The Timmins Rock turned in their most dominating performance of the 2021-22 NOJHL campaign, beating the Beavers 10-0 at the Community Centre Friday night.
It was the third-straight victory for the Rock (28-7-3-1) who pulled to within four points of the idle Hearst Lumberjacks (31-7-2-0) in the race for top spot in the NOJHL’s East Division standings.
Rock assistant coach Marc Bisson described Friday night’s effort as the “most complete” of the season.
“The boys played just phenomenal,” he said.
“What a game. (Rock goalie) Gavin (McCarthy) had another great game for us.
“We jumped on them early, scored early, and then, in the second period, kept it going, played a really great, disciplined game.”
A balanced attack saw the Rock get goals from nine different players and all but four skaters register at least a single point in the contest.
It took just 3:04 for the Rock to hit the scoreboard Friday night, with Nolan Ring finding the back of the net for his ninth tally of the season, a marker than would prove to be the game-winning goal.
Just over a minute later, Henry Brock added an unassisted marker, his 10th goal of the season.
And captain Tyler Schwindt capped off the opening-period scoring when he netted his 27th goal of the season to make it a 3-0 hockey game.
The Rock then erupted for five unanswered second-period tallies to take total control of the contest.
Harry Clark got the puck rolling 1:06 into the frame when he netted his fourth goal of the season.
Schwindt then added his second goal of the night and 28th of the season to put the Rock in front 5-0.
Nicholas Frederick followed with his eighth goal of the campaign less than three minutes later.
Liam Wells found the back of the net for his 13th goal of the season with 2:18 remaining in the frame and blue-liner Bode Dunford followed with his eighth goal of the campaign with 17 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Rock took that 8-0 advantage into the dressing room for the second intermission.
The third period saw Gabinien Kioki net his first goal of the season, after coming close in his previous three contests.
And converted blue-liner Chase Longhurst closed out the scoring when he netted his third goal of the season at the 12:02 mark of the final frame.
Bisson was happy to see the Rock didn’t deviate too far from their systems during the one-sided contest.
“It was a very disciplined game from all of our guys, the whole team,” he said.
“We didn’t get involved in anything. We have a big weekend, three games in three days, coming up next weekend.
“We kept telling the guys to be smart and we did not deviate from the plan.
“We were hard on pucks and played a complete game for the first time in a little while.”
As with Thursday night’s win over the Cubs in Sudbury, there was no shortage of Rock players who impressed the coaching staff Friday night in Blind River.
“Schwinny (Schwindt), Pige (Nicolas Pigeon) and Eric Moreau were all impressive,” Bisson said.
“Eric Moreau and Felix Cadieux-Fredette played some big minutes against their better line and had a lot of success.
“If you look at the scoresheet, it was pretty balanced scoring, from all four lines.
“There were a lot of contributions from forward, defence, everybody was involved.
“During the third period, we really wanted that shutout for Gavin.
“So, yah, it was just a great complete game.”
The assistant coach was especially pleased to see Kioki record his first goal of the season.
“We were so happy to see him get the monkey off his back, if you will,” Bisson said.
“He is a goal scorer. He has always been a goal scorer and now he is coming back to us after missing more than a full season.
“He had a few good chances Thursday and he had a few chances early in the first two periods.
“When he kept coming off we would say, ‘If you keep getting chances Gabi, eventually one is going to go in for you.’
“We are really proud of him and the hard work he has been putting in, on and off the ice, to get back in shape and be a real contributor to our success.”
Heading into Friday night’s contest, the Rock had not encountered the West Division Beavers this season.
“We had a great video session this (Friday) afternoon before making our way (to Blind River),” Bisson said.
“We stayed in Sudbury last night, had a good video session and looked at their video tendencies.
“Primarily, though, I think our success came due to us sticking to our game plan, our system, what works for us.
“So many goals tonight were due to things we do in practice every day. A lot of the things we work on every day were on display tonight in Blind River.”
McCarthy stopped all 17 shots he faced to record his third shutout of the season and earn his NOJHL-leading 20th win of the campaign.
Beavers starting goalie Gavin Disano, who turned aside 15 of the 21 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.
Patrick Boivin blocked 10 of the 14 shots he faced during his 22:04 of relief.
NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Schwindt (two goals, one assist), Nicolas Pigeon (three assists) and Eric Moreau (four assists) … Both the Rock and the Beavers went 0-5 on the power play … Official attendance at the Blind River Community Centre was 211 … Friday’s other action saw the Voodoos blank the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-0 in Powassan, the Thunderbirds fly past the Cochrane Crunch 6-1 in Sault Ste. Marie, the French River Rapids edge the Express 3-2 in overtime in Espanola and the Greater Sudbury Cubs get past the Red Wings 2-1 in a shootout in Elliot Lake … The Rock will return to action on Friday when they host the Express at the McIntyre Arena, at 7:30 p.m.