Lumberjacks hold off Thunderbirds

HEARST, Ont. – A Jordyn Mughal shorthanded marker 6:47 into the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Hearst Lumberjacks went on to defeat to the visiting Soo Thunderbirds 4-2 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Friday at Claude Larose Arena with 752 fans on hand.

Sault Ste. Marie was first to strike in the contest as newcomer Orrin Grangroth scored in his NOJHL debut, striking nearly six minutes in.

Countering, Hearst would connect twice in the back half of the session with Max Griffioen converting on the power play, tying it, before Dominic Dumas supplied his fourth at 14:56 to run a consecutive game point streak to five in the process.

The Griffioen marker saw him etch his name on the score sheet for a sixth straight outing.

Up a skater deep into the second stanza, the Thunderbirds collected the equalizer as Soo blueliner Tristan Cicchello notched his first goal of the season with assistance from Nick Smith and Avery Rebek.

That was part of a 22-shot barrage the Soo pumped on Lumberjacks goalkeeper Liam Oxner, whose efforts kept his side in it.

Heading to the third those earlier saves proved pivotal as Hearst built off that and got the eventual decider on Mughal’s man-down marker.

They then sealed the triumph on an empty netter in the final minute from David Gobeil, who along with two earlier assists, capped off a three-point night.

Oxner finished with 41 saves in earning third straight win for Hearst while Thunderbirds netminder Colin Ahern saw 25 attempts fired his way in defeat.

Game Photos courtesy of Marianka Cantin