HEARST, Ont. – A well-balanced attack saw the Hearst Lumberjacks collect goals from six different skaters as they went on to defeat the Timmins Rock 6-3 Friday in Game 1 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal held at Claude Larose Arena.
Hearst opened the scoring just past the nine-minute mark of the first period off the stick of Max Griffioen.
Timmins came back to tie it at 13:05 thanks to Mahingan Decontie only to see Max Johnson strike for the Lumberjacks 28 seconds later to put the home side back on top.
They then made it 3-1 a couple of shifts later on a George Young effort as they carried that cushion into the middle stanza.
Hearst broke it open in that second frame getting goals from Dawson Waddell and Christian James-McDonald to go up by four after 40 minutes.
The Rock cut into the deficit thanks to a power play tally from Matt Capisciolto at 8:54, but the Lumberjacks countered quickly once more with Cameron Clark notching his first of the playoffs.
Timmins added one more, via the man advantage, from Josh Dickson at 12:28, but that’s as close as they would get as Hearst secured the series-opening victory.
Daniel Fisher chipped in with two assists to aid the winners cause.
NOJHL MVP Nicholas Tallarico made 22 stops to pick up the win for the Lumberjacks.
Tyler Mastnerak started for the Rock and suffered the loss allowing five against on 20 attempts while Jean-Marc Brisson saved 10 of 11 in nearly 11 minutes of relief.
Game 2 goes Sunday at 7 p.m. back in Hearst.
East Division semifinal
No. 1 Hearst Lumberjacks vs. No. 4 Timmins Rock
Hearst leads best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Hearst 6 Timmins 3
Game 2: Sunday, March 17 @ Hearst 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Arena)
Game 3: Wednesday, March 20 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 4: Friday, March 22 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 5*: Sunday, March 24 @ Hearst 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Arena)
Game 6*: Monday, March 25 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 7*: Wednesday, March 27 @ Kirkland Lake 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Arena