GALLERY: Power play paces T-Birds past Rock

Soo Thunderbirds forward Quinn Myles, right, deposits a backhand shot into the Timmins net behind Rock goaltender Patrick Boivin for his 10th goal of the season as teammate James Legler looks on during the second period of Friday night’s NOJHL contest at the McIntyre Arena. Myles goal gave the Thunderbirds a 5-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 7-2. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS jpg, TD, apsmc

Even Christopher Columbus would have had a tough time trying to prove the Timmins Rock’s effort at the McIntyre Arena Friday night wasn’t flat.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

TIMMINS, Ont. – The 7-2 setback at the hands of the West Division’s Soo Thunderbirds was certainly not what fans of the defending NOJHL champions have come to expect from their favourite squad — especially on home ice.

With top spot in the East Division standings already locked up, the Rock looked more like a last-place team Friday night.

Outshot 18-7 in the opening period, the Rock fell behind 3-0 and never really recovered.

Jacob Smith’s power-play marker, his 27th goal of the season, 2:06 into the contest got the Thunderbirds off and flying.

Silas Crawford then added a second power-play marker, his fifth tally of the campaign, with three minutes remaining in the frame.

The real killer, however, was former Rock forward Daniel Beaupre’s power-play marker, his 22nd goal of the season, with 37.60 seconds remaining on the clock.

Smith’s second goal of the game and 28th of the season, another power-play marker, made it a 4-0 hockey game 2:41 into the middle frame.

Quinn Myles followed with an even-strength marker, his 10th tally of the campaign 1:24 later.

That goal chased Rock starting goaltender Patrack Boivin, with Dryden Riley coming on in relief.

The move appeared to provide the desired change of momentum, as the Rock struck for a pair of goals before the second intermission.

Mason Svarich netted his team-leading 40th goal of the season and Brant Romaniuk followed with his 21st tally of the campaign, an unassisted marker.

That would prove to be as close as the Rock would come to getting back on even terms, however, as the Thunderbirds added two more power-play markers in the third period to put the game away.

Grayson Ebrahim scored his 27th goal of the season and Declan Gallivan added his fifth tally of the campaign.

Kolton Bourret turned aside 27 of the 29 shots the Rock directed his way to earn his 22nd win of the season.

Boivin, who stopped 17 of the 22 shots he faced in 24:07 of work, was tagged with the loss. Riley blocked 17 of the 19 shot fired his way in his 35:53 of relief.

NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Smith, Crawford and Thunderbirds forward Jackson Truchan (three assists) … The Rock went 0-6 on the power play, while the Thunderbirds were 6-9 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena was 1,191 … Friday’s other action saw the Lumberjacks thump the Elliot Lake Vikings 8-3 in Hearst, the Greater Sudbury Cubs dump the Rapids 8-1 in French River and the Blind River Beavers outscore the Paper Kings 9-6 in Espanola … The Rock will close out their regular-season schedule when they host the Elliot Lake Vikings at the McIntyre Arena on Sunday, at 3 p.m.