Photos: Northern Lights Photography
HEARST, Ont. – A sizzling Emile Pichette third period wrister proved to be the difference as the Hearst Lumberjacks defeated the Powassan Voodoos 3-2 in front of over 600 boisterous fans in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Saturday at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
The divisional rivals provided a fast-paced opening 20 minutes, which went without a goal.
Striking quickly to begin the second period, Hearst’s Zachary Demers slammed in a loose puck past Powassan’s Kannon Flageolle, off a blocked Noah Janicki shot from the point.
The Voodoos answered with a tying tally, while on a man advantage, that saw defenceman Mitch Wilkie pinch in and swat his eighth of the season into the back of the net, before Lumberjacks’ goalkeeper Ethan Dinsdale could get across his crease to try and keep it out.
Trading goals late in the session sent the two teams to the intermission knotted at 2-2.
Powassan had the first one at 18:35 as they broke out of this own zone in rapid transition and saw Cameron Lemke tee-up Tucker Shields who wired a wrist shot past Dinsdale from the left side.
Coming right back though, Hearst drew level right off the draw and saw Riley Klugerman bull his way into the end boards and help work one out front where a waiting Demers ripped it into the top left-hand corner the equalizer.
Moving to the third, Pichette provided the game-winner with 5:18 remaining after some solid work along the side boards from linemates Tyler Bortkiewicz and Mathieu Comeau.
Their efforts helped set-up Pichette in the left circle where he rifled a rising wrist shot, high short side, on Flageolle.
The Voodoos got their netminder out late to try and send it to overtime, but Dinsdale and the Lumberjacks stood firm defensively to secure the home ice victory.
With the win, Hearst moved to 37-11-2-0 on the season while the Voodoos slipped to 34-14-1-0.