Timmins Rock forward Cameron Kosurko uses his body to shield the puck away from Canadians blue-liner Avery Chisholm along the boards to the left of the Rayside-Balfour net during the second period of Saturday night’s NOJHL game at the McIntyre Arena. Kosurko’s first-period power-play goal proved to be the game-winner as the Rock defeated the Canadians 4-1 to take five of the six games in their season-opening series. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS
The Timmins Rock struck for three power-play goals en route to a 4-1 win over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in the finale of their six-game season-opening NOJHL series at the McIntyre Arena Saturday night.
With the victory, the Rock rebounded from a 7-4 setback at the hands of the Canadians in Sudbury Thursday night and finished up the series with a record of 5-1-0 — moving them into a first-place tie with the Hearst Lumberjacks atop the East Division standings.
The Rock jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 2:49 mark of the opening period when Riley Robitaille notched his first goal of the season, with the teams playing at even strength.
Just under six minutes later, Cameron Kosurko noted the first of the Rock’s three power-play markers.
It was the Uxbridge native’s second goal of the season.
The Rock took that two goal advantage into the first intermission.
They continued to roll when the puck dropped to start the middle frame, as Josh Dickson netted his fourth goal of the season, again with the Rock enjoying the man advantage.
Then, captain Derek Seguin picked up his team-leading fifth goal of the season, with the Rock on the power play, to make it a 4-0 hockey game.
The Canadians were finally able to get on the scoreboard just past the midway mark of the third period when Joel Mongeon’s shot eluded a screen Rock goalie Tyler Masternak for a power-play marker, the blue-liner’s first goal of the season.
Masternak protested that Canadians captain Brady Maltais was in his crease, but even though photographic evidence indicated the Rayside-Balfour forward had a foot and a half in the blue paint referee Dan Clermont ruled it a good goal.
It was the first goal Masternak had surrendered to the Canadians in 165:18.
That would be as close as the Canadians would come to getting back on even terms, however, as Masternak and his teammates held them at bay the rest of the way.
Masternak turned as 18 of the 19 shots he faced to pick up his fourth win of the young season.
Canadians goalie David Bowen, who blocked 25 of the 29 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.
NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Dickson, Rock forward Zach Smith (two assists) and Rock forward Tyler Schwindt (one assist) … The Rock did not dress forward Brendan Bauer, or blue-liners Christopher Innes or Bode Dunford … The Rock went 3-9 on the power play, while the Canadians were 1-3 with the man advantage … Saturday’s other action saw the Crunch get past the Hearst Lumberjacks 3-1 in Cochrane, the Espanola Express roll over the Rapids 6-1 in French River and Blind River Beavers edge the Thunderbirds 3-2 in a shootout in Sault Ste. Marie.