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Hearst takes 4-3 shootout decision over Cochrane

COCHRANE, Ont. – Max Johnson had the lone goal in the shootout as the Hearst Lumberjacks pulled out a 4-3 victory over the Cochrane Crunch in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Sunday night at Tim Horton Events Centre.

It was the visiting Lumberjacks who were quick to open the evening’s scoring as Johnson banged one in 63 seconds into the contest.

On Teddy Bear Toss night, with stuffed toys that are to be donated to charity for the holiday season, rained down on the ice after Caleb Dolman notched the equalizer for the Crunch at 4:56 as he scored for a second straight outing and third in four games to level the proceedings.

Hearst then retook the lead before the first period was complete on Cameron Clark’s ninth of the campaign.

Cochrane countered early in the second to knot the score once more thanks to a Zach Hayes effort.

The home side then went in front at 8:40 with Austin Whelan supplying his 21st, which tied him for the most in the league so far in 2018-19.

However, it was the Lumberjacks turn to tie it as Alec Johnson answered less than two minutes later to make it 3-3 after 40 minutes.

After a scoreless third the match-up went to overtime.

In the OT, it was free-wheeling saw only had a couple of whistles as both sides had quality chances to end it, but could not, so it went to the shootout.

In the extra attempts, Johnson was the only one to connect as he slid one low to the left that slid past Cochrane goaltender Bradley Dobson on his club’s third chance.

Needing to score to keep it going, Hearst netminder Nicholas Tallarico thwarted a Caleb Dolman effort to end it.

Tallarico made 38 saves, including one on a second period penalty shot, to earn the win for the Lumberjacks while Dobson’s 37 stops helped the Crunch pick-up a point in defeat.