COCHRANE – A Brendan Wade point blast with 10:51 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Cochrane Crunch went on to defeat the Hearst Lumberjacks 3-1 Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at Tim Horton Events Centre.
A tightly contested first frame saw it go scoreless as the Lumberjacks’ Andrew Stephan and Michael Nickolau of the Crunch kept opposing shooters at bay in the session.
Second period play saw it remain scoreless until late in the session when Cochrane broke in on a two-on-one and saw Steven Klinck make a perfect cross-crease pass to a hard-charging Alexander Thompson, who was acquired by the club from Hearst earlier in the week, and bury his first NOJHL goal at 18:07.
Moving to the third, the Crunch added the eventual difference maker Wade unleashed a shot from the right point that flew into the back of the net for his initial league tally.
Rushing into the Cochrane zone with six and a half minutes remaining, Hearst was rewarded with Carson Cox redirecting his first NOJHL marker from close range to get the guests on the board.
The Lumberjacks then pulled their netminder in the late going for an extra attacker, but Sebastien Ouimet of the Crunch put one into an empty net from the left side to secure his club’s first win of the season.
Nickolau finished with 44 stops to register his initial league victory while Stephan stopped 24 of 26 in defeat.
Game Photos: Emily Martin