GALLERY: Rock blank Gold Miners for fifth-straight game

Timmins goalie Jacob Brown makes one of his 14 saves as Rock blue-liner Christophe Petit looks on during his team’s 7-0 win over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at the McIntyre Arena Friday night. It was the third shutout and sixth victory of the season for Brown and It marked the fifth-straight time the Rock have blanked the Gold Miners. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS

Jacob Brown stopped all 14 shots he faced to backstop the Timmins Rock to a 7-0 win over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at the McIntyre Arena Friday night.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

TIMMINS – Jacob Brown stopped all 14 shots he faced to backstop the Timmins Rock to a 7-0 win over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at the McIntyre Arena Friday night.

It was the fifth-straight shutout for the Rock against the Gold Miners this season and they have not given up a goal against Kirkland Lake since the 13:11 mark of the third period of an 8-2 victory on the opening night of the 2022-23 NOJHL campaign.

All three of Brown’s shutouts this season have come against the Gold Miners.

“These kinds of games, when you are skating to the corners to stay warm, are always hard to play in,” he said.

“Sometimes turnovers happen right in front of you, so you just have to stay prepared.”

What have Brown and his creasemate, Patrick Boivin, been doing so well to keep the Gold Miners off the scoreboard for so long?

“I think we have to thank our defencemen for that,” he said.

“They have been doing a great job and I think our style of play completely counters Kirkland Lake and obviously we are prepared for what gets thrown at us.”

Given the string of shutouts the Rock have thrown up against the Gold Miners, will Brown and Boivin be arm-wrestling for the start next time Kirkland Lake appears on the schedule?

“I don’t think so, that will be up to coach (and general manager Brandon) Perry,” Brown said.

“We are both always ready to get in the net and see what happens.”

For the record, that game will be on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in Kirkland Lake, at 7 p.m.

The Rock came out flying Friday night, scoring early and often during the opening 20 minutes of action.

Brady Harroun’s power-play marker, his first of two goals on the night and 18th of the season, staked the Rock to a 1-0 lead 1:36 into the contest.

Nicholas Frederick added the first of his two goals on the night and 13th of the season 40 seconds later to double the lead.

Thomas Beard netted his third goal of the season shortly after the midway mark in the frame.

Evan Grigor added his third goal of the campaign 10 seconds later and the route was on.

Frederick’s second goal of the night and 14th of the season, a shorthanded marker, closed out the scoring in the period and sent the Rock to the dressing room enjoying a 5-0 lead.

The Rock added two more goals in the second period to erase any doubt that may have remained as to which team would emerge victorious.

Harroun netted his second goal of the night and NOJHL-leading 19th of the season shortly after the midway mark in the frame.

And Lucas Lowe added a power-play marker, his second goal of the season, three-and-a-half minutes later.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third period.

Rock assistant coach James Daschuk noted his team could not have asked for a better start than they received Friday night — outscoring the Gold Miners 5-0 and outshooting them 20-3 in the first period.

“Not only on the offensive side of the puck, I don’t think we gave up our first shot on net until almost halfway through the period,” he said.

“We were impressed.”

With five regulars out of the lineup Friday night, the Rock were forced to dress a pair of affiliate players — Ian Lachance, from the GNU18L Timmins Majors, and Brant Romaniuk, from the GNU18L North Bay U16 Trappers.

“They were great tonight,” Daschuk said.

“It was fun to watch those guys. They were just trying to help out any way they could, but they were difference makers.

Lachance got a couple of points with that big, long stick of his. He sees the ice so well.

“Romaniuk has a different skill set and gets in the open spots.

“If those two guys played on a line together they would be fantastic.”

Harroun and Frederick, the Rock’s top goal scorers, also caught the assistant coach’s eye Friday night.

“What’s left to say about those two guys?” Daschuk said.

“They do it all the time and you know they are going to at least get a few good chances.

“They are leaders on this team for a reason. Slick (Frederick) is probably our hardest-working guy on the ice every night and Babs (Harroun) has got that lethal shot.

“It was another great game for them, especially with so many guys out of the lineup. You can count on them in games like tonight.”

There was no shortage of other Rock players who impressed the assistant coach, either.

“Lowe, the last month or so has turned himself into a player,” Daschuk said.

“He does it every single day and the same with a guy like Beard. He is like a sponge, getting an opportunity to kill penalties now and score some goals.

“Those guys work so hard and (Hayden) Rynard has turned himself into a fantastic penalty killer.

“Grigor has three goals in his last couple of games. I don’t want to call them unsung heroes, but they probably don’t get the recognition they deserve because they don’t have the points some of the other guys have.

“Another guy is Tenzin Nyman on the back end. He has been so consistent lately.

“Brown didn’t face a shot in the first 10 minutes of the game and then his first three shots he made some incredible saves.”

The only downside to Friday night’s contest for the Rock is they lost the services of arguably the NOJHL’s top blue-liner, Kenyon Nyman, late in the first period.

He made a diving attempt to knock the puck off the stick of a Gold Miners player, only to be called for tripping.

After originally going to the penalty box, he skated to the Rock dressing room with blood flowing from a pair of gashes on his wrist.

He had to be taken to Timmins and District Hospital for stitches and did not return to the contest.

“He didn’t even know he had been cut,” Daschuk said.

“He said he felt a burning sensation and did not know what was going on. One of the fans was banging on the glass and told him to look over at his hand. That’s when he noticed the blood.

“It was scary, but obviously not as bad as it could have been.”

In addition to picking up his third shutout of the campaign, Brown’s 14-save performance earned him his sixth win of the season.

Gold Miners goalie Ethan Barron, who stopped 42 of the 49 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Harroun, Frederick and Brown … The Rock did not dress forwards Nolan Ring (lower-body injury), Justin Charette (upper-body injury), Nicholas Moore (serving the eighth game of an eight-game suspension) and Ethan Pool (upper-body injury), as well as blue-liner Chase Longhurst (upper-body injury) … The Rock went 2-6 on the power play, while the Gold Miners were 0-7 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena was 512 … Friday’s other action saw the Hearst Lumberjacks top the Voodoos 5-3 in Powassan, the Cochrane Crunch edge the Rapids 5-4 in a shootout in French River, the Thunderbirds get past the Elliot Lake Red Wings 5-4 in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, and the Espanola Paper Kings double up the Eagles 4-2 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. … The Rock will travel to Espanola for a game against the Paper Kings on Saturday, at 7:30 p.m.