A splendid individual rush by Hearst Lumberjacks’ forward Riley Klugerman with 20 seconds left in overtime lifted his side to a dramatic 3-2 triumph over the Powassan Voodoos Saturday in an entertaining Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at the Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
Hearst got going offensively before the midway mark of the opening period off a solid forecheck that resulted in Raphael Lajeunesse whipping in a one-timer from the slot, quickly beat Alex Bugeja in the Powassan net.
Zachary Demers made the set-up on the marker, which helped him extend a point streak to six straight outings.
Breaking in on close play at the blueline, and with no whistle for an off side, the Voodoos kept going and potted the equalizer late in the first as Caleb Van de Ven snapped a shot from the left circle that eluded Lumberjacks’ starter Liam Oxner.
Moving to the middle session, the visitors went in front as they forced a turnover and got it to Jackson Buffam in the slot, who promptly finished the play with a nice shot on net that found the corner.
Drawing level with under four minutes in remaining in regulation, Hearst tied it off a nice rush by Robbie Rutledge saw him drive the net and get a shot off, that was stopped, but Demers was there to deposit the rebound at the left of the net.
Heading to overtime, Demers was stymied on a partial break by Bugeja to keep the contest going.
However, Hearst pulled out the victory before OT expired as Klugerman’s impressive rush against two defenders saw him cut to the middle and split the Powassan players before lifting the game-winner into the top left-hand corner to give the Lumberjacks the extra point on the night.
Shots on goal ended up 41-30 in favour of Hearst with Oxner getting the win while Bugeja’s efforts helped his club collect a point in defeat.
The Voodoos finish off a busy week with a contest Sunday afternoon in Timmins against the first place Rock. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m.