VIDEO / GALLERY: Hearst holds off Iroquois Falls in shootout

Photos: Turnbull’s Northern Photography

IROQUOIS FALLS, Ont. – Shootout goals from Mathieu Comeau and Aiden Kalin allowed the Hearst Lumberjacks to withstand a late furious comeback by the Iroquois Falls Storm and prevail 8-7 Thursday in a high-scoring Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Jus Jordan Arena.

Hearst picked up the opening goal early after controlling a draw and seeing Adam Boucher fire a shot from up top that Iroquois Falls netminder Connor Hatfield could not control, which allowed Cooper Moore to swoop in and bury the rebound at 1:19.

Coming right back, the Lumberjacks tacked on another a minute and a half later with Liam Boswell steering in a feed from Jack Robinson that came from behind the goal line.

Adding another midway through the frame, the visitors broke out of their own zone in transition and saw Tyler Patterson leave a drop pass for Comeau that was promptly whipped in.

Comeau then collected another late in the session as he got behind the Storm defence and made a move to his right before lifting his chance by Hatfield.

In the second stanza, Hearst added another early effort when Owen Hey chipped in a rebound off a Noah Janicki attempt from the right point.

Getting one back moments after a man advantage, Andre Cho put Iroquois Falls on the boards as he redirected in a low Max Jugnauth attempt from the left side that got past goalkeeper Tristan Boileau.

A chance to get another was thwarted by Boileau as he outwaited Landon Trethewey on a penalty shot and was there to make a pad save.

The Storm did strike again though, deep in the session, thanks to Ben Sherwin tipping in another Jugnauth set-up at 19:56.

In the final frame, the Lumberjacks got a close-range effort from Boswell as he knocked in a DonHeaven Veilleux pass.

A Storm power play helped them pull back to within three midway through the period as a Hatfield head-man effort allowed Trethewey to go in alone on Boileau, and he converted on this chance with a snap shot that found its way through the five-hole.

Hearst however countered quickly on a Robinson marker moments later.

Continuing to battle, Iroquois Falls picked their fourth when Lucas Peever powered past a defender on the right wing and sent a sizzler into the net for his 17th goal of 2023-24.

Tacking on another, the Storm’s Charlie Crump came in on the left side and was left plenty of room to make it a 7-5 game with just over seven minutes to play.

Pulling to within one with their goalkeeper out for an extra attacker, Krisjanis Fugalis cranked a one-timer from the right point that sailed in at 18:09.

Continuing their comeback, the hosts drew level with Hatfield out once more and saw Patrice Lafontaine redirect in a Tretheway attempt from the top of the right circle to force extra time.

After a scoreless OT that had a number of chances, extra shots were needed to determine the outcome.

There Comeau converted by wiring one by Hatfield before Kalen won it by coming in slowly on the right side before cutting to his left and sending his shot back the other way to conclude the goal-filled result.

With the win, the Lumberjacks raise their record to 34-16-4-2 and with a point in defeat, the Storm go to 15-39-0-3.

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel