HEARST — The Timmins Rock got goals from seven different players, none of whom were named Seguin or Dickson, en route to a 7-2 win over the Lumberjacks at the Claude Larose Arena Friday night.
Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network
It was the fourth game of a six-game NOJHL regular-season series that saw the Rock take the first two games on home ice before dropping a 4-3 decision to the Lumberjacks in Hearst Wednesday night.
A three-goal first-period explosion got the Rock off on the right foot Friday night.
Landon Deforge got the puck rolling when he netted his first NOJHL goal, an unassisted marker, at the 6:45 mark.
Then, just over six minutes later, Deforge made a beautiful play to set up Tyler Gilberds for his first goal of the season.
Less than three minutes later, Harry Clark added his second goal of the campaign to put the Rock up 3-0.
At that point Lumberjacks coach Marc-Alain Begin opted to pull starting goalie Andrew Stephan, with Liam Oxner coming on in relief.
That move seemed to settle the home side down and the buzzer sounded on the opening 20 minutes of play with the Rock still up by three goals.
Stephan returned to the Lumberjacks net to start the second period and he and his teammates were able to keep the Rock at bay until late in the frame.
Blue-liner Brendan Boyce struck for his fourth goal of the season at the 15:27 mark, however, to increase the Rock lead to four goals.
The Lumberjacks were finally able to get on the scoreboard a minute-and-a-half later when blue-liner Dylan Ford scored his first NOJHL goal to cut the Rock lead to 4-1 heading into the second intermission.
After two relatively peaceful periods that saw the two sides split four minor penalties, the final frame saw hostilities intensify, with referees Robert Gagnon and Christian Gratton making 15 calls in the final 20 minutes.
Given that number of infractions, amazingly only one of the four goals scored in the period came on the power play, while another was a shorthanded marker.
Zach Smith’s second goal of the season, at the 3:39 mark, restored the Rock’s four-goal advantage.
Less than four minutes later, the Lumberjacks were able to close the gap to 5-2 thanks to a Raphael Lajeunesse power-play marker, his third goal of the season.
Just over three minutes later, Tyler Schwindt struck for a shorthanded tally, his fifth goal of the season, to once again put the Rock in front by four goals.
And then with 5:29 remaining in the contest blue-liner Evan Beaudry picked up his first goal of the season to make the final score 7-2 in favour of the Rock.
Rock goalie Tyler Masternak, who turned aside 21 of the 23 shots he faced, earned his NOJHL-leading sixth win of the season.
Stephan, who started and finished the game, blocked 40 of the 47 shots the Rock directed his way and was tagged with the loss.
Oxner stopped all four shots he faced in his 4:22 of work on the night.
NOJHL NOTES — The three stars were Deforge, Boyce and Clark … The Rock went 0-4 on the power play, but did pick up a shorthanded goal, while the Lumberjacks were 1-0 with the man advantage … Friday night’s only other contest saw the Gold Miners blank the visiting Cochrane Crunch 5-0 in Kirkland Lake … The Rock will once again travel to Hearst for the fifth game of their series with the Lumberjacks at the Claude Larose Arena on Sunday, at 4 p.m.
Game Photos: Marc-André Longval