Timmins Rock forward Jaden Lyons slips a shot through the legs of Kirkland Lake goalie Graydon Mole while being chased down from behind by Gold Miners defender Martin Brusoe for his sixth goal of the season during the first period of Tuesday night’s NOJHL contest at the McIntyre Arena. The Rock went on to blank the Gold Miners 4-0 for their eighth-straight win and 40th-straight triumph over Kirkland Lake. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS
Patrick Boivin stopped all 19 shots he faced to record his 10th career NOJHL shutout as the Timmins Rock blanked the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-0 at the McIntyre Arena Tuesday night.
It was the eighth-straight win for the East Division-leading Rock and their 40th-consecutive triumph against the Gold Miners.
While the Rock outshot the Gold Miners 12-1 during the opening period, they led just 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Jaden Lyons slipped a shot through the legs of Kirkland Lake goalie Graydon Mole while being chased down from behind by Gold Miners defender Martin Brusoe for his sixth goal of the season at the 14:07 mark.
That marker would stand up to be the game-winning goal.
The Rock added three unanswered second-period goals to take command of the contest, while outshooting Kirkland Lake 19-7.
Liam Wells’ power-play marker, his 27th goal of the season, got the puck rolling just shy of five minutes into the middle frame.
After being named the NOJHL’s first star of the week that ended on Sunday, it looked like Wells was trying to get an early start on consideration for recognition for the current week.
“It is nice to get recognized and I am feeling good, hopefully I can keep playing good,” he said.
“I think it is a little bit of a mental thing. If I am not playing too good, I kind of get in a slump, but right now it’s the opposite.”
The line of Wells, Jack Kelly and Brant Romaniuk has proven to be quite effective in the last handful of Rock games.
“It is definitely nice having those guys on my life because they give me the puck when I need it,” Wells said.
Now in his third year in a Rock uniform, Wells has already set career bests in terms of goals (27), assists (16) and points (43) and he needs just five more points to hit 100 for his NOJHL career.
In terms of his goal Tuesday night, Wells ripped a shot top corner on Mole.
“I saw the goalie was out of position and just shot it and it went in,” he said. “It’s always good to get the puck on net, even if (the goalie stops it) and it bounces out, someone else can tap it in.”
After scoring his goal, Wells then set up a power-play marker for teammate Nolan Ring, who deposited his 12th goal of the campaign up and over Mole to put the Rock up 3-0.
And Harry Clark’s 28th goal of the season, with 14.00 seconds remaining on the clock, closed out the scoring in the period.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net during the third period, with the Rock outshooting the Gold Miners just 12-11.
Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry was happy with the effort he saw from his club during Tuesday night’s victory.
“I really loved how hungry we were, I really liked the way we played tonight, I really did,” he said.
The coach admitted it would be nice to see Wells have an even better week than the one that helped him earn first star honours.
“He has had a fantastic year,” Perry said.
“I was happy to see him get rewarded, he has been so great for us.”
Numerous times this season Rock goaltenders have come close to recording shutouts only to see them slip away late in contests, so the coach was happy to see his squad preserve Boivin’s first of the season and 10th of his career.
“It was awesome to see, after what Patty has done for our program,” Perry said.
“It has been a bit of hard year, so it was super nice to see him get this one.”
Boivin rounding into form with the playoffs just around the corner is clearly not good news for the rest of the NOJHL.
The Rock coach also liked what he saw from Lyons Tuesday night, both in the offensive zone and on the penalty kill.
“He was awesome tonight,” Perry said. “He had been in a little bit of a funk lately, he’d be the first to admit it, but obviously scoring goals means a lot to players.
“I just liked how engaged he was, how hard to played, how hard he backchecked, how hard he hunted the puck, how sure he was when the puck was on his stick. He didn’t miss any passes.”
The Rock once again played without a number of regulars on the blue-line Tuesday night, as they were without Kyle Trottier, Elijah Pool, Sam Gallagher and Chase Longhurst-McIntyre.
As a result, Timmins U18 Majors Zach Secord and Jakob Drobny were once again forced into action.
“The Timmins Majors are obviously having a nice season themselves,” said Perry, who coached the squad before taking the reins of the Rock.
“It is important to have them here and practice with us, know the systems. They step in and it’s seamless. Zach Secord has been around us a lot, practiced with us a lot, played with us a lot. This was his seventh game. So, it just seems like he is one of the guys.
“Obviously, Jakob Drobny is an incredible young talent. I haven’t seen too many guys skate the way he skates.
“They both did a great job for us tonight.”
Up and down the lineup, the coach was pleased with what he saw from his Rock Tuesday night.
“I really liked our big line, Ring, Svarich and Clark, played well. Felix Cadieux-Fredette was awesome. He probably saved Patty’s shutout, diving in front of a shot with the empty net.
“(Lucas) Lowe, (Hayden) Rynard and (Thomas) Beard again were good. Lyons, (Ryan) Armitage and (Jack) Anderson had great games, killing penalties and doing their jobs. Lucas Lowe is quietly turning into one of the best players in this league and he is a 2005 birthday.
“Everybody was great, all of our D.”
In addition to posting his first shutout of the season, Boivin also earned his 15th victory of the campaign.
Mole, who turned aside 39 of the 43 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.
NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Wells, Boivin and Lyons … The Rock went 2-6 on the power play, while the Gold Miners were 0-2 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena was 894 … On Wednesday, the Rock will travel to Powassan for a game against the Voodoos. The next home game will be on Saturday when the Rock will host the Soo Eagles at the McIntyre Arena, at 7:30 p.m.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel