POWASSAN, Ont. – Backed by the stalwart goaltending of Liam Oxner, the Hearst Lumberjacks blanked the Powassan Voodoos 3-0 Sunday night in Game 3 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal at the Powassan Sportsplex.
Hearst now leads the best-of-seven affair 2-1 heading into Game 4 Monday evening back in Powassan at 7 p.m.
The Voodoos had the best early scoring chance as Alexander Bradshaw went in alone on a breakaway, only to be denied by Oxner three minutes into the match-up.
Boasting the NOJHL’s best power play percentage in the regular season, Hearst kept it clicking in this one as Jaden Raad made a nice move while skating in from the point then proceeded to wire one, blocker side, from the high slot that flew past Voodoos’ starter Alex Bugeja at 11:12.
The visiting Lumberjacks tacked on another late in the opening frame when Raphael Lajeunesse forced a turnover and quickly fired a shot by neatly picking the bottom left hand corner to make 2-0 after one.
Action in the middle stanza saw Hearst add to their lead five minutes in as Ryan Glazer powered his way into the left circle right off a draw and sent a quick shot past Bugeja as the guests went up by three.
Carrying their cushion into the third, Oxner continued shutting the door as he was there when called upon the entire final 20 minutes, and throughout the evening, in backstopping his side to an impressive road victory.
The shutout was his first in NOJHL postseason play as he got the win while Bugeja suffered the defeat.
NOJHL East Division semifinal
Hearst Lumberjacks vs. Powassan Voodoos
Hearst leads best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Lumberjacks 4 Voodoos 1
Game 2: Voodoos 4 Lumberjacks 3
Game 3: Lumberjacks 3 Voodoos 0
Game 4: Monday, April 11 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 5: Wednesday, April 13 @ Hearst 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
Game 6*: Friday, April 15 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Sunday, April 17 @ Hearst 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)