UPDATE / GALLERY: Romaniuk’s hat-trick helps Rock roll over Gold Miners — again

Timmins Rock forward Nolan Ring tangles with Kirkland Lake Gold Miners forward Tyler Genovese during Saturday night’s NOJHL contest at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex. The Rock went on to defeat the Gold Miners 6-3, posting their fifth-straight victory, but they will be without Ring for the next five games, as he has been assessed a five-game suspension after being ejected from the game in the third period after receiving a five-minute match penalty for head contact. ALLYSON DEMERS/FOR NOJHL NETWORK jpg, TD, apsmc

It has often been said good teams find a way to win, even when they are not playing at their best.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – That sentiment summarizes the Timmins Rock’s 6-3 victory over the Gold Miners at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex Saturday night and their 6-2 home-ice triumph against the French River Rapids Friday night.

Four of a possible four points adds up to the Rock (38-14-2-0) holding an 11 point lead on the Lumberjacks (31-15-3-2) and a 13 point advantage on the Voodoos (31-18-1-2) in the NOJHL’s East Division standings — although Hearst has three games in hand and Powassan two contests.

Still, Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry was far from pleased with what he saw from his squad on the weekend.

“It wasn’t our best effort, we took too many penalties, but it’s two points,” he said, following Saturday night’s victory.

“Obviously, we are not healthy, guys are banged up and playing through stuff, but we weren’t good enough Friday night and we weren’t good enough tonight.”

One of the positives for the Rock at the at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex Saturday night was the play of 16-year-old forward Brant Romaniuk’s whose hat-trick gives him 19 goals on the campaign.

“He had some jump to his game and played really good tonight,” Perry said.

“It was nice to see him get rewarded with three goals, it was a nice milestone for the young kid. He has scored at every level he has played at, he is extremely skilled and has great offensive instincts.

“With young kids, it is important to teach them the other side (defence) of the game and he has been really good with that lately. Playing good in your own end, leads to more offence in the O Zone.”

The Rock, who have now won 42-straight games against the Gold Miners, hit the scoreboard early Saturday night, as Romaniuk netted the first of his three goals and 17th of the campaign 2:11 into the contest.

The Gold Miners were able to get back on even terms with just under five minutes remaining in the first period, as Noah Woodard netted a power-play marker, his 22nd goal of the season.

But Romaniuk’s second goal of the game and 18th of the campaign restored the Rock’s advantage with 51 seconds remaining on the clock.

The second period saw the Rock take command of the contest, with Lucas Lowe starting things off with a power-play marker, his 16th goal of the season, eight minutes into the frame.

Ryan Armitage added his ninth goal of the season eight-and-a-half minutes later to make it a 4-1 hockey game.

Jacob Lamoureux’s 18th goal of the season cut the Gold Miners’ deficit, but another late goal proved costly for the home side, as Romaniuk completed his hat-trick by netting his 19 marker of the campaign, with just 13 seconds remaining on the clock.

Trailing 5-2 heading into the third period, the Gold Miners managed to close the gap five minutes into the frame when Inde Abresch netted a power-play marker, his 17th goal of the season.

That would be as close as the home side would come to getting back on even terms, however, as Jaden Lyons’ unassisted marker, his eighth goal of the campaign, four minutes later closed out the scoring in the contest.

While Perry was less than enthused with the play of his squad on the weekend, he noted the two teams the Rock played turned in solid efforts.

“It isn’t always just about us,” he said.

“Obviously, I didn’t like our game Friday night or tonight but you have to tip your cap to Kirkland Lake. They played a fantastic game.”

Despite Perry’s feelings about the Rock’s overall effort on the weekend, there were a number of individual players who caught his eye in a positive light Saturday night.

“I thought Patty (goalie Patrick Boivin) played really well in net, kept us in the game during the first period on a couple of penalty kills and made some really big saves,” he said.

“Thomas Beard had a really good game up front and Ethan Albert had a really good game on the back end. Tenzin Nyman was good back there, as well, and (affiliate player) Jakob Drobny came up from the (GNU18L) Majors and played some good minutes.

“All of our big guys were good, Mason Svarich played a good game, Harry Clark, was good, as always, we just took too many penalties. When you have to kill too many penalties, it kills your momentum. Guys sit on the bench too long.”

The most costly penalty from a Rock perspective was the five-minute match penalty taken by forward Nolan Ring for head contact midway through the third period.

“He is going to have to serve a five-game suspension,” Perry said.

“It was just frustrating watch our group get frustrated over little things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. We are not an undisciplined team, by any means, but we certainly acted that way the last two nights. Some of it’s on us, some of it’s not on us but we have to do a better job controlling what we can control. We can’t be taking those penalties.”

In addition to losing Ring for the next five games, the Rock also saw another blue-liner go down with injury Friday night.

“Sam Gallagher, upper-body, is week-to-week,” Perry said.

Boivin stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced to earn his 19th victory of the season for the Rock.

Gold Miners goalie Trent Boryszczuk, who turned aside 33 of the 39 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of Saturday’s game were Romaniuk, Abresch and Woodard … The Rock went 1-2 on the power play Saturday, while the Gold Miners were 2-7 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex Saturday night was 235 … Saturday’s other action saw the Lumberjacks double up the French River Rapids 6-3 in Hearst, the Blind River Beavers thump the Storm 9-4 in Iroquois Falls and the Thunderbirds top the Soo Eagles 5-2 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., … The Rock will return to action on Friday, when they host the Iroquois Falls Storm at the McIntyre Arena, at 7:30 p.m.