GALLERY: Rock sweep Gold Miners

Photos: Allyson Demers

Jacob Brown picked up a shutout in his first Junior ‘A’ start as the Timmins Rock blanked the Gold Miners 2-0 to sweep their home-and-home series at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex Saturday night.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

The Rock took the first half of the set 8-2 at the McIntyre Arena Friday night.

“I am super excited,” Brown, a 16 year old product of Yarker, Ont., said following the conclusion of the contest.

“I was feeling pretty nervous, with it being my first start, but as the game went on I started to get a little bit more comfortable.”

A fourth round selection of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds, Brown had a pretty good feeling as the game progressed that he might be able to record the shutout.

“After I made a big save in the third period, I got really pumped up,” he said.

“It kind of motivated me to keep going for the rest of the game.”

Brown appreciated the effort put forth by the Rock teammates playing in front of him Saturday night.

“They did a great job,” he said.

Nicholas Frederick provided Brown with all the offensive support he would need on the night when he notched his second goal of the season at the 1:30 mark of the opening period.

The Rock then picked up a little insurance seven-and-a-half minutes into the middle frame, when Daniel Beaupre added his second goal of the season.

Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry was pleased with the outcome of Saturday night’s contest, but felt there was room for improvement.

“Our goaltender played really well,” he said.

“He looked absolutely fantastic, just calm and poised in there. It was pretty neat to see for a 16 year old.

“In the third period, he made some big saves, kept our lead intact.

“I am super proud of him.”

“Otherwise, it was just one of those nights, a sloppy game.”

Clearly, the Gold Miners put forth a much stronger effort than they had during their 8-2 loss to the Rock in Timmins Friday night.

“I think it was a combination of them playing better and us playing a little worse,” Perry said.

“They came out hard and we were lucky to get away with that one.”

One positive from Saturday night’s contest is that both goals came off the sticks of players who would be viewed as secondary scoring options.

“That is always nice to see,” Perry said.

“You can’t always count on Pige (Captain Nicolas Pigeon) and Babs (Brady Harroun) every night, so it was nice to see a couple of other guys pitch in offensively.”

Pigeon, who picked up five points in Friday night’s victory, was held off the scoresheet Saturday night, but Harroun picked up his NOJHL-leading fourth assist and sixth point.

The four players the Rock acquired from the SIJHL-champion Red Lake Miners, including Harroun, continued to have a positive impact on the Rock lineup Saturday night.

In addition to the assist picked up by Harroun, blue-liner Kenyon Nyman added a helper, as well, his third of the young campaign.

“They have been showing well, absolutely,” Perry said.

“They are all great players, who come with experience, and they are producing.”

Forward Lucas Piekarczyk, who was acquired from Red Lake on Thursday, got into his first contest in a Rock uniform Saturday night, but he was held off the scoreboard.

Ethan Pool, who netted his first NOJHL game in Friday night’s contest, went down with an upper-body injury Saturday night.

The Rock were without the services of blue-liner Chase Longhurst Saturday night, as he left Friday night’s contest early after suffering a lower-body injury.

It remains to be seen if either injury will have a long-term impact on the Rock or if they will be categorized as day-to-day.

“They will have to go and get checked out,” Perry said.

A number of other Rock players impressed their coach during Saturday night’s contest.

“I thought Hayden Rynard had a really good night, solid in all three zones,” Perry said.

“His game doesn’t waiver too much. He is just consistently good.

“Lucas Lowe had a really good night for us, as well, Nolan Ring, again.

“Nicholas Frederick every single night is always going. He, Kenny (Kenyon Nyman) and Freddy (Felix Cadieux-Fredette) on the back end and Brown in net were all good.

“It wasn’t an effort thing tonight. We just weren’t as clean and sharp as we wanted to be, especially after last night, but you have to expect when you (Gold Miners) get beat that bad the night before you are going to come out a little harder the next night.”