Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks shocked the Timmins Rock with two tallies in the final eight seconds of regulation to tie it, then got the lone goal in the shootout, to pull out an incredible 5-4 victory Thursday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Striking first, the hometown Lumberjacks broke the ice with just under five minutes left in the opening period.
On the play, Zachary Demers took the puck along the right-side boards then waited for Riley Klugerman to dip around a Timmins defender before putting a feed across on the tape that was steered in for his team-leading 15th marker of the season.
Heading to the second stanza, the Rock drew level moments into a man advantage and saw Nicolas Pigeon glide in slowly from the point before roofing a shot on Hearst starter Ethan Dinsdale at 4:11.
That also helped Pigeon extend a consecutive game point streak to seven in succession.
Not done there the visitors converted again, less than a minute later, as Kaeden McArthur tipped in a Liam Wells attempt while parked in front.
Timmins then went up by a pair just over seven minutes later when Justin Charette knocked in a rebound, while battling in close, off a Felix Cadieux-Fredette effort from up high.
After a stop by Rock goalkeeper Jacob Brown deep in the period, his club quickly moved the play ahead and saw Ethan Pool win a race to the puck and went in and beat Dinsdale glove side for his team’s four straight goal.
In the third, the Lumberjacks got one back with still over nine minutes to play when Demers set-up Tyler Paterson with a cross-crease tap in.
Moving to the late going, and with Dinsdale out for an extra attacker, Demers made a spinning back pass over to Ethan Kitsch who cranked a one-timer from the high slot and scored with 7.6 seconds left on the scoreboard clock.
Then off the draw, the Lumberjacks pushed the play ahead into the Timmins zone and saw Klugerman lift in a backhand before the buzzer sounded to send it to overtime, much to the delight of the Claude Larose faithful.
After neither side converted in OT, it went to extra chances to figure out a result.
There, after some quality saves, Hearst’s Jett Mintenko slowly skated in on his team’s third attempt and after a quick deke, finished off a shot to his left to put his side ahead.
With a final opportunity to keep the shootout going, Pigeon was poke checked by Dinsdale to secure the miraculous comeback win.
The triumph was the fourth straight for the Lumberjacks as they improved to 16-6-2-0 in thrilling fashion.
With the defeat, Timmins lost for the first time in five outings as they dipped to 15-5-2-2 overall and are now tied with Hearst for first place in the NOJHL East with 34 points, two ahead of the idle Powassan Voodoos, who do hold a pair of games in hand.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel