Photos – Allyson Demers
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – Hearst Lumberjacks forward Robbie Rutledge scored three times in regulation then had the decider in the shootout as part of a 5-4 triumph over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Sunday afternoon at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Rutledge got his first of the day two minutes into the contest as he banged in a rebound of his own attempt just prior to that.
He then added his next one at 12:05 as he came in on the left side and with one hand stuffed the loose disk under Kirkland Lake netminder Keaton Lyons.
Up a skater early in the second, Rutledge connected again as he quickly buried a crisp cross-crease pass from Zachary Demers to hit his hat trick.
The Gold Miners power play got that back a few minutes later as Luciano Supino took a feed from Alex McDonald while parked to the left of the net, then outwaited a sprawling Liam Oxner before roofing a wrister to put the hosts on the board.
Not down there, Kirkland Lake connected once more 45 seconds later off an Andronique Stephanian effort that bounced to an open Camille Marcoux in between the hash marks where he quickly picked the corner to make it 3-2 game.
Continuing to press, the Gold Miners drew level a couple of shifts later with Ryan Evenhuis chipping one high off a set-up from behind the net from Supino.
Getting the lead back at 13:20, Hearst’s Jaden Raad sent one through a maze from the left point for his fourth of the year.
Tying it up in the third, the Gold Miners’ Marcoux cranked one from the point that was topped but the goal-mouth scramble that ensued saw Supino jam it in.
After a scoreless overtime, it went to extra shots where Dylan Ford and Rutledge converted for Hearst with the latter going upstairs over Lyons’ glove hand.
Nicklas Albrecht converted for Kirkland Lake with a backhand deke goal while teammates Marcoux and Evenhuis both hit the post with their chances.
Oxner picked up the win for the Lumberjacks while Lyons’ efforts helped the Gold Miners pick up a point in defeat.
Shots on goal through 65 minutes favoured Hearst 54-39.
VIDEO “Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel