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GALLERY: Rock hold off Thunderbirds in NOJHL action Sunday

TIMMINS, Ont. – A Tyler Gilberds tally midway through the second period stood up as the game-winner as the Timmins Rock held off the visiting Soo Thunderbirds 3-2 in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League matinee Sunday in front of 768 spectators at McIntyre Arena.

Timmins set the tempo early on, outshooting Sault Ste. Marie in the first frame by a 12-8 count and were rewarded with the afternoon’s opening tally at 16:22 courtesy of Brendan Boyce’s initial NOJHL goal.

A late man advantage helped the Rock add another before the session was complete when Karter Renouf picked up his fourth of the campaign at 19:18 giving him markers in back-to-back outings.

Heading to the second stanza, Timmins tacked on another midway through the frame compliments of Gilberds’ fifth goal as he ran a point streak to four along the way.

Countering, Sault Ste. Marie cut into the deficit during a power play opportunity at 14:20 thanks to Daniel Bazarin’s third.

Drawing closer, the Thunderbirds pulled to within one 12:16 into the third period as Nolan Ford set-up a Nick Smith strike.

The Soo picked up a late power play with a minute remaining in regulation and then pulled their goaltender, Colin Ahern, for an extra skater to give them a six-on-four edge in that department to try and notch the equalizer.

However, the Rock held off the Thunderbirds rally attempt to secure the home ice triumph.

Tyler Masternak in the Timmins net made 25 saves for his 40th NOJHL victory while Ahern faced 33 shots in defeat.

With the result, Timmins improved to 6-1-1-0 on the season, while the Soo, winless in four, slipped to 3-6-0-1.

Photos by Andrew Autio