FRENCH RIVER – The Hearst Lumberjacks picked up a goal and four assists from Max Johnson to help power them to a 7-3 victory over the French River Rapids Thursday evening in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Noelville Arena.
With the outcome, Hearst wraps up the No. 4 seed in the NOJHL’s East Division and will take on the No. 5 seeded Timmins Rock in a first-round best-of-three playoff match-up with the Lumberjacks having home ice advantage.
Hearst got going offensively in this one near the six-minute mark of the first period on a Maxim Lacroix effort.
Stephen Calisti tied it for French River though at 10:28 with a power play tally as he picked up his 11th goal of the season.
However the Lumberjacks answered with a pair of markers in the back half of the frame with Johnson connecting at even strength for his 20th of the season before he set-up Austin Anselmo at 18:06 for one during a late man advantage.
Johnson’s solid night continued with his third point of the game as he assisted on Samuel Bourdages’ 21st at 4:11.
The Rapids cut into the deficit 10 minutes later thanks to Will Frustaglio, but Jacob Comeau answered that for Hearst before the period expired to put them up 5-2 after two.
Moving on to the third, CCM Hockey Rookie of the Month for February, Spencer Silver, upped the visitors lead at 4:19 only to see Max Carbone get that back for the home side just nine seconds later.
Bradley Golant tacked on another for Hearst a couple shifts later as he reached the 20-goal plateau while also rounding out the scoring.
Matt Kustra made 44 saves to record the win for the Lumberjacks while Andrew Rocha was tested 47 times in defeat for French River.
Photos courtesy of Dal Photography