HEARST, Ont. – Recently acquired netminder Noah Zeppa stopped all 26 shots he faced to register a shutout in his Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League debut Tuesday evening as the Hearst Lumberjacks won their seventh consecutive game with a 4-0 triumph over the visiting Cochrane Crunch Tuesday evening at Claude Larose Arena.
With the result, Hearst moves into top spot in the overall NOJHL standings with 51 points, one ahead of the idle Powassan Voodoos, who do however, hold five games in hand on the Lumberjacks.
Picking up an early power play, Hearst connected quickly when Dominic Dumas scored 67 seconds into the contest in what proved to be his third game-winning goal of the season.
The marker for Dumas also saw him extend a consecutive game point streak to nine straight outings.
Moving on to the middle stanza, the home side increased their lead midway through the contest when Spencer Silver supplied his ninth of the campaign with help from Jackson Brown, who earned his initial point in the league, in this his third game, and Jordyn Mughal.
Then down a man late in the frame, Alex Cannon struck shorthanded for the Lumberjacks as he scored in a third straight match-up, to put the hosts up 3-0 after 40 minutes.
It was more Hearst early in the third as Olivier Cloutier-Faucher extended the cushion at 1:08 to round out the scoring.
Silver also dished out a pair of assists for a three-point night.
Hearst netminder Zeppa picked up win in his opening league game while Cochrane goalkeeper Tomi Gagnon faced 33 attempts in defeat.
The win sees the Lumberjacks improve to 25-10-0-1 on the year and extend the winning ways while the Crunch slipped to 14-16-1-2.