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Soo Thunderbirds double up Timmins Rock

Soo Thunderbirds forward Wyatt Marlow runs over Timmins Rock forward Nolan Ring along the boards during Friday night’s NOJHL contest at the John Rhodes Community Centre. The Rock got off to a slow start in the contest and couldn’t overcome a 3-0 deficit, as they went on to drop a 4-2 decision to the Thunderbirds to kick off a three-game weekend road trip. NOJHL NETWORK

A slow start proved costly as the Timmins Rock kicked off a three-game road trip with a 4-2 loss to the Thunderbirds at the John Rhodes Community Centre Friday night.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

Outshot 16-4 in the opening 20 minutes of the contest, the Rock trailed 1-0 heading into the first intermission.

Jackson Truchan’s third goal of the season, a power-play marker, provided the Thunderbirds with their early advantage.

Even though the Rock outshot the Thunderbirds 19-11 in the middle frame, they fell even further behind, as Truchan netted his second goal of the contest and fourth of the season.

Michael Chaffay’s power-play marker, his fourth goal of the season, 50 seconds into the third period then increased the Thunderbirds’ advantage to 3-0.

The Rock finally got on the scoreboard five-and-a-half minutes later when Liam Wells netted his fourth goal of the season.

And just over a minute later Lucas Piekarczyk added his third goal of the campaign to make it a 3-2 hockey game, but that would prove to be as close as the Rock would come to getting back on even terms.

With Rock goalie Jacob Brown on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, Youssef Chaouachi iced the contest when he deposited his third goal of the season into an empty Timmins net.

Even when the Rock battled back to cut the deficit to a single goal, Perry didn’t feel they were on their game.

“It was a combination of things,” he said.

“Obviously, the slow start killed us but we really didn’t have a push back all game.

“It was just one of those nights where we were messy and couldn’t get anything going.

“Even with the two goals we scored, they were just lucky bounces. It wasn’t anything we earned or generated.

“I don’t want to take anything away from those guys who scored those goals, but they were just like fortunate bounces.”

Unlike the final two games of the road trip, there were not a lot of Rock players who impressed their coach Friday night.

“I thought Jacob Brown played well, for a young kid in net,” Perry said.

“He kept us in there the whole game and gave us a chance to claw back and maybe tie that thing up late.”

Thunderbirds goalie Kolton Bourret stopped 32 of the 34 shots the Rock directed his way to earn his third win of the season.

Brown, who turned aside 29 of the 32 shots he faced, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of the game were Chaffay, Truchan and Bourret … The Rock went 0-4 on the power play, while the Thunderbirds were 2-5 with the man advantage … Forward Nicholas Moore, acquired earlier this week from the Blind River Beavers, made his Rock debut and picked up a minor penalty … Official attendance at the John Rhodes Community Centre was 112 … Friday’s other action saw the Hearst Lumberjacks top the Eagles 4-2 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., the Gold Miners dump the Cochrane Crunch 4-1 in Kirkland Lake, the Voodoos double up the French River Rapids 4-2 in Powassan and the Paper Kings get past the Elliot Lake Red Wings 3-1 in Espanola … The Rock will take on the Eagles in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on Saturday, at 7 p.m.