With two new bench boss’ behind both bench in Hearst, Ontario on September 8th, Marc Lafleur led his Hearst Lumberjacks into the opening game of the 2017 – 2018 Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League season against the visiting Soo Thunderbirds who are the guidance of head coach John Parco.
At 14:14 of the opening period in Hearst, Lumberjack Max Griffioen found the back of Thunderbird goaltender Eric Schuch’s net to give the hosts a 1 – 0 lead with Bradley Golant and Shadow Reuben drawing the contributors. With five seconds left in the game and the Thunderbirds with an extra attacker, Wade Auger finds Golant for Lumberjack shorthanded empty net goal to give Hearst their first win of the season. Thunderbird netminder Schuch turned away 38 of 39 shots in the Soo’s 2 – 0 shutout loss while Lumberjack goaltender Artem Bortovskiy made 30 saves for his first shutout of the 2017 – 2018 NOJHL season.
The Thunderbirds will now head to Cochrane on Saturday September 9th to meet the Crunch in their season opener with a 7:30 p.m puck drop at the Tim Horton Event Centre.