GALLERY: T-Birds edge Rock in OT at NOJHL Showcase

Photos: Sudbury Light Event Photography

In the words of Timmins’ own Shania Twain: “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” Those five words sum up what Timmins Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry saw from his squad during their 3-2 overtime loss to the Soo Thunderbirds on Day 1 of the NOJHL Showcase Tournament at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

“That’s the worst I have seen our club play in the year and a bit I have been here,” he said.

“We just had a lot of individuals tonight, a lot of individuals.”

The Rock were outshot 9-4 during the opening period and trailed 2-0 heading into the first intermission.

Youssef Chaouachi’s second goal of the season staked the Thunderbirds to a one goal advantage 11:22 into the contest.

Anton Petrovskiy then added his second goal of the season with 3:25 remaining on the clock.

The Rock came out stronger in the second and third period, at least on the shot clock, if not in their coach’s opinion.

“We had more power plays, so … we were on the power play for 40 minutes basically,” he said.

“Sure, you look at the shot clock (18-9 in the second period, 13-7 in the third period) and sure, we had more shots.

“You would think we had more time of possession, but we got absolutely nothing done five on five, absolutely nothing.”

The Rock closed their deficit to 2-1 on Nicholas Frederick’s power-play marker, his eighth goal of the season, 2:30 into the middle frame.

Then, Brady Harroun added another power-play marker, his eighth goal of the season to tie things up 1:35 into the third period.

Still, Perry was not pleased with what he saw from his power play in the contest.

“Our power play had time and time and time again to execute and put this game away but we just couldn’t do it.

“Guys just wanted to do things on their own pace.”

Asked if have scouts from so many different organizations in the stands watching the game might have been a distraction for his players, Perry said, “I don’t know, to be honest with you, I just don’t know.”

“Every time we play a team from the West (Division), every time we play a team that gives us a bit of pushback, we just go into a shell and don’t want to work.

“Everybody wants to work when it is easy against Cochrane, everybody wants to work when it is easy against Kirkland Lake, but when we get a little bit of pushback, nobody wants to work.”

It took Brodie McConnell-Barker just 34 seconds to bury his first goal of the season once overtime got underway Tuesday, producing the 3-2 victory for the Thunderbirds.

As one might expect from Perry’s tone there were few Rock players who impressed their coach on Tuesday.

“Our goalie, Jacob Brown, played well,” he said.

It was Brown’s first appearance in the Rock net since his team blew a four-goal third-period lead in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Elliot Lake Red Wings back on Sept. 24.

“I think it was super important for him to bounce back, being a young kid (16 years old),” Perry said.

“He is a fantastic goaltender and we weren’t worried or concerned because of his last outing.

“It was as much on the players (playing in front of him) as it was on him as a goalie.

“We knew he would bounce back and have a solid game and he did that tonight.”

The Rock will now attempt to regroup before hitting the ice for their second game of the 2022 NOJHL Showcase Tournament against the Soo Eagles on Wednesday, at 3:45 p.m.

Landon Miller, who stopped 33 of the 35 shots the Rock directed his way, earned first win in a Thunderbirds uniform.

Brown, who blocked 24 of the 27 shots he faced, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The two stars of the game were Brown and McConnell-Barker … The Rock went 2-9 on the power play, while the Thunderbirds were 0-7 with the man advantage … Tuesday’s other action saw Greater Sudbury Cubs double the Hearst Lumberjacks 4-2, the Elliot Lake Red Wings fly past the Cochrane Crunch 5-2, the Blind River Beavers dump the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 8-0, the Powassan Voodoos beat the Soo Eagles 5-2 and the French River Rapids blank the Espanola Paper Kings 4-0.