Timmins back into the win column with impressive 5-0 win
On a very special afternoon, the Timmins Rock put forward another strong team performance, shutting out the West division leading Blind River Beavers 5-0.
The Beavers were coming in hot, but perhaps a little fatigued, after big road wins in Hearst on Friday, and Cochrane on Saturday. The Rock were coming off a humbling 5-1 loss in Hearst on Thursday night.
Former NHL great Curtis Joseph was on hand to drop the ceremonial puck before the game to the delight of the nearly 1,200 fans in attendance.
Timmins came out hot, outshooting the Beavers 14 to six in the opening period. Winger Karter Renouf opened the scoring with his 10th goal of the season 12 minutes in. That was followed by a snipe from David Laroche with under two minutes left to send them to the locker room up 2-0.
Laroche scored again at 2:22 of the second on a powerplay to give him eight goals on the season. Then, Rock captain Derek Seguin finished off a nice pass from Josh Dickson on a shorthanded two-on-one at 4:18 of the period. Riley Robitaille buried a loose puck in the crease at 11:25 for another powerplay goal which put the Rock up 5-0 after 40 minutes.
There was no scoring in the third period, and the Rock were able to withstand a push back from the talented, but tired Beavers.
Final shots were 34-25 in favour of Timmins. Tyler Masternak picked up his third shutout of the season, which ties him with teammate Vance Meyer for the NOJHL lead. Masternak said the game was extra special as Joseph was one of his idols growing up.
Rock winger Riley Brousseau made a surprising return to the lineup on Sunday. He had been re-habbing a lower body injury, which was originally feared to be season-ending.
“It was great. At first they told me I was out for the whole season, six months or so, but now its been about six weeks, and I’ve recovered really well and I’m happy to be back,” said Brousseau post-game.
Rock head coach Corey Beer said the key to Sunday’s victory was simplicity.
“We really wanted to try to get pucks behind their defencemen, and be crisp on our breakouts,” said Beer. “Our transition game was good again. Against Hearst, I felt like we were overcomplicating things, trying to be too creative, and our risk management wasn’t very good. I thought we did a great job today keeping pucks down low, and forcing turnovers in their zone, and making them play 200 feet I think was the key to success with it being their third game in two and a half days.”
The Rock’s next games are this weekend on the road. They’ll take on the Wildcats in Elliot Lake on Friday, and face the Beavers again in Blind River on Saturday. The Rock were ranked No. 14 in Canada by the CJHL on Monday. The rival Powassan Voodoos are now ranked No. 1.