Rock look to get healthy, regain winning form

Blind River Beavers forward Ethan Pegg deposits what would prove to be the game-winning goal behind Timmins Rock goalie Patrick Boivin during the second period of Saturday night’s NOJHL game at the Blind River Community Centre. The Beavers 4-1 victory proved to be the first loss of the 2022-23 NOJHL campaign for the Rock. The two sides will meet at the McIntyre Arena on Friday, at 7:30 p.m. HELENE RANCOURT/NOJHL NETWORK

The Timmins Rock will be looking to get back on a roll when they welcome the Blind River Beavers to the McIntyre Arena on Friday, at 7:30 p.m.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

After reeling off four-straight victories — including a 7-1 triumph against the Crunch in Cochrane Friday night — the Rock dropped a 4-1 decision to the Beavers at the Blind River Community Centre Saturday night.

Despite that setback, the Rock (4-1-0-0) hold down top spot in both the East Division and NOJHL overall standings.

Meanwhile, the Beavers (3-1-0-0) are tied with the Espanola Paper Kings (3-1-0-0) for second place in the West Division standings.

Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry was impressed with what he saw from the Beavers Saturday night.

“They looked good,” he said.

“They used the hybrid icing to their advantage and our D were just sleeping all game.

“They took advantage of that.”

Four games into their season, the Beavers have eight players — Jesse Dupuis (4, 4-2-6, 4), Gavin Rocha (4, 1-4-5, 6), Evan Fraccaro (4, 2-2-4, 4), Jacob Kovacs (4, 1-3-4, 0), Nicholas Moore (4, 2-1-3, 4), Caleb Minns (4, 0-3-3 0), Kaeden McArthur (2, 1-1-2, 0) and Michael Gallagher (1, 1-0-1, 0) — who are averaging a point a game or are just off that pace.

Dupuis, an Iroquois Falls product, and McArthur, a Timmins Majors grad, should be quite familiar to local fans.

The Rock, meanwhile, have 10 players — Brady Harroun (5, 5-7-12, 6), Nicolas Pigeon (5, 2-10-12, 0), blue-liner Kenyon Nyman (5, 3-5-8, 0), Nicholas Frederick (5, 4-2-6, 4), Liam Wells (5, 2-2-4, 12), Nolan Ring (4, 1-3-4, 4), Daniel Beaupre (5, 3-0-3, 0), Ethan Pool (4, 1-2-3, 2) blue-liner Felix Cadieux-Fredette (5, 1-2-3, 4) and Justin Charette (5, 1-2-3, 2) — who meet that criteria.

Harroun and Pigeon are tied for the NOJHL scoring lead following action on the weekend and Nyman leads all NOJHL blue-liners in offensive production.

The Beavers have entrusted their goaltending to a pair of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., products this season.

Gavin Disano (120:00, 2-0-0-0, 0, 1.50, .956) and Charlie Burns (120:00, 1-1-0-0, 0, 3.50, .885) have split the games equally to this point in the campaign.

The Rock have alternated between Blind River product Patrick Boivin (179:00, 2-1-0-0, 0, 2.01, .918), acquired from the Beavers in the offseason, and 16-year-old rookie Jacob Brown (120:00, 2-0-0-0, 1, 0.50, .980), a fourth round pick of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds.

With a full week of practice to get ready for Friday’s game, Perry is hoping for a much better result against the Beavers, although a healthier roster wouldn’t hurt, either.

“We just need to take a couple of days and get healthy,” he said.

“We are going to have to go back and watch the video to determine if it was just us not playing our game, not being good, not playing hard enough, or was it them playing good, both.

“I think I know what the answer is, but the video doesn’t lie.

“So, we will get home, get healthy and get ready for them in our rink.”