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Lumberjacks double up Rock

Timmins goalie Gavin McCarthy gets his glove on a loose puck in his crease before Hearst Lumberjacks forward Cody Walker can pounce on it while Rock blue-liner Riley Dubois looks on during Sunday afternoon’s NOJHL game at the Claude Larose Arena. The Lumberjacks knocked off the Rock 6-3 to pull within a single point of top spot in the NOJHL’s overall and East Division standings. The two teams will tangle again at the McIntyre Arena Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m. Marc-ANDRÉ LONGVAL/FOR NOJHL NETWORK

Ryan Glazer scored three goals to lead the Lumberjacks to a 6-3 win over the Timmins Rock at the Claude Larose Arena Sunday afternoon.

Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network
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The victory allowed the Lumberjacks (17-5-1-0) to pull within a single point of the Rock (17-3-1-1) and the idle Powassan Voodoos (16-4-3-1) atop the NOJHL’s overall and East Division standings.

Sunday’s contest saw the Rock forced to play catch-up hockey almost from the first puck drop.

It took the Lumberjacks just 1:14 to take a lead they would not surrender, thanks to Glazer’s first of three goals and fifth of the season.

Mason Bazaluk’s power-play marker, his sixth goal of the season, six-and-a-half minutes later allowed the Lumberjacks to expand their lead to 2-0.

And a second power-play marker, off the stick of Jaxson Holmes, his second goal of the season, eight minutes later, pushed the advantage to three goals.

The Rock were finally able to get on the scoreboard with 27 seconds remaining on the frame when Riley Brousseau netted his eighth goal of the season.

When Nicolas Pigeon added a power-play marker, his seventh goal of the season, at the 3:53 mark of the second period, it looked like the Rock were about to get back into the hockey game.

Those hopes were dashed, however, when Riley Klugerman netted what would prove to be the game-winning goal, his seventh tally of the season just over four minutes later.

Glazer’s second goal of the contest and sixth of the season, a power-play marker, put the Lumberjacks in front 5-2 with 4:02 remaining in the third period.

Christopher Engelbert’s eighth goal of the season, with less than two minutes remaining on the clock pulled the Rock back to within a pair of goals.

That is where any hopes of a comeback died, however, as with Rock goalie Gavin McCarthy on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, Glazer completed his hat-trick by firing the puck into the empty Timmins net for his seventh goal of the season.

As one might expect, Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry was less than thrilled with the outcome of the contest.

“It was too big of a hole,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this time we couldn’t climb out of it.”

Given the success the Rock have had to this point in the season, they have not found themselves in that position too often.

“That first one was a killer,” Perry said.

“We missed a wide-open net and seconds later it came down the ice and the puck was in the back of our net.

“It was just tiny little things like that in the game that kind of cost us.”

The last time the Rock visited the Claude Larose Arena, on Nov. 19, they earned a 5-1 victory.

“They didn’t do anything in particular different against us this time,” Perry said.

“We just didn’t want to compete enough and we were terrible tracking in our own end tonight, picking up sticks and picking up guys.

“For whatever reason, we weren’t mentally in it.”

Asked if there are any positives the Rock can take away from Sunday’s contest, the coach was quite blunt.

“Ah, no, not many tonight,” Perry said.

Unlike most games, the list of players who impressed their coach was quite short, as well.

“I thought Liam Wells had a real good game for us,” Perry said.

“He is the only one I can think of off the top of my head.”

The coach is obviously hoping to see more from his Rock when they host the Lumberjacks at the McIntyre Arena Tuesday night.

“We are just going to need to get a better effort,” Perry said.

“I think that is all it comes down to.

“We were giving away pucks all afternoon today and we are a puck possession team.

“Guys didn’t want to hang onto the puck and we were doing some things that are uncharacteristic of us.

“We were rimming pucks and we don’t normally rim pucks. Just little things like that. We were giving the puck away and chasing the game all night.

“We will be fine. We just have to get back to doing the things that make us successful.”

Tuesday’s contest will kick off a stretch in which the Rock will play four games in six nights.

The Rock, who welcomed forward Nicholas Frederick back to the lineup for the injury list, lost blue-liner Cameron Dutkiewicz (upper-body injury) during the contest.

“He is day-to-day at this point,” Perry said.

Blue-liner Aiden Farr (upper-body injury) also remains out of the lineup.

Lumberjacks goalie Liam Oxner, who stopped 37 of the 40 shots the Rock directed his way, earned his 11th win of the season.

McCarthy, who turned aside 34 of the 39 shots he faced, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Glazer, Klugerman and Bazaluk … The Rock went 1-3 on the power play, while the Lumberjacks were 3-5 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Claude Larose Arena was 360 … Sunday’s other action saw the French River Rapids edge the Crunch 3-2 in a shootout in Cochrane and the Red Wings double up the Espanola Express 4-2 in Elliot Lake … The Rock will return to action on Tuesday when they host the Lumberjacks at the McIntyre Arena, at 7:30 p.m.