COCHRANE, Ont. – A Noah Janicki man advantage marker with 8:02 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Hearst Lumberjacks rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Cochrane Crunch in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Friday at Tim Hortons Events Centre.
Hearst also scored first, connecting five and a half minutes in, as Brandon Tronchin slammed in a rebound off an attempt from Mason Svarich from up high on the left side.
Picking up the second assist on the play for the Lumberjacks was Mathieu Comeau, who extended a consecutive game point streak up to seven straight outings.
Answering with an equalizer near the midway point of the opening period, Cochrane’s Liam Boswell was sent in alone on a breakaway where he made a quick move and lifted one over the outstretched pad of Hearst netminder Kaleb Papineau.
Adding his second of the night, and team-leading 10th of the campaign, Boswell put the Crunch in front, early in the second as he blasted a one-timer from the slot that flew past Papineau at 1:03.
Tying it early in the third, the Lumberjacks’ Jett Mintenko worked his way free in front of Cochrane goalkeeper Marcus Ouellet, which allowed him to whip in the equalizer into the open side for his fifth of the year.
Then on a four-on-three power play, the visitors completed the comeback as Zachary Demers sent a crisp cross-ice pass across to Janicki, who whistled in quick release from the right circle that Ouellet had no chance on.
The Crunch pressed hard in the late going, with the goaltender out for an extra skater, to try and force overtime, but Hearst then held firm defensively the rest of the way to win their fifth straight game.