VIDEO / GALLERY: Beard nets pair of goals to help Rock earn fifth-straight win

Timmins Rock forward Thomas Beard reaches out to corral a loose puck before drilling a shot past Iroquois Falls Storm goalie Connor Hatfield for what would prove to be the game-winning goal during the second period of Friday night’s NOJHL contest at the McIntyre Arena. The marker was the first of Beard’s two goals on the night, as he helped lead the Rock to a 6-2 win over the Storm. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS

Thomas Beard scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, as the Timmins Rock knocked off the Iroquois Falls Storm 6-2 at the McIntyre Arena Friday night.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

It was the fifth-straight win for the East Division-leading Rock who will take on the Voodoos in Powassan Saturday night.

Charlie Crump’s power-play marker, his fifth goal of the season, got the Storm on the scoreboard first Friday night.

The Rock stormed right back four minutes later, however, to tie things up on Henry McLellan’s second goal of the season.

It marked the second-straight game in which the Stoney Plain, Alta., product has scored after he netted his first NOJHL goal in Kirkland Lake Sunday afternoon.

“(Jack) Anderson and I had a two-on-one going and the puck went off my foot and back to (Ryan) Armitage and he put it on net and I just happened to be in the right place and the right time,” McLellan said, describing how the play developed.

“It was basically just a tap-in, I just slid it in.”

McLellan hadn’t scored in his first 19 games of the season and he admitted he was starting to wonder if he would ever get a goal.

“I didn’t have the greatest start to the season, but with hard work and perseverance I knew I would get one eventually,” he said.

“I had an extra chip on my shoulder the last couple of weeks, really trying to show the NOJHL what I have to offer.”

McLellan’s father was in the stands in Kirkland Lake to watch him score his first NOJHL goal, but he flew home before Friday night’s contest.

“It was huge having him there for my first goal, he is my No. 1 fan,” he said.

Mason Svarich gave the Rock a lead they would not relinquish when he scored his team-leading 21st goal of the season later in the opening frame.

Beard’s first goal of the game and ninth of the season increased the Rock advantage to 3-1 6:43 into the middle frame.

“We got the puck moving down low and got I.F.’s forwards to come down on us and it opened up the D,” he said.

“We got the puck up to the point and Freddie (Felix Cadieux-Fredette) fed me in the slot and I put the puck in the net, low right side.”

Then, with 10.52 seconds remaining on the clock, Harry Clark added his 17th tally of the campaign to send the Rock to the dressing room for the second intermission up by three goals.

The Rock kept rolling when the puck dropped to start the third period and Hayden Rynard chipped in with his second goal of the season.

Lucas Peever’s seventh goal of the season cut into the Rock lead just over three minutes later, but that would be as close as the Storm would come to getting back on even terms.

Beard closed out the scoring when he netted an unassisted shorthanded marker, his second goal of the game and 10th of the season.

He managed to out-race and out-muscle a Storm defender, before placing a backhand shot up and over Iroquois Falls goalie Connor Hatfield.

“When I started skating for the puck, I wasn’t too sure if I was going to get it,” Beard said.

“I went with what I am comfortable doing on breakaways and it worked.”

Beard played on a line with Rynard and Lucas Lowe during Friday night’s contest and the trio was especially effective on the forecheck.

“We work on our forecheck a lot and all three of us work hard all the time and try to get bodies on the other guys,” he said.

Rock goalie Dryden Riley stopped 24 of the 26 shots he faced to earn his 11th win of the season.

Hatfield, who turned aside 44 of the 50 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Beard, Clark and McLellan … The Rock went 0-3 on the power play, while the Storm were 1-4 with the man advantage … Rock blue-liner Elijah Pool served the second game of the five-game suspension he picked up after being assessed a slew-footing major penalty during a Dec. 8 contest … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena was 1,059 … Friday’s other action saw the Voodoos hang on to edge the French River Rapids 4-3 in French River, the Lumberjacks topple the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 8-1 in Hearst, the Espanola Paper Kings dump the Vikings 7-5 in Elliot Lake, the Blind River Beavers skate past the Thunderbirds 4-1 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and the Greater Sudbury Cubs get past the Eagles 4-3 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. … The Rock will travel to Powassan to take on the Voodoos Saturday night. The next home game is on Tuesday, when they will host the Lumberjacks at the McIntyre Arena, at 7 p.m.

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel