HEARST – Quinton Hill provided a trio of quality assists while teammates Carson Cox and Zachary Demers also had three point-efforts as the Hearst Lumberjacks went on to edge the Timmins Rock 4-3 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Wednesday evening at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Special teams played a part in both goals scored in the first period as each club connected once via the power play.
Hearst began the proceedings offensively just past the five-minute mark of the contest as Cox pulled up at the top of the left faceoff circle then slid a perfect cross-ice feed to an open Jaxon Penner, who dipped to one knee and quickly deflected the puck past Timmins starter Tyler Masternak.
The Rock answered that late in the session with an extra-man effort of their own at 18:10 when a red-hot Derek Seguin collected his league-leading ninth tally of the season while also scoring in a fifth-straight outing after Zach Smith, parked behind the goal line to the right of Lumberjacks starter Liam Oxner, sent a crisp pass through the crease to the club’s captain who promptly buried his opportunity.
Collecting the other assist on the play was Josh Dickson, who extended his current NOJHL-best point streak to nine straight games.
Action in the second stanza saw the home side regain the lead once more as Hill flipped the puck between two defenders and saw Trystan Mughal burst through and fire a shot blocker side to make it 2-1 Hearst with a nice tally.
It was more Lumberjacks a few shifts later as Hill made another clever pass that found Cox cutting in from the left point, where he whipped in his second of the season from the hash marks.
Getting one back before the second intermission, the Rock’s Nicolas Pigeon chipped one up to Tyler Schwindt, who drove up the left wing then proceeded to pick the right corner as the guests moved closer.
In the third, the Hill-Cox duo helped Hearst tack on another while up two skaters as Hill threaded the needle to Demers placed to the right of the crease where he chipped in his fourth of the season at 5:51 for the eventual game-winner.
Picking up a late man advantage, and with Masternak just off the ice for an extra attacker, Timmins scored as Seguin sniped his NOJHL-best 10th of the season from the left circle as his snap shot found its way through Oxner and trickled in with 60 seconds to go.
However, Hearst held on from there to secure the home ice victory.
Shots on goal on the night finished up 30-28 in favour of the Lumberjacks with Oxner picking up the win while Masternak suffered the defeat.
Also with the outcome, Hearst improved to 6-3-1 on the year while the league-leading Rock slipped to 7-2-1.
The two sides will renew acquaintances Friday in an 8 p.m. start back at Claude Larose and on HockeyTV.com.
Game Photos: Marc-André Longval