VIDEO / GALLERY: Rock hold on to edge Red Wings for sixth-straight victory

Timmins Rock forward Nicholas Frederick watches as a shot sails past Elliot Lake Red Wings goalie Sean Guerin but just wide of the post during Saturday night’s NOJHL contest at the Centennial Arena. It would not matter, however, as the Rock held on to edge the Red Wings 3-2 in the second of six-straight road games. NORTHERN EXPOSURES PHOTOGRAPHY/FOR NOJHL NETWORK

Photos: Northern Exposures Photography

The Timmins Rock held on to edge the Red Wings 3-2 and secure their sixth-straight win at the Centennial Arena Saturday night.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

ELLIOT LAKE — The Timmins Rock held on to edge the Red Wings 3-2 and secure their sixth-straight win at the Centennial Arena Saturday night.

Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry dedicated Saturday night’s victory to his daughter, Peyton, who was celebrating her fourth birthday.

“Happy birthday Peyton, Daddy loves you,” he said.

“This victory is for you Peyton, they all are, but this one especially, my little princess.”

Saturday night’s victory allowed the Rock (32-6-3-2), who started their weekend with a 7-1 win over the Crunch in Cochrane Friday night, to maintain a nine-point lead on the Lumberjacks (29-10-2-0) atop the NOJHL’s East Division standings, although Hearst has two games in hand.

Yan Bessette’s 14th goal of the season got the Rock on the scoreboard 1:15 into Saturday night’s contest.

And Brady Harroun added his team-leading 31st goal of the season just under three minutes later.

The Rock carried that 2-0 advantage into the first intermission.

Evan Dantas’ 11th goal of the season 5:56 into the middle frame got the Red Wings on the scoreboard and cut the Rock lead in half.

Justin Charette’s power-play marker, his 10th tally of the season, with 1:04 remaining in the period restored the Rock’s two-goal advantage before the second intermission.

The Red Wings pulled back to within a goal 2:23 into the third period, courtesy of Silas Crawford’s 10th tally of the season.

That would be as close as the Red Wings would come to getting back on event terms, however, leaving the final 3-2 in favour of the Rock.

After a couple of one-sided victories, the Red Wings gave the Rock everything they could handle Saturday night.

“It was just a hard road game,” Perry said.

“They are a tenacious group, that team. Holy moly, they are fast, they are big, they are physical, they are strong and they just don’t quit. They play hard for 60 minutes, no matter what.

“You see those results the last five or six games. Look at all the one-goal games they have lost and they beat Blind River. They are just a team that doesn’t go away.

“We came in a little short staffed, but we got the job done.”

The Rock only dressed 16 skaters and two goalies for the contest, two below the league maximum.

Forwards Kaeden McArthur (upper-body injury) and Liam Wells (upper-body injury) were both out of the lineup, while forward Nicholas Frederick (illness), who had missed Friday night’s game in Cochrane, was back in the lineup but not feeling 100 per cent.

“It is just typical late-season bumps and bruises and the U18 (Timmins Majors) team was playing, so we didn’t have access to affiliate players,” Perry said.

“Hopefully, both guys should be back next week.”

For the most part, the coach was pleased with the players who were in the lineup Saturday night.

“Everybody played okay, nobody really played great,” Perry said.

“Pige (Nicolas Pigeon), Babs (Harroun) and Piesy (Lucas Piekarczyk) had good nights.

“Slick (Frederick), Ringer (Nolan Ring) and Yan (Bessette) had good nights up front and all six of our D played well.

“Patty (Patrick Boivin) gave us a solid game between the pipes.

“It was a solid effort, up and down our lineup but nobody kind of took this game over.”

Friday night and Saturday night were the start of a stretch that will see the Rock play six-straight games on the road, so Perry was pleased to see his squad get off to such a good start.

Boivin turned aside 20 of the 22 shots he faced to earn his NOJHL-leading 20th win of the season.

Sean Guerin, who stopped 35 of the 38 shots the Rock fired his way, was tagged with the loss for the Red Wings.


Ring’s hat-trick helped the Rock knock off the Crunch 7-1 at the Tim Horton Event Centre and complete a sweep of their home-and-home series Friday night.

And like Wednesday night’s 9-0 home-ice victory, it was a big second period that proved to be the difference.

Tied 1-1 heading into the middle frame, the Rock exploded for six unanswered tallies to break the contest wide open.

“We were nowhere near our best during that first period,” Perry said.

“I think our guys came in and thought it would be easy and our assistant coach, Marc Bisson, wasn’t too pleased.

“He kind of let the guys know during the intermission and the message was received and we came out flying.”

Brandon Rossetti, who had the game-winning goal Wednesday night duplicated the feet Friday night when he scored a power-play marker, his sixth tally on the season, 1:35 into the frame.

Ring added his second goal of the night and 15th of the season two-and-a-half minutes later, again with the Rock on the power play.

He then completed his hat-trick just over five minutes later when he notched his 16th goal of the campaign.

Bessette, who also had three assists in the game, followed with his 13th goal of the season.

Harroun added his 30th goal of the season less than two minutes later.

And Pigeon closed out the scoring in the period and game when he notched his 16th goal of the season.

The Rock and Crunch had exchanged first-period goals, with Ring finding the back of the net for his 14th of the season for the Rock and former Rock forward Yenry Jibb replying with his sixth goal of the campaign.

“Yan Bessette was unbelievable for us in that game,” Perry said.

“He has been such a great addition. That whole line, with him, (Ethan) Pool and Ring was great, especially with Frederick missing the game.

“That line decided it was going to be them that night. Jump on our backs and we will take you guys there. They were unbelievable, all three of them.”

Rock goalie Jacob Brown stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced to earn his 12th win of the season.

Jake Dubinsky, who turned aside 39 of the 46 shots the Rock directed his way in his 40 minutes of action, was tagged with the loss.

Marcus Ouellet came on in relief at the start of the third period and stopped all 19 shots he faced.

NOJHL NOTES — The three stars of Saturday night’s game were Rock blue-liner Felix Cadieux-Fredette (two assists), Charette and Dantas, while Ring, Bessette and Pool (three assists) were selected Friday night … The Rock went 1-5 on the power play, while the Red Wings were 0-1 with the man advantage on Saturday. Friday night, the Rock went 2-8 on the power play, while the Crunch were 1-2 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the Centennial Arena on Saturday was 152, while 130 fans attended Friday’s game at the Tim Horton Event Centre was … Saturday night’s other action saw the Hearst Lumberjacks toppled the Rapids 7-4 in French River, the Gold Miners double up the Cochrane Crunch 6-3 in Kirkland Lake, the Greater Sudbury Cubs edge the Thunderbirds 3-2 in a shootout in Sault Ste. Marie and the Beavers hold off the Espanola Paper Kings 3-1 in Blind River … The Rock will return to action on Friday when they travel to Kirkland Lake for a game against the Gold Miners at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex, at 7 p.m. The two teams will then play their postponed game on Sunday, at 2 p.m. The next home game will see the Rock entertain the Gold Miners at the McIntyre Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m.

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel