Stauffer’s big night leads Cochrane over Hearst

COCHRANE, Ont. – Cochrane Crunch forward Austin Stauffer lit up the Hearst Lumberjacks for five points, including a hat trick, as his big night led his side to a 7-3 triumph Sunday evening in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Tim Horton Event Centre.

On Cochrane’s Pink the Rink night where the Crunch game jerseys were being auctioned off during the contest, and with all proceeds going to help support the team’s game day coordinator Laurie O’Connor and her battle with breast cancer, Stauffer set the tone early notching the evening’s initial tally on the first shift overall.

Nicolas Flanders then made it 2-0 for the home side at 7:44 before Austin Anselmo got one back for Hearst less than four minutes later.

However, Stauffer stuffed in his second of the period to put Cochrane up 3-1 after one.

Heading to the middle session, the Crunch kept coming and tacked on three more markers in succession to go up 6-1 with Kyle Herbster and Alex Brisson connecting on the power play and Thomas Hernandez at even strength as the trio all found the back of the net.

Anselmo added another for the Lumberjacks in the latter stages of the stanza to pull the visitors within four after two periods of play.

Each side would score once in the final frame as Hearst’s Shadow Reuben connected on the power play at 9:06 before Stauffer completed his impressive performance by securing his hat trick with over five minutes remaining in regulation.

Flanders and Eli Hernandez chipped in with two assists apiece for Cochrane to aid their offensive cause.

Shayne Battler made 28 saves to record the win in net for the Crunch.

Nicolas Dube started for the Lumberjacks and suffered the loss allowing five against on 21 attempts with Jean-Marc Brisson turning aside eight of 10 in just over 27 minutes of relief.