GALLERY: Comeau collects shootout winner in Hearst triumph over Blind River

Photos: Northern Lights Photography

HEARST, Ont. – Mathieu Comeau of the Hearst Lumberjacks notched the only goal of the shootout to propel his team to a 4-3 triumph over the Blind River Beavers Friday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.

The league-leading Beavers opened the scoring on an odd-man rush, four and a half minutes into the contest, when Daniel Vasic hammered a shot from the slot that was stopped by Lumberjacks starter Tristan Boileau, but saw Jakob Kovacs swoop in and backhand in the rebound for his 28th tally of the campaign.

Countering with an equalizer off a face off win by Tyler Patterson, Hearst’s William Pâquet snapped a rising attempt from the left point that eluded a screened Noah Tegelaar as the puck sailed by his blocker into the top left hand corner.

The home side then went in front at 12:41 when Pâquet picked off a play in the neutral zone, then fed Aiden Kalin going hard down the left wing where he put a chance on Tegelaar, who could not control it, which allowed Pâquet to swat in his second of the stanza.

Second period play saw Blind River tie it at 2-2 when Kovacs swiped the puck from Boileau behind the net and eventually stuffed it in for a shorthanded effort.

Regaining the lead midway through the proceedings, Cooper Moore put the Lumberjacks back in front as he darted in and fired a low shot into the bottom left corner, off a Bronson Babyak pass.

The Beavers came back to knot the score once more moments into the third as Vasic sent a backhander by Boileau to extend a point streak to six in succession.

Staying level through the remainder of regulation, the clubs headed to overtime to try and determine a winner.

After a scoreless five-minute OT, extra shots were required to resolve the result.

There, following two thwarted attempts apiece, Comeau calmly skated in and neatly tucked his opportunity between the legs of Tegelaar to give the hosts the edge.

Boileau then stopped one final Blind River chance to secure the victory and pick-up the extra point on the night.

The win sees Hearst improve to 30-15-3-2 while the Beavers slip to 41-10-0-1 with their initial extra time setback on the season.