GALLERY: Lumberjacks outlast Voodoos to even series

Photos: Northern Lights Photography

HEARST, Ont. – The Hearst Lumberjacks outlasted the Powassan Voodoos 6-5 Friday in Game 2 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East semifinal at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.

The best-of-seven affair is now tied 1-1 and shifts to the Powassan Sportsplex Tuesday for Game 3 at 7 p.m., and on

Mathieu Comeau’s third in two nights gave Hearst the lead 17:19 into the match-up as he corralled a bouncing puck that Powassan goaltender Daniel Dirracolo could not quite contain and jammed it in, while battling in the crease.

The visiting Voodoos came back to tie it on the power play, in the final minute of the frame, with Reyth Smith banging in a rebound off a shot from the left point past the Lumberjacks’ Russ Decoste.

Going back in front 88 seconds into the middle stanza, Hearst broke out on an odd-man rush that saw Aiden Kalin drop a pass to Adam Shillinglaw, who ripped it home from the slot.

After the hosts had a potential third goal disallowed, the visitors countered with an equalizer at 6:21 with Tucker Shields finishing from close range.

Coming right back, the Lumberjacks retook the lead a half minute later when Jean-Pierre Audras sent a rising attempt from the left side that got past Dirracolo.

Another extra-man effort for Powassan evened the score at 3-3 when Ryan Patrick spun on a sharp angle from the left side and sizzled it into the open corner on Decoste.

Continuing to go back and forth, Hearst made it 4-3 at 17:38, with Cooper Moore credited with the marker following a frenzied goal-mouth scramble and bodies battling away in front.

Heading to the third, a couple of early tallies helped the hosts go up by three.

Max Gorzelnik connected by coming in on the back side and steering in a DonHeaven Veilleux feed, then Veilleux got a goal of his own as he wheeled his way to the slot and neatly picked the bottom right corner.

A third power play goal on the night brought the Voodoos to within two as Smith buried his second, during a five-on-three.

The guests added another to make it interesting, with three minutes to go, as Mathieu MacMillan steered in a chance near the goal line.

Powassan then got their goalie out in the late going in an effort to tie the game and force overtime, but despite some pressure, Hearst held on for the win.

NOJHL East Division semifinal
Hearst Lumberjacks vs. Powassan Voodoos
Best-of-seven series tied 1-1

Game 1: Voodoos 5 Lumberjacks 4 (OT)
Game 2: Lumberjacks 6 Voodoos 5
Game 3: Tuesday, March 26 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 4: Wednesday, March 27 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 5: Friday, March 29 @ Hearst 7:30 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 31 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 2 @ Hearst 7:30 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
*-if necessary