TIMMINS, Ont. – The Timmins Rock scored twice in the latter stages of regulation to help them skate to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks Tuesday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at McIntyre Arena.
Hearst had some early chances in the opening half of the first period, but it was Timmins who connected initially, on a play that saw Nolan Ring come out from behind the net and lift a rising attempt that banked off a defender and flip past Lumberjacks’ starter Ethan Dinsdale at 12:54.
Taking their lead into the intermission, the Rock edge would hold up through 40 minutes as the tightly-contested middle session went without a goal.
In the third, Timmins had a good opportunity to extend their lead five and a half minutes in as Thomas Beard went in alone on a shorthanded breakaway, but was stymied by a Dinsdale save.
Coming back, Hearst countered with the equalizer, moments after their man advantage expired and saw Andrew Morton power out of the corner then make a couple of crafty moves while driving to the net, before stuffing in the tying tally under the pad of netminder Patrick Boivin.
A big turning point came when the Rock held up in handling an extended two-man advantage the visitors had to keep the proceedings level.
Then, getting the go-ahead marker with just over five minutes to play, Timmins’ captain Nicolas Pigeon made a nice spinning direction effort prior to passing to Lucas Piekarczyk in the left circle who ripped a short-side shot by Dinsdale for the eventual game-winner.
The marker also extended a consecutive game point streak for the forward to seven straight, while Pigeon has now etched his name on the game sheet for a ninth outing in a row.
They then saw Kenyon Nyman provide some insurance from the right wing a couple of shifts later as he took a cross-ice feed from Brady Harroun and put one through the Lumberjacks’ goalkeeper to secure the home ice triumph.
The win in net for Boivin was his NOJHL-leading 12th win of the season and saw the victory move the Rock into sole possession of first place in the NOJHL East with 38 points and an overall record of 17-5-2-2.
In defeat, Hearst dropped to 17-7-2-0 on the campaign.
Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network