Blind River Beavers Elliot Lake Red Wings Espanola Paper Kings French River Rapids Greater Sudbury Cubs Hearst Lumberjacks Iroquois Falls Storm Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Powassan Voodoos Soo Eagles Soo Thunderbirds Timmins Rock | Hockey Canada Canadian Junior Hockey League Northern Ontario Hockey Association

GALLERY: Hearst off to NOJHL final following Game 7 win over Timmins

TIMMINS, Ont. – An Owen Power blast with 7:12 remaining in regulation proved to be the deciding tally as the Hearst Lumberjacks defeated the Timmins Rock 4-3 Friday in the seventh and deciding game of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s East Division Final in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,868 at McIntyre Arena.

The win gives the Lumberjacks the best-of-seven series 4-3 as they now move on to meet the Soo Thunderbirds in Game 1 of the NOJHL final, which goes Sunday at 7 p.m. at GFL Memorial Gardens in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Friday’s contest saw the home side strike first when Riley Brousseau forced a turnover at the Hearst blueline, then got it over to Gabinien Kioki, who set-up an open Carson Cox who blasted a one-timer from the right circle that Lumberjacks’ starter Liam Oxner could only get a piece before it trickled across the goal line.

Picking up a two-man advantage later in the first period, Timmins went up by a pair thanks to Nicholas Frederick, who took a cross-ice feed from Christopher Engelbert and calmly outwaited a diving Oxner before lifting it over the sprawled netminder at 15:06.

Getting one back early in the second stanza, Ryan Glazer did some solid work deep in Rock territory and put a pass out front that was quickly chipped in by a waiting Tyren Grimsdale past goalkeeper Gavin McCarthy.

The Hearst power play then leveled the proceedings at 12:42 as Glazer made a nice play once again and put a back hand over to Raphael Lajeunesse, who promptly whipped in the equalizer into the open side.

Building on their momentum, the visitors took the lead over a minute later when Andrew Potyk wheeled around the net and put the puck into the crease that was inadvertently knocked in by a Rock defenceman, who was trying to clear it away.

Timmins tied it 72 seconds into the third, thanks to Harry Clark setting-up Nicolas Pigeon in the slot, as he quickly whipped one upstairs on Oxner.

Getting the go-ahead marker in the back half of the session, Porter hammered one from the high slot that flew into the top right-hand corner.

Oxner and his teammates held firm from there to wrap-up the series that saw the visiting team come away victorious in each of the last four match-ups.

NOJHL East Division Final
Timmins Rock vs. Hearst Lumberjacks
Hearst wins best-of-seven series 4-3
Game 1: Rock 6 Lumberjacks 1

Game 2: Lumberjacks 5 Rock 3
Game 3: Lumberjacks 6 Rock 5 (OT)
Game 4: Rock 6 Lumberjacks 3
Game 5: Lumberjacks 3 Rock 2 (OT)
Game 6: Rock 3 Lumberjacks 1
Game 7: Lumberjacks 4 Rock 3

Game Photos:
Thomas Perry – 
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network