COCHRANE – Captain Derek Seguin scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season and added an assist as the Timmins Rock doubled up the Crunch 4-2 at the Tim Horton Event Centre Friday night.
The victory allowed the Rock (24-15-3-0) to pull to within a single point of the third-place Crunch (24-16-1-3) in the East Division standings — and Timmins still has a pair of games in hand on their rivals.
Josh Anderson’s power-play marker late in the first period allowed the Rock to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the contest.
It was the blue-liner’s ninth goal of the season.
The Rock were able to double their lead to 2-0 midway through the middle frame when Gage Tremblay netted his ninth goal of the campaign.
It was the fourth goal in the past four games for the suddenly red-hot Timmins native.
The Crunch were finally able to get on the scoreboard with less than a minute-and-a-half remaining in the period when Hunter Buzzi netted his 13th goal of the season.
Then, at the 8:48 mark of the third period, the Crunch tied up the contest at 2-2 thanks to Justin Bofshever’s 13th goal of the season.
The Rock regained the lead six minutes later when Benjamin Jossinet tallied his second goal of the season, a marker that stood up to be the game-winner.
In a bid to net the equalizer, the Crunch pulled goalie Bradley Dobson in favour of an extra attacker in the dying minutes of the contest, but the move backfired when Seguin deposited his 26th goal of the season into the empty Cochrane net with just 39 seconds remaining in regulation.
Rock goalie Tyler Masternak, who stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced, earned his NOJHL-leading 21st win of the season. He also lowered his NOJHL-best goals against average to 2.28.
Dobson, who blocked 21 of the 23 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.
NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Seguin, Anderson and Buzzi … The Rock went 1-8 on the power play, while the Crunch were 0-4 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Tim Horton Event Centre was 310 … Friday night’s other action saw Hearst Lumberjacks blank the Voodoos 5-0 in Powassan, the Rayside-Balfour Canadians double up the Rapids 6-3 in French River, the Thunderbirds edge the Blind River Beavers 4-2 in Sault Ste. Marie and the Soo Eagles get by the Express 6-5 in Espanola … the Rock and the Crunch will play the second half of their weekend home-and-home series at the McIntyre Arena on Sunday. Game time is set for 7 p.m.