By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
SUDBURY – Konnar Dechaine scored a pair of goals — including the game-winner — to lead the Cochrane Crunch to a 4-2 win over the Timmins Rock Tuesday night at the Countryside Arena.
It was the first game of the NOJHL Showcase Tournament for both squads.
The Rock jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the contest on Cole Gilligan’s fifth goal of the season, a power-play marker, midway through the first period.
Decheaine’s ninth goal of the season, also scored on the power play, less than three minutes later tied things up at 1-1.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the second period although Rock forward Wayne Mathieu was awarded a penalty shot at the 9:28 mark. Crunch goalie Jacob Burhans was up to the test, however, and the attempt failed.
Brandon McReynolds’ 10th goal of the season, just 1:27 into the third period, put the Crunch in front 2-1.
Dechaine then added his 10th goal of the season, a power-play marker, at the 8:34 mark to increase the home side’s advantage to two goals.
Leejay Meguinis potted his second goal of the season six minutes later to put the Crunch in front 4-1.
The Rock were able to pull within two goals when Grant McLellan netted his first of the season on a power play with just 27 seconds remaining in regulation.
That would be as close as the Rock would come to getting back on even terms, however, as the Crunch skated off with the 4-2 victory.
Burhans turned aside 27 of the 29 shots the Rock fired his way to earn his second win in as many starts in a Crunch uniform.
Caleb Barris stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced and was tagged with the loss for the Rock.
NOJHL NOTES — The Rock went 2-8 on the power play, while the Crunch were 3-10 with the man advantage … Tuesday’s other Showcase games saw the French River Rapids edge the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 5-4 for their first win of the season, the Iroquois Falls Eskis top the Powassan Voodoos 4-3, the Rayside-Balfour Canadians get past the Espanola Express 6-5, the Blind River Beavers beat the Soo Eagles 6-5 and the Soo Thunderbirds defeat the Elliot Lake Wildcats 2-1 … The Rock will play their second game of the Tournament at 11 a.m. on Wednesday when they take on the Eskis. The Crunch will tangle with the Rapids at 6:30 p.m. … Two members of the Rock — Barris and forward Jacob Shankar — are among the NOJHL’s Three Stars of the Week. The other star goes to Canadians goalie MacKenzie Savard … The latest CJHL Top 20 rankings has the Crunch sitting at No. 6 and the Rock at No. 19. The Voodoos received an honourable mention. The Steinbach Pistons, of the MJHL, remain at No. 1.