GALLERY: Nyman helps Rock roll over Rapids

Timmins Rock Captain Nicolas Pigeon celebrates his first-period goal with teammate Kyle Trottier during Friday night’s NOJHL contest at the McIntyre Arena. Pigeon’s fourth goal of the season gave the Rock a 1-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 6-1. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS

Kenyon Nyman scored a goal and set up three others to help lead the Timmins Rock to a 6-1 win over the French River Rapids at the McIntyre Arena Friday night.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

The four points allowed the Maple Ridge, B.C., product to strengthen his lead as the NOJHL’s top scoring blue-liner (16, 5-17-22, 4).

“I really hoped I would excel in this league,” said Nyman, one of four former members of the defending SIJHL champion Red Lake Miners acquired by the Rock during the off season.

“Last year, in the SIJHL, was my first really big offensive year and moving over to the NOJHL, I really feel I can contribute on the power play with this team.”

Nyman’s fifth goal of the season was indeed a power play marker.

“I just tried to put the puck on net because I saw Slick driving the net. The defender tipped it back the other way and the goalie slid and it went in.”

Nyman has far more assists than goals this season, but he doesn’t really care how he accumulates his points.

“As long as I can contribute to the team, I will take them any way I can get them,” he said.

In his final season of Junior ‘A’ hockey, Nyman is getting a chance to play on the same team with his younger brother, 2004-birth-year defender Tenzin Nyman, this season.

“It is unreal getting to play with him,” he said.

“I played with him in Junior ‘A’ lacrosse and it is just so surreal.”

The Rock jumped out to a 1-0 lead 11:08 into the opening period, with Captain Nicolas Pigeon netting his fourth goal of the season, off a feed from Nyman.

Fellow blue-liner Felix Cadieux-Fredette then added his third goal of the campaign just over a minute later.

The Rock scored four unanswered second-period markers to take control of the contest.

Brady Harroun got the puck rolling when he netted his team-leading 12th goal of the season.

Nolan Ring followed with his seventh goal of the season nine seconds later.

That goal resulted in Rapids starting goalie Brady Dyer getting the hook and Ben Gustafson coming on in relief.

It didn’t seem to matter, however, as Liam Wells drilled a shot over the shoulder of the new netminder for his eighth goal of the season less than three minutes after the change.

And Nyman struck for a power-play marker, his fifth goal of the season, shortly after the midway mark in the frame.

The Rapids finally got on the scoreboard with 4:04 remaining on the clock, as Josh Russell netted a power-play marker, his fifth goal of the season to spoil Rock goalie Jacob Brown’s shutout bid.

Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry was pleased with his team’s effort in all three zones Friday night.

“We played a really good game,” he said.

“We came out hard, nice and clean, so it was a really good win for our group.”

The coach was pleased with what he saw from the elder Nyman Friday night.

“He had a big night,” Perry said.

“He is a special player and I was happy for him tonight. He got rewarded but he does things right all the time, works hard and he is a pro with how he approaches the game.”

Even more impressive than the four points the blue-liner picked up was the calm way he managed the puck in the offensive zone with opposing forwards bearing down on him.

“He has got great instincts and great reach,” Perry said.

“He has got good edges and he moves well laterally on the blue-line.”

Pigeon also caught the coach’s eye with a strong game Friday night.

“They (Pigeon, Harroun and Lucas Piekarczyk) played good,” Perry said.

“I thought everybody played good, Ethan Pool, as well, a couple of bounces his way, Nicholas Frederick had chances, Wells, (Justin) Charette, that whole line had a ton of chances.

“I just thought everybody played well. (Evan) Grigor had a ton of chances. That line, as well.

“Lucas Lowe had a strong game, as well. I really liked his game tonight.

“I just thought it was a good effort up and down our lineup.”

The coach agreed the only low point Friday night was the team’s inability to secure Brown his second shutout of the season.

“I didn’t like that play on our PK (penalty kill),” Perry said.

“If we would have iced the puck, Brownie would have gotten the shutout, but he was solid again.”

While the shutout may have eluded Brown, he did pick up his third win of the season, stopping 16 of the 17 shots he faced in the process.

Dyer, who turned aside 17 of the 21 shots the Rock directed his way during his 24:26 of work, was tagged with the loss.

Gustafson, blocked 15 of the 17 shots he faced in his 35:34 of relief.

NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Nyman, Pigeon and Ring … The Rock went 1-2 on the power play, while the Rapids were 1-3 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena was 788 … Friday’s other action saw the Lumberjacks double up the Elliot Lake Red Wings 4-2 in Hearst, the Voodoos edge the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-3 in Powassan, the Thunderbirds take down the Soo Eagles 4-3 in overtime in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, and the Greater Sudbury Cubs wrap up the Paper Kings 6-1 in Espanola … The Rock will take on the Gold Miners at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex on Saturday, at 7 p.m. … The next home game will see the Rock host the Voodoos on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m.