GALLERY: Rock hang on to edge Beavers

Timmins Rock goalie Patrick Boivin tracks the puck through a crowd prior to making a save during Sunday afternoon’s NOJHL game at the Blind River Community Centre. Boivin, a Blind River product, made 26 saves to backstop the Rock to a 3-2 win over his former team. NOJHL NETWORK

Photos: Helene Rancourt

Brady Harroun’s power-play marker midway through the third period snapped a tie and lifted the Timmins Rock to a 3-2 win over the Beavers at the Community Centre Sunday afternoon.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

BLIND RIVER — Brady Harroun’s power-play marker midway through the third period snapped a tie and lifted the Timmins Rock to a 3-2 win over the Beavers at the Community Centre Sunday afternoon.

It wrapped up a three-game road trip through the NOJHL’s West Division that saw the Rock thump the Eagles 8-1 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Saturday night after dropping a 4-2 decision the Thunderbirds in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Friday night.

Their fourth win in five games also allowed the Rock (9-4-1-1) to exit the weekend one point back of the Hearst Lumberjacks (10-3-1-0) in the battle for top spot in the East Division standings.

“Friday night, we weren’t too happy with our effort, but we got great response the next two games,” said Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry.

“Four out of a possible six points is not bad on a tough road trip like this, against three tough opponents.”

One of the keys for the Rock Sunday was that they never trailed in the contest, forcing the Beavers to play catch-up hockey all afternoon.

“In any sport, any league, you want to get out to a quick start and play with the lead,” Perry said.

“That wasn’t the case against the Thunderbirds the last two times we played them, but we are a team that likes to play with the lead.

“We needed better starts and after Friday night we challenged some guys to start on time, play a little harder and I think we got that the next two games.”

Following a scoreless first period, Liam Wells got the Rock on the scoreboard 6:18 into the middle frame.

The Beavers battled back to tie things up 10 minutes later, with Caleb Minns finding the back of the net for his third goal of the season.

Nolan Ring once again gave the Rock a one-goal advantage just before time expired on the period, however, when he notched his sixth tally of the season.

The Beavers got back on even terms 1:20 into the third period, with Trevor Zimmer netting his fifth goal of the season.

That set the stage for Harroun’s game-winning tally, his 11th goal of the campaign, at the 12:46 mark.

“Big players step up in big moments and that’s what he did for us today, getting us the game-winner,” Perry said.

The coach was also happy to see Rock goalie Patrick Boivin finally get a win against his former team in his third try this season.

“He was absolutely outstanding today,” Perry said.

“He stood on his head and made a flurry of saves in the last minute. There was a wide-open net, but he got over to make the save, then got to the other side to make a save.

“He was a big, if not the biggest part, of why we won this hockey game.

“I was super happy to see him get one against his old team, in his hometown, with his parents in the stands.”

There was no shortage of other Rock players who impressed their coach on Sunday, as well.

“Up and down the lineup, with got contributions from everybody,” Perry said.

“I thought Kyle Trottier played really well all weekend. He is a warrior.

“I thought Kenny (Kenyon Nyman) played really well.

“It was one of those games where it wasn’t just one guy kind of taking over. It was consistent hard work from everybody.”

Boivin stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced to pick up his seventh win of the season for the Rock.

Beavers goalie Charlie Burns, who turned aside 24 of the 27 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of Sunday afternoon’s contest were Kenyon Nyman, Zimmer and Boivin … The Rock went 2-4 on the power play, while the Beavers were 0-2 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Blind River Community Centre was 181 … Sunday’s other action saw the Thunderbirds edge the Hearst Lumberjacks 4-3 in overtime in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, and the Crunch knock off the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-1 in Cochrane.