VIDEO / GALLERY: Nyman sets up three goals as Rock shoot down Voodoos

Timmins Rock forward Lucas Piekarczyk drills a shot past Powassan Voodoos goalie Daniel Dirracolo for his 20th goal of the season during the second period of Sunday afternoon’s NOJHL contest at the McIntyre Arena. Piekarczyk’s goal gave the Rock a 6-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 7-4. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS

Kenyon Nyman, the NOJHL’s top scoring blue-liner, set up three goals as the Timmins Rock topped the Powassan Voodoos 7-4 at the McIntyre Arena Sunday afternoon.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

TIMMINS – Kenyon Nyman, the NOJHL’s top scoring blue-liner, set up three goals as the Timmins Rock topped the Powassan Voodoos 7-4 at the McIntyre Arena Sunday afternoon.

“Against Powassan, they play a real structured game, so we knew we had to move the puck fast today and open up seams,” he said, following the victory.

Even though the Rock took command of the contest early, Nyman knew it was only a matter of time before the Voodoos would fight their way back into it.

“We put up six (goals) and then we struggled to get one in,” he said.

“They are a team that is never going to quit and they take pride in their game.

“So when (Nolan Ring) Ringer got that last one there was a sigh of relief and the boys were happy.”

It was the second win of the weekend for the Rock who overcame suspension and injury woes to thump the Elliot Lake Red Wings 9-1 on home ice Friday night.

For the Voodoos, it was the final game of an unproductive three-game road trip that saw them knock off the Crunch 8-1 in Cochrane Friday night, but drop a 3-2 decision against the Lumberjacks in Hearst Saturday night.

As a result, the Rock (40-7-3-2) now hold seven-point lead on the Lumberjacks (38-11-2-0) and 16-point lead on the Voodoos (34-15-1-0) atop the NOJHL’s East Division standings, although Hearst has a game in hand and Powassan two.

The weekend action also leaves the Rock three points up on the West Division’s Greater Sudbury Cubs (40-10-2-0) in the battle for top spot in the NOJHL’s overall standings.

After being without eight regulars for Friday night’s contest, the Rock welcomed b Brady Harroun (suspension), Lucas Piekarczyk (suspension), Kaeden McArthur (upper-body injury) and Hayden Rynard (lower-body injury) back to the lineup Sunday afternoon.

And, for the second-straight game, the Rock’s power play was humming.

It took just 1:34 for the Rock special teams to make the Voodoos pay, as Nicholas Frederick netted his 18th goal of the season to get the home side on the scoreboard.

Just over three minutes later, the NOJHL’s leading goal scorer, Harroun, notched his 41st of the season, also with the Rock enjoying a man advantage.

The Rock added to their lead 1:23 into the middle frame, as Ethan Pool netted an unassisted marker, his eight goal of the season.

Blue-liner Kyle Trottier then netted his sixth goal of the season just over a minute later to make it a 4-0 hockey game.

And McArthur kept the puck rolling when he notched his 10th goal of the season just over a minute after that tally.

At that point, Voodoos coach Peter Goulet decided he had seen enough and yanked starting goalie Daniel Dirracolo, with Kannon Flageolle coming on in relief.

The move failed to provide the desired swing in momentum, at least not immediately, as Piekarczyk beat the new goalie for his 20th goal of the season 52 seconds after the switch.

Powassan eventually netted a pair of goals before the end of the period to begin to claw their way back into the contest.

Affiliate player Caden Dubreuil, playing his fifth game with the Voodoos, netted the first goal of his NOJHL career at the 11:27 mark and Nicholas Liotino followed with a power-play marker, his seventh goal of the season four-and-a-half minutes later.

The Voodoos’ comeback attempt continued on the third period, as Ryan Patrick scored his 18th goal of the season just shy of the midway mark in the frame.

Alex Little, who leads all NOJHL blue-liners in goals but was filling in up front on Sunday, then added his 18th tally of the season to cut the Voodoos’ deficit.

The Voodoos pulled Flageolle in favour of an extra attacker with two-and-a-half minutes remaining in regulation in an attempt to further close the gap, but the move backfired when Nolan Ring deposited his 18th goal of the season into the empty Powassan net with 1:03 remaining on the clock to close out the scoring.

Rock assistant coach James Daschuk was, for the most part, happy with what he saw from his squad.

“Guys were just helping out any way they could,” he said.

“Obviously, we had a short bench with all the suspensions and stuff and you look back at Friday night, we had guys playing in spots they weren’t used to playing in, doing whatever was asked of them.

“I thought our leaders on Friday night, guys like Pige (Captain Nicolas Pigeon) and Slick (Frederick), were so good.

“They knew what we were up against and they stepped up their games.

“I thought Harry Clark, too, was fantastic on Friday night.

“Today, same thing, I thought Ringer (Ring) and Slick worked so hard and got rewarded.

“Stuff like that is kind of contagious. They had fantastic games, and with a lot of ice time, they were gassed there at the end.”

Even when the Rock were up 6-0 in Sunday afternoon’s contest, the assistant coach knew the Voodoos were not out of it.

“They are a good team and they can fly,” Daschuk said.

“They are pretty explosive and they can put the puck in the net. I thought they started to pick up the pace in the back half of the second period.

“When they made it 6-2, then found another gear, but it wasn’t easy for them playing their third game in three nights on the road, with a lot of injuries like we have.

“They didn’t quit and we knew they weren’t going to quit.”

The assistant coach acknowledged the important role played by the Rock’s affiliate players, both Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

“We are pretty fortunate to have those great players in our system,” Daschuk said.

“The GM of the (Kapuskasing) Flyers let us use young (blue-liner Ayden) Trottier even though they had a game tonight, too.

“It is all about developing players and stuff and he probably didn’t play as much as he does with his team back home, but he still probably logged seven or eight minutes of important ice time for us against some 20-year-old guys in his first Junior ‘A’ game.”

Rock goalie Patrick Boivin stopped 15 of the 19 shots he faced to earn his NOJHL-leading 24th win of the season.

Dirracolo, who turned aside 14 of the 19 shots the Rock directed his way in his 27:05 of work, was tagged with the loss. Flageolle blocked 12 of the 13 shots he faced in relief.

NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game Sunday were Nyman, Piekarczyk and Little … The Rock went 2-5 on the power play Sunday, while the Voodoos were 1-2 with the man advantage  … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena on Sunday was 740 … Sunday’s other action saw the Hearst Lumberjacks hang on to edge the Gold Miners 6-5 in Kirkland Lake and the Elliot Lake Red Wings get past the Rapids 6-5 in overtime in French River … The Rock will return to action on Friday when they host the Soo Eagles at the McIntyre Arena, at 7:30 p.m.

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel