Hearst strikes early and rolls past Cochrane

HEARST, Ont. – Exploding for six first period goals was more than enough as the Hearst Lumberjacks went on to take down the Cochrane Crunch 10-1 Thursday night in a one-sided Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.

Applying some big early pressure, Hearst capitalized from the onset and had themselves a 4-0 lead before the contest was three and a half minutes old.

Riley Klugerman began the outburst by wheeling around a Cochrane defender, then while moving from right-to-left, deked out netminder Marcus Ouellet and tucked one past his outstretched pad 26 seconds in.

The Lumberjacks came right back and added another as Jett Mintenko jammed one in from the top of the crease.

Not down there, Tyler Bortkiewicz ripped one into the top right-hand corner with a wrist shot from the left circle, which was followed by Benjamin Thornley-Hall pinching in from the point and snapping one short-side on Ouellet.

Adding a fifth before the frame was halfway done, Hearst’s Mason Bazaluk stole a puck deep in the Crunch zone and fed Mintenko who whipped in his second of the stanza at 9:49.

A sixth in the session came in the latter stages when Mason Svarich went on an end-to-end dash before finishing it off with sharp attempt while driving hard to the net.

The visitors did cut into the deficit 5:47 into the second period when Yenry Jibb stuffed in a rebound past goalkeeper Kaleb Papineau, off a Nathan MacDonald chance, during a Crunch man advantage.

The hosts answered that though a couple of minutes later thanks to Cody Walker, who roofed a Mintenko feed from behind the goal line.

Svarich then supplied his second of the night and 27th overall for his club’s eighth of the evening as he buried a one-timer off a Mathieu Comeau cross-ice feed during a Lumberjacks’ power play.

In the final frame, Emile Pichette potted his sixth goal, in his past three outings, to help extend the rout, as he scored from a sharp angle from the right side.

Mintenko than capped off the scoring as he steered in a Bortkiewicz pass for his third of the night and first NOJHL hat trick.

The win for Papineu sees him collect a victory in each of his past 10 starts.

The decision was also a fifth in a row for Hearst, who moved to 36-11-2-0 on the year while Cochrane fell to 7-40-1-1.