Photos: Marc Johnson/Gary Rosevear
HEARST, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks saw Riley Klugerman notch a hat trick and Zachary Demers tally twice with a five-pack of highlight reel goals as part of a 6-2 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds Thursday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Sault Ste. Marie did strike quickly to commence the night’s scoring when freshly acquired Daniel Beaupre made an immediate impression for his new teammates as he took a nifty between the legs back pass from Youssef Chaouachi and slammed it past Hearst starter Ethan Dinsdale before the proceedings were two minutes old.
Answering with a tying tally, the Lumberjacks drew level at 7:05, while on a power play, with Klugerman connecting as his splendid individual rush saw him dash into Thunderbirds territory, split the defence, then snap a shot over the blocker of netminder Colton Bourret.
Taking the lead 72 seconds into the middle stanza, it was Demers’ turn to provide to some skill offensively for the home side as he flew through the neutral zone, then drove hard down the left wing where he made a crafty move around a defender then roofed one on Bourret, while driving hard to the net.
Extending their lead later in the period, Klugerman clicked again at 16:57 as he wheeled around the end boards then quickly cut in front where he reached around and tucked a low attempt past the outstretched pad of the Soo goaltender into the net.
The potent Hearst special teams went to work again prior to the intermission as Mathieu Comeau supplied his team’s second man advantage effort of the evening, this time while on a five-on-three, which came in the final minute, as he finished off some crisp tic-tac-toe passing with Demers and Mason Savarich before slamming the puck into the open side.
In the third, Demers added another excellent tally at 1:55 with another Hearst power play goal as he once again powered his way around some Thunderbirds’ skaters and made no mistake from the slot.
Up a player themselves, the Soo’s Dharan Cap collected his fourth at the campaign just over five minutes later as he finished off a Michael Chaffay feed and jammed it in from close range.
Helping secure the home ice triumph, Demers put a pass on the tape of Klugerman in the slot where he buried his third of the night with 6:05 to go to round out the scoring on the evening.
The same two teams meet again Friday back in Hearst at 7 p.m.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel