Rayside-Balfour Canadians forward Gavin Brown watches as his shot beats Timmins Rock goalie Gavin McCarthy but sails just wide of the post during the first period of Saturday night’s NOJHL contest at the McIntyre Arena. The Rock cruised to a 7-2 victory in their home opener, giving them three-straight wins over the Canadians to start the 2020-21 regular season. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS/POSTMEDIA NETWORK
Captain Derek Seguin scored a pair of goals — including the 75th of his career — and assisted on a third to help lead the Timmins Rock to a 7-2 win over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in their home opener at the McIntyre Arena Saturday night.
It marked the third-straight victory for the Rock following a pair of road victories over the Canadians.
Early on, it looked like the visitors might earn their first victory of the season when Oliver Smith beat Gavin McCarthy — making the first start of his NOJHL career at the 4:22 mark of the opening period.
It took just over a minute, however, for the Rock to get back on even terms, thanks to Tyler Schwindt’s second goal of the young season.
Then, just past the midway mark of the opening period, the Rock took a lead they would not surrender as Zach Smith netted his first goal of the season to make it a 2-1 hockey game.
With just 45 seconds remaining in the frame, Seguin notched his first of two on the night and second of the campaign, with the Rock on the power play to send the home side into the first intermission up 3-1.
Harry Clark notched his first goal of the season 2:15 into the second period to put the Rock in front by three goals.
Seguin’s second power-play marker of the night and third goal on the season then put the Rock up 5-1 two-and-a-half minutes later.
It appeared the Rock had taken a 6-1 advantage in the final seconds of the frame, but the referees ruled time had expired prior to Eric Moreau’s lazer beam entering the net.
The Rock remained on the power play to start the third period, however, and Josh Dickson picked up his second goal of the campaign 30 seconds into the frame to officially make it a 6-1 hockey game.
With the final outcome all but decided, the Canadians struck for a power-play marker of their own when former Cochrane Crunch sniper Owen Perala found the back of the Rock net with his first goal of the season.
The scoring wasn’t quite done yet, either, as Schwindt notched his second goal of the night and third of the season with just 42 seconds remaining on the clock.
McCarthy turned aside 16 of the 18 shots he faced to pick up his first NOJHL victory.
Meanwhile, Jake Marois — also making his NOJHL debut — was tagged with the loss for the Canadians, while blocking 21 of the 28 shots the Rock directed his way.
NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Seguin, Smith and Clark … The Rock did not dress blue-liner Bode Dunford or forwards Brendan Bauer and Landon Deforge … The Rock went 2-6 on the power play, while the Canadians were 1-5 with the man advantage … Saturday’s other action saw the Hearst Lumberjacks triple the Crunch 6-2 in Cochrane and the Beavers double up the Soo Thunderbirds 6-3 in Blind River … The Rock will host the Canadians once again at the McIntyre Arena on Sunday, at 8:30 p.m.