Timmins Rock blue-liner Blue-liner Cameron Dutkiewicz scored three goals to help lead the Timmins Rock to a 7-1 win over the Cochrane Crunch at the Tim Horton Event Centre Friday night. Dutkiewicz, who now has nine goals on the season, is tied with Soo Thunderbirds blue-liner Andrew Gibson for the scoring lead among D-men, with 25 points. The Rock will host the Crunch at the McIntyre Arena on Sunday, at 3 p.m. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS
Blue-liner Cameron Dutkiewicz scored three goals to help lead the Timmins Rock to a 7-1 win over the Crunch in the first half of a home-and-home series at the Tim Horton Event Centre Friday night.
The victory allowed the Rock (21-4-1-1) to stay one point ahead of the Powassan Voodoos (19-6-4-1) in the battle for top spot in the NOJHL’s overall and East Division standings.
A pair of unanswered first-period goals allowed the Rock to build a 2-0 advantage in the contest that saw them pepper Crunch goalie Michael Nickolau with 76 shots.
Dutkiewicz’s first goal of the night and seventh of the season, a power-play marker, got the puck rolling at the 6:27 mark.
Liam Wells, then added another power-play marker, his first of two goals on the night and eighth of the season just over six minutes later.
The Rock struck for two more goals early in the second period to expand their lead to 4-0.
Captain Tyler Schwindt netted his team-leading 19th goal of the season, an unassisted marker, at the 1:19 mark.
Dutkiewicz then added his second goal of the night and eighth of the season, just over a minute later.
The third period turned into a feeding frenzy for the Rock, as they bombarded Nickolau with 34 shots.
Wells netted his second goal of the night and ninth of the season just 1:03 into the frame.
Dutkiewicz then completed his hat-trick as he notched his ninth goal of the season 11-and-a-half minutes later.
Nolan Ring added his fifth goal of the season less than a minute later to push the Rock advantage to seven goals
At that point, the only thing left to be decided was whether or not Rock goalie Gavin McCarthy would post his second shutout of the season.
It was not to be, however, as Ryan Matthews scored a power-play marker, his second goal of the season to get the Crunch on the board, making the final 7-1 in favour of the Rock.
McCarthy, who stopped 28 of the 29 shots he faced, did manage to pick up his NOJHL-leading 16th win of the season.
Nickolau, who turned aside 69 of the 76 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.
NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Dutkiewicz, Christopher Engelbert (three assists) and Schwindt … The Rock went 2-4 on the power play, while the Crunch were 1-5 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Tim Horton Event Centre was 118 … Friday’s other action saw the Voodoos hang on to edge the Hearst Lumberjacks 2-1 in Powassan, the Rapids get past the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-3 in a shootout in French River and the Soo Eagles fly past the Red Wings 5-3 in Elliot Lake … The Rock will host the Crunch at the McIntyre Arena on Sunday, at 3 p.m., in the second half of the home-and-home series.