By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
KIRKLAND LAKE – Jacob Shankar struck for his sixth goal of the season late in the third period to lift the Timmins Rock to a 5-3 win over the Gold Miners at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex Friday night.
The victory vaulted the Rock (6-2-0-0) past the Gold Miners (5-5-0-1) into third place in the NOJHL’s East Division standings.
The Rock jumped out to a 1-0 first-period lead Friday night on Alexandre Brisson’s second goal of the season.
Cory Sprague netted his team-leading seventh goal of the season early in the second period to extend the Rock advantage to two goals.
Taylor Urch beat Rock goalie Caleb Barris midway through the second period to cut the Rock lead to 2-1.
It took the visitors less than two minutes to restore their two-goal advantage, however, as Tyler Romain scored his fifth goal of the season to make it a 3-1 hockey game.
Stavros Soilis potted his fifth goal of the season before the end of the frame to send the game to second intermission with the Gold Miners trailing by just one goal.
Blake Cudmore, who played for the Rock franchise when it was known as the Abitibi Eskimos back in the 2014-15 season, then scored his first goal in a Gold Miners’ uniform to tie things up at 3-3 early in the third period.
That set the stage for Shankar’s game-winning heroics and he buried his sixth goal of the season behind Gold Miners netminder Victor-Olivier Courchesne with just 3:51 remaining in the third period.
It was the third goal in two games for Shankar who scored twice against the Eskis in Iroquois Falls Wednesday night before having to leave the game with an upper-body injury.
The Gold Miners pulled Courchesne in an attempt to get the equalizer, but Rock forward Cole Gilligan deposited the puck into an empty Kirkland Lake net with 42 seconds remaining in the contest to make the final score 5-3 in favour of the visitors.
Barris stopped 25 of the 28 shots he faced to pick up the victory for the Rock.
Courchesne turned aside 27 of the 31 shots the Rock fired his way and was tagged with the loss.
NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Shankar, Romain and Soilis … The Rock went 0-4 on the power play, while the Gold Miners were 1-3 with the man advantage … The Rock did not dress forward/defenceman Kyle Levis (undisclosed) and forward Wayne Mathieu (lower-body injury) … Goaltender Makaio Goods, who had been in camp on a tryout basis, is no longer with the Rock … Official attendance at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex was 352 … Friday night’s other NOJHL action saw the Crunch dump the Soo Thunderbirds 5-1 in Cochrane, the Rayside-Balfour Canadians beat the Express 5-1 in Espanola, The Powassan Voodoos strafe the Rapids 10-1 in French River and the Eagles top the Blind River Beavers 5-3 in the Sault, Mich. … The Rock will return to action Sunday afternoon when they host the Thunderbirds at the McIntyre Arena. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
photos courtesy of www.capturingthemoment.ca