COCHRANE, Ont. – Jacob Stos tallied twice, which included the game-winner, and added an assist for a career-high three-point night to help the Cochrane Crunch register a 6-4 victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter at Tim Horton Events Centre.
A fast and furious start to the contest saw Hearst strike just 11 seconds after the opening faceoff to commence the scoring thanks to Jake Desando’s 11th tally of the season.
Regrouping quickly, Cochrane countered by erupting for four goals in a two and a half minute span to spell an early end to Lumberjacks’ starter Tomi Gagnon’s night in favour of Nicholas Tallarico.
Notching the Crunch markers in quick order were Stos, Owen Perala, Austin Whelan and Ryan Mooney.
The visitors did get one back before the first frame was complete compliments of Max Griffioen’s team-leading 14th at 13:30.
Hearst moved closer early in the second stanza off the stick of William Page, which resulted in Cochrane opting to take out netminder Bradley Dobson and see Zach Wickson come in and go the rest of the way.
With the score being 4-3 for the home side entering the final frame, the Crunch picked up some insurance during a power play with 8:16 to go on Stos’ second of the night and 10th overall.
Continuing to battle, Hearst drew to within one with 3:03 remaining in regulation with Griffioen adding another to raise his club-best tally total to 15.
The Lumberjacks then pulled Tallarico later to try and tie things up and force overtime, however Tristan Taillefer scored into an empty net to help seal the victory.
Seiji Martone had a solid night for Cochrane as he doled out a career-high three assists in the triumph with Mooney adding two helpers to go with his goal.
Alec Johnson helped set-up two goals for the Lumberjacks.
Wickson finished with 19 stops in relief to pick up the win for the Crunch while Dobson handed 11 of 14 in just over 23 minutes of work.
Meanwhile Tallarico was solid in suffering the setback for Hearst as he stopped 27 of the 28 shots he saw after entering the game with Gagnon saving seven of 11.