gorzelnik notched his initial NOJHL tally by slamming in a loose puck into the open side.
Hearst kept coming and went up 3-1 thanks to Veilleux who came out of his own zone, chipped the puck off the side boards and around a defender before darting in and putting one upstairs of Dyer.
The Lumberjacks power play then clicked once more with Adam Boucher pumping one through a maze from the point.
Following a goaltending change, that saw Elijah Grant enter for French River, to begin the second period, the guests cut into the deficit in the opening couple of minutes with Tyler Trealout steering in a nice cross-ice pass from Matthew Stringer.
A gift gave the Rapids another off a giveaway that allowed Dominic Dzdyl to click from in close on Decoste.
Countering late in the frame, Hearst’s Julien Trudel put a play in front right to Gorzelnik, who whipped it upstairs for his second of the night.
In the third, Veilleux finished off his hat trick, with authority, as he blasted one in from the top of the crease, during a power play, to round out the scoring.
With the win, the Lumberjacks improve to 14-10-3-2 on the year, while the Rapids dip to 8-21-1-0 in defeat.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel