BLIND RIVER — Derek Seguin scored three goals, including the game-winner, and added an assist as the Timmins Rock battled back to edge the Beavers 4-2 at the Community Centre Friday night.
The victory in the first game of a three-game weekend road trip allowed the Rock (12-5-1-0) to pull within one point of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (13-4-0-0) for top spot in the NOJHL’s East Division and overall standings.
The Gold Miners, who dropped a 4-2 decision to the Voodoos (11-6-1-0) in Powassan, do have a game in hand on the Rock, however.
Seguin’s first of three goals on the night and 11th of the season, a power-play marker, gave the Rock a 1-0 lead with just 33 seconds remaining in the opening period.
His second goal of the night and 12th of the campaign, also a power-play tally, increased the visitors’ advantage to 2-0 just 1:10 into the middle frame.
Three-straight Blind River goals — the first two coming with the man advantage — allowed the Beavers to turn a two-goal deficit into a one-goal lead before the end of the period.
Blue-liner Ryan Mulligan’s sixth goal of the season got the puck rolling for the home side.
Andrew Warhoftig’s second goal of the season tied things up and Sam Harris’ third tally of the campaign made it a 3-2 hockey game heading into the third period.
It took the Rock just 49 seconds to tie things up after the puck dropped to start the frame, however, with Eamon Bollinger potting his third goal of the season with the Rock on the power play.
Seguin then completed his hat-trick by potting his 13th goal of the season just past the midway point of the period to give the Rock a 4-3 lead they would not surrender.
That goal triggered an early exit for Beavers starting goalie Garret Boyonoski, with Thomson Phinney coming on in relief.
The Beavers had a golden opportunity to net the equalizer with 4:16 remaining on the clock, but Caleb Serre’s penalty shot attempt was stopped by Rock goalie Tyler Masternak.
Masternak stopped 44 of the 47 shots he faced in the contest to pick up his 10thwin of the season for the Rock.
Boyonoski, who turned aside 34 of the 38 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss. Phinney stopped all four shots he faced in his 7:39 of work.
NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Seguin, Harris and Serre … Rock forward A.J. Campbell was ejected from the game after being assessed a two-minute minor for checking from behind and a game misconduct early in the first period. In the second period, Rock forward Riley Brousseau was tossed after he received a five-minute major penalty for checking to the head/neck and a game misconduct. Later in the frame, Rock forward Austin Holmes was given an early exit after receiving a two-minute minor for instigating, a five minute major for fighting and a game misconduct, while Beavers blue-liner Brody White was also ejected after being assessed a two-minute minor for boarding, a five-minute major for fighting and a game misconduct … The Rock went 3-8 on the power play, while the Beavers were 2-6 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Blind River Community Centre was 263 … Friday night’s other action saw the Eagles edge the Hearst Lumberjacks 4-3 in the Sault, Mich., and the Rayside-Balfour Canadians double up the Express 6-3 in Espanola … The Rock will continue their road trip with a game against the Eagles in the Sault, Mich., Saturday night before taking on the Thunderbirds in Sault Ste. Marie Sunday afternoon.