Blind River Beavers Cochrane Crunch Elliot Lake Red Wings Espanola Express French River Rapids Greater Sudbury Cubs Hearst Lumberjacks Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Powassan Voodoos Soo Eagles Soo Thunderbirds Timmins Rock | Hockey Canada Canadian Junior Hockey League Northern Ontario Hockey Association

GALLERY: Smith ignites Rock attack

Josh Dickson, background, and Zach Smith celebrate Smith’s first-period shorthanded goal during Saturday night’s NOJHL game at the Tim Horton Event Centre in Cochrane while the puck bounces out of the net behind Crunch goalie Liam McCarthy. Smith would add a second shorthanded marker and set up a pair of goals to help lead the Rock to a 9-4 win over the Crunch in the second game of their 10-game set. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS

Zach Smith scored twice and set up a pair of goals to help lead the Timmins Rock to a 9-4 win over the Crunch at the Tim Horton Event Centre Saturday night.


Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network
More from Thomas Perry


It was the second victory in 24 hours for the Rock over their NOJHL East Division rivals after they skated to a 6-2 triumph Friday night in the first game of a 10-game set.

Saturday night’s contest had originally been scheduled for Wednesday night, but a freezing rain warning prompted its postponement.

Like Friday night, it was the Crunch who drew first blood, with Travis Szafron netting his second goal of the season just shy of the midway point in the opening period.

The lead did not last long, however, with the Rock getting back on even terms just over a minute later when Josh Dickson notched his ninth goal of the season.

Then, Riley Robitaille added his second goal of the campaign 38 seconds later to put the Rock in front 2-1.

That advantage proved to be even shorter lasting, though, as Liam Boswell notched his second goal of the season 13 seconds later to once again tie things up.

The Rock were able to regain the lead prior to the end of the first period when Smith scored the first of his two goals on the night and fourth of the season, a shorthanded marker.

With 11 seconds remaining in the frame and the Rock on the power play, blue-liner Evan Beaudry took a costly five-minute major for body checking and a game misconduct.

Ryan Hunter struck for a pair of power-play markers, his eighth and ninth goals of the season, just over a minute apart early in the second period to turn a one-goal deficit into a one-goal advantage for the home side.

Three-straight goals in the final 13-and-a-half minutes of the frame allowed the Rock to regain control of the contest, however.

Harry Clark’s fourth goal of the season tied things up at 4-4 and just over three minutes later newly acquired forward Graeme McCrory notched his first goal in a Rock uniform to give the visitors a lead they would not surrender.

McCrory then added a power play marker to give the Rock a 6-4 advantage heading into the second intermission.

The third period proved to be all Rock, as they outshot the Crunch 17-4 and tacked on three more goals to close out the scoring.

Smith got the puck rolling when he struck for his second shorthanded marker of the contest and fifth goal of the season just over two minutes into the frame.

Just over a minute later, Landon Deforge notched his second goal of the season.

Then, Henry Brock tied a bow on the festivities when he notched the first goal of his NOJHL career.

Rock goalie Gavin McCarthy stopped 17 of the 21 shots he faced to earn his third victory of the season.

Meanwhile, Crunch goalie Liam McCarthy, who turned aside 41 of the 50 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of Saturday night’s contest were Smith, Dickson and Szafron, while Smith, Gilberds and Hunter earned the accolades Friday night … The Rock went 1-5 on the power play Saturday night, while the Crunch were 2-7 with the man advantage. Friday night, the Rock went 1-5 on the power play, while the Crunch were 0-4 with the man advantage … The third game of the 10-game series will be played at the Tim Horton Event Centre Sunday, at 3 p.m., with the fourth game back at the McIntyre Arena on Tuesday, at 8:30 p.m.