Boivin eager to help Rock defend NOJHL championship

Timmins Rock goalie Patrick Boivin had plenty of reasons to smile during the 2023 Centennial Cup tournament in Portage la Prairie, Man., in May. He compiled an impressive record of 2-1-0, to go along with a sparkling 1.90 goals against average and .950 save percentage. Boivin, a 2003-birth-year goalie, has confirmed he will once again be manning the Rock crease when the puck drops on the 2023-24 NOJHL regular season. ERICA PERREAUX/HOCKEY CANADA IMAGES

It would be hard to imagine a goaltender having a more successful season than Patrick Boivin, of the Timmins Rock, did during the 2022-23 campaign.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

Timmins – It would be hard to imagine a goaltender having a more successful season than Patrick Boivin, of the Timmins Rock, did during the 2022-23 campaign.

That said, he is hoping his encore performance in a Rock uniform in 2023-24 will culminate with him and his teammates hoisting the Centennial Cup.

“It is going to be pretty hard, but we are going to do our best to do the same thing and try to win it,” he said, following an afternoon of fishing.

The 2003-birth-year puck stopper, who hails from Blind River, culminated an impressive run by turning heads at the 2023 Centennial Cup tournament in Portage la Prairie, Man., in May.

Boivin posted the third-best save percentage (.950) and the fourth-best goals against average (1.90) — although you could argue both of those rankings should be one higher given the leader in each category, the Battlefords North Stars’ Justin Maric, saw limited action, stopping both shots he faced in two minutes of a 7-1 semifinal win over the host Terriers.

During his three games at the tournament, Boivin compiled a record of 2-1-0.

Boivin made it his mission to ensure the NOJHL got the respect it deserved during the 2023 Centennial Cup tournament.

“We went out there and we won two games, so you couldn’t have asked for much more,” he said, reflecting upon the fact an NOJHL team hadn’t won a game at the tournament since 2012.

“We came close in another one, as well, so I think we did really well.”

Boivin admitted it was a little frustrating how close the Rock came to advancing to the playoff round, only to be eliminated in their final preliminary round game — despite winning it.

“That’s just how hockey goes,” he said.

“Things don’t go your way every time, but we were super happy (to finish .500). We didn’t just go there to show up and participate, that’s for sure.”

It would be hard to imagine Boivin having a three-game stretch where he was as dialed in as he was during his time at the 2023 Centennial Cup — making 113 saves over that span, many of them of the highlight-reel variety.

“I am not sure if I have every strung together three like that, but it is for sure a positive for me to take into next season,” he said.

Timmins Rock goalie Patrick Boivin peers through a crowd of players while tracking the puck during Game 5 of the NOJHL final against the Soo Thunderbirds at the McIntyre Arena in April. Boivin’s strong play helped the Rock win its first NOJHL championship since relocating back to Timmins. He will be hoping to help duplicate the accomplishment during the 2023-24 NOJHL campaign, as he has announced he will be back in the Rock crease. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS jpg, TD, apsmc

The 5-10, 178-pound, left-hand catching goalie, was just as impressive in the 2023 NOJHL playoffs, helping backstop the Rock to their first championship since the franchise relocated to Timmins from Iroquois Falls.

He posted a 7-2-1 record in his 10 playoff starts, while posting a pair of shutouts and compiling a goals against average of 2.10 and a save percentage of .910.

After being acquired from the West Division’s Blind River Beavers before the 2022-23 campaign, Boivin (2,119:00, 27-7-2, 6, 1.98, .920) helped the Rock secure top spot in both the NOJHL’s East Division and overall standings.

After such a dominating regular season, Boivin somehow managed to elevate his game to an even higher level in the NOJHL playoffs and then again at the Centennial Cup.

“I just felt like if I could do my job everybody else would do theirs,” he said.

“It gives my teammates confidence when I go out there and I am confident.”

To say Boivin enjoyed his first season in a Rock uniform would certainly be an understatement.

“This (kind of season) is exactly what I was expecting and this is what coach (Brandon) Perry was expecting,” he said.

“We went out there and won and coach Perry shouldn’t expect anything less from our group this coming season.”

The fan support the Rock received throughout the regular season and playoffs, as well as during their parade and championship celebration, is certainly one of the attractions of playing Junior ‘A’ hockey in Timmins.

“Getting to celebrate with the fans, I think, was one of the greatest things to happen,” Boivin said.

“It felt great to be part of such a huge celebration and we deserved the right celebrate like that, for sure.”

Heading into this past season, the Rock had six players who had played in the 2022 Centennial Cup in Estevan, Sask., five from the SIJHL-champion Red Lake Miners and one from the NOJHL-champion Soo Thunderbirds.

This time around, the Rock could have as many as 15 or 16 returning veterans, if all eligible players return to the lineup.

“I think it is going to be great, because we know what it takes to win now on the biggest stage in Junior ‘A’ hockey,” Boivin said.

The goalie just started a new job recently and will spend a lot of his off-time fishing.

“I am also going to hit the gym every day, go to the (development) camp in July and then show up in August and do the exact same thing,” Boivin said.

Even in the off-season, the Rock players have a tight bond and they keep in touch.

“You have to stay in touch with all the boys, because that’s how families are bonded,” Boivin said.

“I stay with (Rock blue-liner) Kyle Trottier for most of the summer. It is great to be with him because he is a great guy.”

The number of saves Boivin had to make this past season likely would have been even higher if not for the shot-blocking prowess of Trottier.

Both Boivin and Trottier had younger brothers who played for the Great North U18 League Kapuskasing Flyers this past season.

“I think they sort of play the exact same way,” Boivin said.

“My little brother (Alexandre) looks exactly like me in net, so it is kind of cool to see when you watch and I think Ayden (Trottier) plays sort of like Kyle, trying to mimic him a little bit, maybe a little more offensive but nobody can beat Kyle at defence.

“Kyle blocking shots is huge, he makes the game easier.”

Boivin has not set any personal goals for the upcoming season.

“Finishing first overall again and winning another championship are the only things that matter,” he said.

The Rock will be looking to bolster their roster of returning Centennial Cup veterans when they hold their annual development camp at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby, from July 7-9.

Players attending will be evaluated during on-ice practice and game situations.

Cost of the camp is $250 per player. Anyone interested in participating can register at, or more information can be obtained by emailing