Lumberjacks outlast Express in high-scoring affair

ESPANOLA, Ont. – A high-scoring Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League matinee Sunday afternoon saw the Hearst Lumberjacks outlast the Espanola Express by a 7-6 score at the Regional Recreation Complex.

Hearst started strong grabbing a 2-0 lead before the contest was six minutes old on tallies from defenceman Austin Anselmo and forward Spencer Silver.

Battling back, Espanola struck three times before the first period was done thanks to Isaac Tkachuk who scored once and then helped set-up Matthew Reynolds and Bryce Patterson for the other two markers.

It was more Tkachuk to begin the middle stanza as he scored twice more secure his first NOJHL hat trick and five-point game.

However the Lumberjacks came right back and tacked on three goals of the own later in the frame to knot the affair at 5-5 after two periods of play.

Alec Johnson started the offensive outburst at 6:36 while Wade Auger and Silver connected 39 seconds apart later on to level the proceedings.

Dawson Waddell put Hearst back in front early in the third while Johnson scored on the power play midway through the third to provide the eventual game-winner.

A Joel Granbois man advantage effort at 14:28 pulled the home side back to within one, but the Express would get no closer before time expired.

Max Griffioen dished out four assists for the Lumberjacks while Silver and Waddell had three-point days with Reynolds having a goal and three helpers for Espanola.

Jonathan Pasarelli stopped 23 of 24 shots he faced in nearly 35 minutes of relief to record his initial league victory for Hearst while starter Matt Kustra allowed five against on 22 attempts.

Express netminder Ryan Hale saw 35 pucks fired his way in defeat.