Timmins Rock forward Brant Romaniuk gets a rough ride from Kirkland Lake Gold Miners defender Bruce Grey during Saturday night’s NOJHL contest at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex. The Rock broke open what had been a close game with three unanswered third-period goals and went on to defeat the Gold Miners 5-1. The two teams will face off at the McIntyre Arena on Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m. ALLYSON DEMERS/NOJHL NETWORK
KIRKLAND LAKE — The Timmins Rock broke open what had been a close game in the third period and went on to defeat the Gold Miners 5-1 at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex Saturday night.
It was the seventh-straight NOJHL victory for the East Division-leading Rock and it marked the 39th-straight time they have beaten the Gold Miners.
For those keeping track, the last time the Gold Miners enjoyed the sweet taste of victory against the Rock was Nov. 29, 2018, when they triumphed 4-3 at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Saturday night, the Rock jumped out to a 1-0 first period lead on Lucas Lowe’s unassisted marker, his 12th goal of the season.
They added to their lead 6:56 into the second period when Jack Anderson scored a shorthanded marker, his eighth tally of the campaign. It would stand up to be the game-winning goal.
The Gold Miners got on the scoreboard later in the frame, as Riley Babich scored his sixth goal of the season.
Trailing by a single goal heading into the third period, the Gold Miners appeared well positioned to end their streak of futility against the Rock, but the visitors had other ideas.
“I don’t think there was any point in the game where it got a little dicey for us,” said Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry.
“Our guys played well. It was a bit harder of a night than some of our guys may have wanted, a little bit of frustration was creeping in, but we regrouped and had a really good third period.”
Liam Wells scored the first of his two goals on the night and 27th of the season just 1:31 into the third period.
Henry McLellan added his fourth tally of the campaign three-and-a-half minutes later.
Wells then closed out the scoring as he netted his second marker of the night and 28th of the season to make the final 5-1 in favour of the Rock.
“It was a weird game, a weird night but we are certainly happy to come out on the winning side,” Perry said.
A number of Rock players made a positive impression on their coach during Saturday night’s victory.
“Jack (Anderson) had an awesome night for us,” Perry said.
“He played D for us for over half the game and was killing penalties for us up front. He was all over the ice tonight and played a really good game.
“Wells had a decent night, too, with two goals. He is playing well and scoring goals, with 28 now, he is having a good year. I am super happy for him.
“Lucas Lowe scored a nice goal to get us going and Hank (McLellan) got us one in the third period. He is another guy who had a decent night and got rewarded for it.
“I thought Patty (goalie Patrick Boivin) was solid between the pipes and I thought (blue-liner) Ayden Trottier was fantastic.
“Our penalty kill was great tonight, too, give that crew some props. It was just a solid effort up and down our lineup.”
The Rock were without the services of blue-liners Kyle Trottier, Sam Gallagher and Chase Longhurst-McIntyre during Saturday night’s contest, with the latter being the most recent addition to the injury list after he left Friday night’s victory over the Lumberjacks.
“He is going to be out for a while with an upper-body injury,” Perry said.
Boivin stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced to earn his 14th win of the season.
Gold Miners goalie Trent Boryszczuk, who turned aside 34 of the 39 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.
NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Anderson, Wells and Babich … The Rock went 0-4 on the power play, but scored a shorthanded goal, while the Gold Miners were 0-4 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex was 219 … Saturday’s other action saw the Powassan Voodoos top the Rapids 4-1 in French River, the Beavers blast the Elliot Lake Vikings 8-2 in Blind River and the Espanola Paper Kings blank the Thunderbirds 2-0 in Sault Ste. Marie … The Rock will return to action on Tuesday when they host the Gold Miners at the McIntyre Arena, at 7:30 p.m.
Photos: Allyson Demers