VIDEO / GALLERY: Harroun hits 40-goal mark as Rock roll over Voodoos

Timmins Rock blue-liner Kenyon Nyman gets off a shot as he cuts between Powassan Voodoos defenders Jake Fullerton and Liam Serviss during Saturday night’s NOJHL contest at the Sportsplex. The Rock went on to defeat the Voodoos 7-4 to strengthen their hold on top spot in both the NOJHL’s East Division and overall standings. NOJHL NETWORK

Brady Harroun scored a pair of goals, including his NOJHL-leading 40th of the season, to lead the Timmins Rock to a 7-4 win over the Voodoos at the Sportsplex Saturday night.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

POWASSAN — Brady Harroun scored a pair of goals, including his NOJHL-leading 40th of the season, to lead the Timmins Rock to a 7-4 win over the Voodoos at the Sportsplex Saturday night.

It was the 12th-straight win for the Rock (38-6-3-2), who now sit atop both the NOJHL’s East Division and overall standings.

A fast start saw the Rock outshoot the Voodoos 16-6 during the opening period, but they trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.

Mathieu MacMillan’s 12th goal of the season provided the Voodoos with that advantage.

Yan Bessette’s 16th goal of the season 7:25 into the middle frame tied things up.

The Voodoos were able to reclaim the lead, however, when Ryan Patrick scored a power-play marker, his 16th goal of the season, at the 16:39 mark.

But the Rock were once again able to tie things up before the intermission, as converted blue-liner Chase Longhurst scored his first goal of the season with 1:51 remaining on the clock.

Four goals in the span of just over four minute early in the third period allowed the Rock to take control of the contest.

Harroun got the puck rolling when he scored the first of his two goals on the night and 39th of the season at the 2:32 mark.

Bessette followed with his second goal of the night and 17th of the season 15 seconds later.

Captain Nicolas Pigeon then netted a power-play marker, his 20th goal of the season.

And Nicholas Frederick completed the outburst when he scored his 16th marker of the season, snapping his 12-game goalless streak.

The Voodoos were able to add a couple of goals late in the frame to cut their deficit to a pair of goals.

Chase Strychaluk picked up his fourth tally of the season and blue-liner Alex Little followed with his 14th goal of the campaign.

Harroun then deposited his second goal of the night and 40th of the season into an empty Powassan net with goalie Daniel Dirracolo on the bench in favour of an extra attacker to close out the scoring.

Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry felt Saturday night’s effort was one his team’s most complete this season.

“We played absolutely fantastic,” he said.

“We had a couple of break downs there in the third in the D Zone we obviously weren’t happy about that gave them a couple of easy ones (goals), but the game was a little closer than it should have been.

“We carried the play all night.”

Saturday night’s contest was just the third game this season between the Rock and the Voodoos and the first since Powassan beat Timmins 4-2 at the McIntyre Arena on Oct. 30.

The Rock had taken their first encounter, 5-3 at the Powassan Sporsplex, back on Sept. 30.

“We watched a little bit of video on them, the last couple of games, and tweaked our systems to kind of benefit us against them,” Perry said.

“Most nights with us it is just an effort thing and just being mentally dialed in.

“If we are playing and competing super hard, making good reads and executing our systems, I think we are a hard team to beat.

“Obviously, that was the case tonight.”

The coach was pleased with the effort put forth by every single player who pulled on a Rock jersey Saturday night.

“Everyone, every single person on our roster did something tonight that made me say in my head, man that was a good play,” Perry said.

With forward Lucas Piekarczyk serving the second game of his four-game suspension, Bessette once again found himself on the right side with Pigeon and Harroun on the Rock’s top line.

Given that the trio put up 13 scoring points in the contest, it is safe to assume they might stay together at least until Piekarczyk is eligible to return to the lineup.

“(Pigeon) was awesome,” Perry said.

“He is always awesome. I could say that every game. He is always the leader of our team and he plays better in these big games.

“He wants to assert dominance and let us be the team we think we are. He takes it upon himself and wants to prove every single night we are a really good hockey team.”

Pigeon (49, 20-65-85, 28) leads the NOJHL in both assists and points.

“That whole line played good,” Perry said.

“Babs (Harroun) got his 40th goal, which is a huge milestone for him. He is on an absolute torrid pace for scoring this season.

“He works really hard and I am super happy for him. All three of those guys did a good job and led the way, but there was no shortage of other guys who played well tonight, as well, that’s for sure.

“Our penalty kill was absolutely fantastic, guys diving, blocking shots, getting pucks out.

“Nolan Ring, Nicholas Frederick, Justin Charette, they all played fantastic. Hayden Rynard was great on the PK.”

The coach was once again grateful for Longhurst’s willingness to move up and fill in with Piekarczyk and Kaeden McArthur (upper-body injury) out of the lineup.

“It was a beautiful entry, kicked it out, hit the seam and pulled the trigger,” Perry said.

“For a big majority of the game we had been carrying the play, I don’t know what the shots were at the end of the second period but the puck just wouldn’t go in.

“They had a power play and all of a sudden we were down 2-1 and it was like holy moly, we couldn’t play any better, just bad bounces and then Chase got us that one back.

“Then, at the start of the third (period), they started going in and they were going in in bunches.”

The Rock lost the services of forward Ethan Pool (upper-body injury) during Saturday night’s contest.

At this point, Pool, who has dealt with a nagging lower-body injury most of the season, is listed as day-to-day.

Rock goalie Jacob Brown stopped 15 of the 19 shots he faced to earn his 15th win of the season.

Dirracolo, who turned aside 39 of the 45 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Pigeon, Bessette and Harroun … The Rock went 2-5 on the power play, while the Voodoos were 1-3 with the man advantage … The Rock were without the services of forwards Kaeden McArthur (upper-body injury) and Lucas Piekarczyk (serving the second game of his four-game suspension) … Official attendance at the Powassan Sportsplex was 192 … Saturday’s other action saw the Lumberjacks blank the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 8-0 in Hearst, the Thunderbirds fly past the Cochrane Crunch 15-1 in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, the Paper Kings get past the French River Rapids 9-4 in Espanola and the Beavers top the Soo Eagles 7-2 in Blind River … The Rock will host the Lumberjacks at the McIntyre Arena on Monday, at 3 p.m.

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel