OLIVER PAIPOONGE, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks got two tallies apiece from Maddoc Newton and Tyler Patterson to help them defeat the Kam River Fighting Walleye (SIJHL) 5-2 Sunday in the finale of TELECO Cup preseason series at Nor’West Arena, just outside of Thunder Bay.
Friday’s opener saw the Walleye win 2-1, with the Lumberjacks evening the best-of-three affair Saturday, following a 4-0 triumph.
Some solid cycle work out of the corner helped Hearst open the scoring midway through the first period when Patterson put a feed in front, which gave Newton a couple of cracks at the puck from in close before he stuffed it in past Kam River netminder Adrew Kreis.
Building on that, the Lumberjacks added to their early by breaking out in transition where Liam Boswell sent a cross-ice pass across to a waiting Mathieu Comeau, who was initially stopped by Kreis, but went in and chipped in the rebound.
The visitors then went up by three in the middle stanza off a play that Kreis could not control moments after a face-off, which allowed Newton to move in and jam the loose puck into the open side.
Hearst split the goaltending duties in the match-up, with Russ Decoste going the final 30 minutes for the Lumberjacks, in place of Tristan Boileau, who was unbeatable in his half-game stint.
The defending Superior International Junior Hockey League champion Walleye finally managed to get on the board late in the session after some sustained pressure.
On the marker, former NOJHLer Kobe Braham worked his way free at the top of the crease and proceeded to roof one on Decoste high into the top right hand corner.
However, the Lumberjacks restored their three-goal cushion in the final frame during a man advantage when Adam Shillinglaw hammered a shot from the point that bounced off the end boards, right to Patterson, who slammed in an insurance marker at 7:43.
Braham brought Kam River back to within two with just over five minutes remaining as he banged in a rebound from the left side on Decoste.
Getting their goalkeeper out for an extra attacker, the Walleye looked to draw closer, only to see Boswell dart in alone on the empty net and seal the victory for Hearst.
The Lumberjacks will open the NOJHL regular season Thursday night as they travel to Greater Sudbury to take on the Cubs in a 7:05 p.m. start at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex and on FLOHockey.tv.
Photo courtesy Kam River Fighting Walleye (SIJHL)