GALLERY: Harroun’s hat-trick helps Rock roll over Crunch — again

Brady Harroun, the NOJHL’s leading sniper, produced a hat-trick to help lead the Timmins Rock to a 9-1 win over the Crunch at the Tim Horton Event Centre Saturday night.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

COCHRANE — Brady Harroun, the NOJHL’s leading sniper, produced a hat-trick to help lead the Timmins Rock to a 9-1 win over the Crunch at the Tim Horton Event Centre Saturday night.

Harroun, who now has 38 goals on the season, has five in the past two games, after netting a pair in a 3-2 win over the Lumberjacks in Hearst Friday night.

With the pair of weekend victories under their belt, the Rock (36-6-3-2) have now won 10-straight games and increased their lead over the Voodoos (32-11-1-0) atop the East Division standings to 12 points, although Powassan has three games in hand.

Saturday night’s victory was the ninth of the season in nine tries for the Rock against the Crunch and their 17th in the 17 tries in the past two seasons.

“It was a solid effort from start to finish,” said Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry.

“Our guys played hard, plugged their chances and did a good job in front of (Rock goalie Jacob Brown) Brownie.

“(Harroun) is hot right now. He is finding the back of the net. He has been all year, but he has been letting a couple of one-timers go and they are hard to stop.”

The Rock jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, with Harroun netting his 36th and 37th of the season.

Linemate Lucas Piekarczyk had the other tally, his 18th marker of the season, that proved to be the game-winning goal.

Harroun completed his hat-trick 55 seconds into the middle frame, when he notched a power-play marker for his 38th goal of the season.

Affiliate player Brant Romaniuk then netted the first goal of his NOJHL career 30 seconds later.

Romaniuk is a 15-year-old Timmins product who currently plays for the Great North U18 League’s North Bay U16 Trappers.

“It was nice to see him get one.”

Romaniuk was playing in his fourth game with the Rock as an affiliate player and his goal was his second NOJHL point.

Justin Charette followed with his 13th goal of the season to make it a 6-0 hockey game.

The Crunch finally gave their fans something to cheer about one second past the midway point in the period when Alex Dionne scored his second goal of the season.

The Rock got that one back 54 seconds later when stay-at-home blue-liner Christophe Petit notched his first goal of the season.

“I don’t think our bench could have been any happier to see him get one,” Perry said.

“It just goes to show you how much he means to our team, how much he is loved and appreciated by his teammates.

“They were super happy for him and it was really nice to see.”

A pair of third-period goals allowed the Rock to ice the victory.

Piekarczyk netted the first of those two markers, his second goal of the night and 19th of the season.

Blue-liner Kyle Trottier then closed out of the scoring when he netted his fourth goal of the season.

There was no shortage of Rock players who caught the eye of their coach during Saturday night’s victory.

“I thought Nolan Ring played really well,” Perry said.

“That whole line, with Nicholas Frederick and Brant Romaniuk was really, really good.

“I thought the line of (Hayden) Rynard, (Evan) Grigor and (Chase) Longhurst had a good game.

“Our whole back end played solid. Brownie was sharp in net.

“Up and down our lineup, I thought everybody was good.”

Brown stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced to earn his 14th win of the season.

Marcus Ouellet, who got the start in net for the Crunch, was tagged with the loss after turning aside 25 of the 32 shots the Rock directed his way during his 30:55 of work.

Jake Dubinsky blocked 28 of the 30 shots he faced in 29:05 of relief.


Harroun’s second goal of the game snapped a tie and lifted the Rock to a 3-2 win over the Lumberjacks at the Claude Larose Recreation Centre in Hearst Friday night.

“I’ll take that every day over the 9-1 win (over Cochrane Saturday night),” Perry said.

“That was a good effort by us. We were just kind of content to be in the game in the first period. We weren’t bad, we weren’t good, we were just kind of there.”

Following a scoreless first period, it was the Rock who drew first blood Friday night, with Harroun netting a power-play marker, his first of two goals on the night and 34th of the season 6:30 into the middle frame.

Captain Nicolas Pigeon added his 19th goal of the season 10 minutes later and the Rock carried a 2-0 advantage into the second intermission.

“I had some choice words for them after the first period and we absolutely dominated the second period,” Perry said.

“We outshot them 17-7. We put on the pressure and came away with a two goal lead.”

The Lumberjacks were not about to go down without a fight, however, and Emile Pichette scored his 22nd goal of the season 2:07 into the third period.

Tyler Bortkiewicz added his sixth goal of the season eight minutes later to tie things up at 2-2.

Then, with 4:44 remaining in regulation, Harroun struck for his second power-play marker of the night, his 35 goal of the season to snap the tie and lift the Rock to victory.

“The third period rolled around and they got a lucky bounce off one of our defencemen on a two-on-one and it kind of squeaked by (Rock goalie Patrick Boivin) Patty,” Perry said.

“Obviously, there building erupts and they kind of got back into it.

“Then, they got one on the power play on a puck that shouldn’t have gotten through, but it was in the back of our net.

“All of a sudden, we were in a tie hockey game, as good as we had played but our power play showed up when it counted the most, got us that go-ahead goal and we were able to lock it down the rest of the way.

“After the first period, I thought we played a really solid road game.”

Like Saturday night, there were numerous Rock players who impressed their coach.

“Our top guys, Pige (Pigeon), Babs (Harroun), Piesy (Piekarczyk), Nolan Ring, Nicholas Frederick, Patty (Boivin) in net, Kenny (Kenyon Nyman), Trotts (Trottier), Freddie (Felix Cadieux-Fredette), Rosie (Brandon Rossetti), it was our top guys,” Perry said.

“Our top guys just wouldn’t let us lose.”

Boivin stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced to earn his NOJHL-leading 22nd win of the season.

Lumberjacks goalie Ethan Dinsdale, who turned aside 29 of the 32 shots the Rock directed his way, was tagged with the loss.

NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of Saturday’s game were Harroun, Charette and Romaniuk, while Harroun, Pichette and Boivin were recognized Friday night … Piekarczyk was ejected from the game with 1:27 remaining in the third period after being assessed a five-minute major for butt-ending … The Rock went 2-6 on the power play Saturday night, while the Crunch were 0-4 with the man advantage. Friday night, the Rock went 2-2 on the power play, while the Lumberjacks were 1-1 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Tim Horton Event Centre Saturday night was 146, while 673 fans attended Friday night’s game at the Claude Larose Recreation Centre … Saturday night’s other action saw the Voodoos blank the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 8-0 in Powassan, the Soo Eagles fly past the Red Wings 4-1 in Elliot Lake and the Soo Thunderbirds torch the Paper Kings 5-1 in Espanola … The Rock will return to action on Tuesday when they host the Gold Miners at the McIntyre Arena, at 7 p.m.