HEARST — Max Griffioen had a goal and an assist as the Lumberjacks doubled up the Timmins Rock 6-3 Friday night at the Claude Larose Arena in Game 1 of the NOJHL East Division semifinal series.
Despite only holding a one-shot advantage in the opening period, the Lumberjacks jumped out to a 3-1 lead and never looked back in the contest.
Griffioen got the home side on the scoreboard first when he netted his first goal of the playoffs at the 9:07 mark.
It took the Rock less than four minutes to get back on even terms when Mahingan Decontie netted his second goal of the playoffs.
Goals by Max Johnson and George Young two minutes apart late in the frame sent the Lumberjacks to the dressing room for the first intermission up by a pair of goals.
It took Dawson Waddell just 1:45 of the second period to push the Hearst lead to 4-1 and Christian James-MacDonald then added his first goal of the playoffs to give the Lumberjacks a four goal lead heading into the second intermission.
The Rock managed to close the gap to 5-2 when Matt Capisciolto added his second goal of the playoffs, a power-play marker, at the 8:54 mark of the third period.
Cameron Clark’s first goal of the playoffs a minute and a half later restored Hearst’s four-goal cushion.
The Rock closed out the scoring when Josh Dickson netted a power-play marker, his first goal of the playoffs, with 7:32 remaining in regulation.
NOJHL regular season MVP Nicholas Tallarico stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced to earn his first win of the playoffs.
Rock starting goalie Tyler Masternak, who was pulled after 37:16 of action, turned aside 15 of the 20 shots directed his way and was tagged with the loss.
Jean-Marc Brisson, who was in the Timmins crease for the game’s final 22:44 blocked 10 of the 11 shots he faced in relief.
NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Griffioen, Johnson and Lumberjacks forward Daniel Fisher (two assists) … Rock forward Tyler Hutchinson was ejected from the contest at the 5:52 mark of the season period after he was assessed a five-minute major for fighting and a game misconduct for an altercation that saw Jake Desando of the Lumberjacks assessed a two-minute minor for roughing … The Rock went 2-5 on the power play, while the Lumberjacks were 0-4 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Claude Larose Arena was 746 … Friday’s other action saw the Powassan Voodoos blank the Gold Miners 2-0 in Kirkland Lake in Game 1 of the other East Division semifinal series … Game 2 of the series between the Rock and the Lumberjack will be played at the Claude Larose Arena on Sunday, at 7 p.m.