Photos: Marc-André Longval
HEARST, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks saw Raphael Lajeunesse and Zachary Demers pick up three points apiece to propel them to their seventh Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory in a row Friday, in a 5-3 win over the French River Rapids Friday at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Hearst got on the board first at 13:25 thanks to Lajeunesse notching his fourth of the campaign by banging in a loose puck at the top of the crease that eluded French River start Hayden Williamson.
The Rapids came right back 36 seconds later to tie it when Spencer Borg lifted one towards the net the was redirected in by Josh Russell.
French River then took the lead early in the middle stanza after Dominik Godin buried his team-leading eighth of the season by banging in a rebound from in close.
The Lumberjacks countered by tying it on Lajeunesse’s second of the evening on a delayed penalty as he whipped one in from the left face off dot.
Back and forth they went and saw Hearst’s Demers convert on a splendid individual rush up the length of the ice with 53 seconds left on the clock.
Going to the third, the Lumberjacks clicked on the power play at 11:08 on a Robbie Rutledge effort.
After Borg brought the visitors closer just over a minute later, Riley Klugerman added some insurance for the hosts with 4:43 to go as he blew past a defender on the right side before darting to the net and roofing a shot for his third of the campaign.
French River pulled Williamson with a couple of minutes to go for an extra attacker, however they would get no closer before time expired.
Matteo Gennaro made 26 stops to pick up the win with Williamson having 33 shots fired his way in defeat.
The two sides will meet again Saturday back in Hearst at 7 p.m.