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Hearst clips Cochrane for 7th straight win

COCHRANE, Ont. – A three-goal outburst in the back half of first period helped send the Hearst Lumberjacks on their way to a seventh straight Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory Thursday as they defeated Cochrane Crunch 6-3 at Tim Horton Events Centre.

Hearst got the night’s initial tally 11:20 into the match-up, while on the power play, as Mathieu Comeau put a pass across to Mason Svarich who drove hard to the right circle and ripped a shot into the top left corner over Cochrane starter Marcus Ouellet.

The play helped Comeau and Svarich extend consecutive game point streaks to nine and five respectively.

It was more from the Lumberjacks a couple of minutes later when Zachary Demers chipped in an Emile Pichette chance from close range.

Tacking on another in the late going of the opening period, Pichette knocked down a clearing attempt that eventually helped him put one through the legs of Ouellet and make it 3-0 at 19:23.

Moving to the middle stanza, the Crunch cut into the deficit after a Hearst defender lost an edge and fell which allowed a shot on net that was stopped by goalkeeper Ethan Dinsdale, but Ryan Eckliff was right there to bury the rebound for his second of the season.

Getting that back a few shifts later, the visitors moved ahead by three once more on a play where defenceman Noah Janicki joined the rush in transition and took a Cameron Shepeard feed and snapped one high blocker side from the right side.

On a lengthy man advantage early in the third, Cochrane pulled to within two when Xavier Brooks finished off an opportunity in front that Dinsdale could not contain.

Then up two skaters, the home side made it 4-3 after Nathan MacDonald whipped a shot on net from the slot that was stopped, but the puck came out and hit off a Hearst defenceman and trickled in.  

Regrouping, the Lumberjacks got a fifth on the evening off a solid forecheck that saw Brandan Tronchin quickly bang in a feed from behind the net by Demers.

They then capped off the outcome with an empty netter from Savrich in the late going to round out the scoring.

With the result, Hearst continued their winning ways and improved to 24-7-2-0 on the season while the Crunch fell to 6-26-1-0 in defeat.