Elliot Lake Red Wings forward Alex Antoine pulls the puck around the left pad of Timmins Rock goalie Jacob Brown before scoring on his team’s first attempt during the shootout at the McIntyre Arena Saturday night. The Red Wings took the shootout 2-0 to complete a comeback 6-5 victory over the Rock. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS
The Timmins Rock snatched defeat from the jaws of victory at the McIntyre Arena Saturday night, dropping a 6-5 shootout decision to the Elliot Lake Red Wings.
It was marked by the greatest third-period collapse since the Rock surrendered three goals in the final 1:59 of regulation during a game against the Cochrane Crunch on Feb. 12, 2019.
But at least in that contest the Rock were able to secure a 7-6 shootout victory.
No such luck Saturday night, as the Rock blew 4-0 (in the final 14:55 of the third period) and 5-2 leads before being outscored 2-0 in a shootout.
Alex Antoine beat Rock goalie Jacob Brown on the Red Wings’ first shootout attempt.
Rock sniper Brady Harroun was then foiled by Red Wings goalie Sean Guerin.
Brown then got his right pad across to deny the Red Wings second shooter, Tomas Palandra.
The Rock’s second shooter, Nolan Ring, was unable to beat Guerin, setting the stage for the Red Wings’ third shooter, Kaden Laverdiere, to clinch the victory by beating Brown.
For the first 45 minutes of the contest a shootout seemed like an unlikely scenario.
The Rock took a 1-0 lead in the contest at the 17-minute mark of the opening frame, as Yenry Jibb netted the first goal of his NOJHL career.
Nicholas Frederick then added a pair of goals, his fifth and sixth of the season, just over two minutes apart in the middle frame.
The first of those two tallies came just as a Rock power play expired, while the second was a shorthanded marker.
Jibb’s second goal of the night and season, with 1:18 remaining in the period, then increased the Rock advantage to 4-0 after 40 minutes of play.
At that point, it looked like the Rock were on the verge of ending their two-game losing skid.
The Red Wings clearly had other ideas, however, and Zachary Vickerman got the puck rolling when he netted an unassisted marker, his third goal of the season, five minutes into the third period.
Calum McGill added his second goal of the campaign 47 seconds later to cut the Rock lead to 4-2.
The Rock were able to temporarily stem the onslaught three minutes later when Lucas Piekarczyk netted his first goal in a Rock uniform to push the advantage back to three goals.
It took the Red Wings just 16 seconds to get that one back, however, as Silas Crawford scored his third goal of the season.
The Red Wings then completed their improbable comeback with Vickerman netted his second goal of the night and fourth of the season and Tomas Palandra adding his first goal of the season.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in a five-minute three-on-three overtime session, setting the stage for the shootout.
Guerin, who came into the contest in relief of Cameron Smith at the start of the third period, earned the victory.
Brown was tagged with the loss for the Rock
NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Laverdiere, Vickerman and Frederick … The Rock went 0-9 on the power play, while the Red Wings were 0-2 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena was 683 … Saturday’s other action saw the Soo Thunderbirds blank the Crunch 4-0 in Cochrane, the Blind River Beavers double up the Gold Miners 4-2 in Kirkland Lake and the Espanola Paper Kings top the Rapids 5-2 in French River … The Rock will travel to Powassan for a game against the Voodoos on Friday. The next home game will be on Tuesday, Oct. 4, when the Rock will host the Voodoos at the McIntyre Arena.