TIMMINS, Ont. – Getting two power play markers, as part of a five-goal first period, and a couple of later shorthanded efforts helped send the Blind River Beavers on their way to a solid 7-3 victory over the Timmins Rock Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League inter-divisional match-up at McIntyre Arena.
Both clubs had identical 9-1 records in their past 10 outings, coming into the contest as the two hottest teams in the NOJHL.
Blind River converted on the evening’s initial man advantage, as defenceman Andrey Manov snapped a shot high past Timmins’ netminder Patrick Boivin, moments after making a diving play to keep it in the Rock zone.
Up a skater once more, the Beavers clicked quickly when Joshua Thompson reached the 20-goal plateau by burying a cross-ice pass from Matthew Green.
Adding another just seconds later, Manov pushed a play ahead that Josh Tomasi chipped by a defender and wired by Boivin.
Forcing a turnover helped Blind River get a fourth marker in the session, and saw Trevor Zimmer work it over to Jesse Dupuis, who in turn fed Evan Fraccaro going to the net where he tucked in his 21st of the campaign.
Not done there, the visitors notched a fifth prior to the intermission after Nicholas Brady moved in from the point and promptly completed a Michael Gallagher feed from behind the net.
Opting for a goaltending change to begin the second stanza, Jacob Brown entered to tend the Timmins’ net.
The Rock’s best chance to get on the board came nearly nine minutes into period when Nicholas Frederick was sent in alone on a breakaway, only to be foiled on a save by goaltender Gavin Disano.
After a huge glove save by Disano on the NOJHL’s leading goal-scorer, Timmins’ Brady Harroun, the Beavers came down off the draw and struck shorthanded as Thompson darted down the left wing and lifted a backhand over the shoulder of Brown from a sharp angle.
Harroun would not be denied on his next chance though, as he notched his league-leading 48th by putting a shot through a pair of defenders and beating Disano while on a man advantage.
Adding another, Nolan Ring snagged the puck deep in his own territory then flew down the ice before splitting the defence and firing in his 26th of the campaign.
However, the Beavers answered with their second man-down marker of the evening when Gallagher put one through Brown with a chance from the right circle to go up 7-2 after 40 minutes.
In the third, Harroun notched his 49th with just over eight minutes remaining as he cut past a Blind River defenceman before deking to his right and sliding one into the open corner.
That wrapped up the evening’s scoring as the Beavers moved 41-11-2-2 on the year, while in defeat the Rock fell to 44-8-3-2.
Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel