Photos: Marc Andre Longval
HEARST, Ont. – While it was just an exhibition game, Andrew Morton made an early impression on the home fans as the scored twice, and dished out two assists, to propel the Hearst Lumberjacks to a convincing 7-2 win over the Cochrane Crunch Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League preseason action at the Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Cochrane did strike first, just over a minute into the proceedings, as Liam Boswell saw his attempt on net get inadvertently knocked in by a Hearst defender, off a goal-mouth scramble.
Countering with an equalizer, the Lumberjacks converted while on a power play when Mathieu Comeau fed Morton in the slot where he moved in and ripped one over the blocker of Crunch starter Nicholas Summers.
Answering with a man advantage effort of their own, the visitors regained the lead as Tyler Curnew neatly redirected in a Cameron Frost set-up while parked in front.
Tying things up again in the second stanza, the Lumberjacks broke in on a two-on-one and saw Tyler Patterson finish off a crisp pass from Morton.
Not done there, Riley Klugerman connected from the high slot moments later to see the hosts take their first lead of the night.
Doubling their edge in the third, Morton lifted in a high backhand from the top of the crease, for his second of the evening.
A fourth point for Morton came as he forced a turnover in the Cochrane zone, then moved one over to Comeau, who put one over the glove of Summers.
The outburst continued with Klugerman being left alone in front where he used a backhander to break it open.
Capping off the home ice victory, Xaxier Boulanger went in alone and made no mistake in the late going to round out the scoring.
NO GAME SATURDAY: The two teams were to have met again Saturday afternoon in Cochrane, but that has been cancelled due to the lack of available officials to work the game.