Photos: Helene Rancourt
BLIND RIVER, Ont. – Riding a natural hat trick from Michael Gallagher, the Blind River Beavers went on to dump the Timmins Rock 7-4 Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the Blind River Community Centre.
Notching the night’s initial tally, 6:25 in, Blind River’s Sergy Suschenko collected his first NOJHL goal as he beat Timmins’ netminder Patrick Boivin with a rising wrist shot from the left side, off a pass across from Evan Fraccaro.
The Rock got that back six minutes later while shorthanded as Harry Clark picked off a pass and dashed in alone and made a couple of nifty dekes before tucking the puck past the outstretched pad of Beavers’ goalkeeper Noah Tegelaar.
Adding another man-down marker at 16:17, Hayden Reynard chipped one by a Blind River defender and also went in on a clear-cut breakaway before cutting left and slipping one under Tegelaar.
Countering two minutes later, Jack Robinson tied it for the home side as he wheeled into the Timmins zone and ripped one over the blocker of Boivin.
The Beavers then took a 3-2 lead into the first intermission when Chase Thompson pushed a play ahead off a face off and fed Gallagher, who finished off a close-range effort.
Gallagher then added another at 10:43 of the second, moments after the home side killed a penalty, then saw Joseph Rotilio spot him hitting the ice on a line change, who sent him in untouched on Boivin and fired a quick snap shot.
That also saw the guests make a goaltending change as back-up Riley Dryden entered the contest for the Rock.
However, Gallagher hit his hat trick, just under three minutes later, with help once again from Thompson who sent a feed through the crease that Gallagher chipped over the pad of the Rock netminder for his team-leading eighth of the campaign.
Blind River kept it going with a sixth on the night, as Thompson neatly picked the corner on Dryden with a crisp snap shot from the left circle, during a man advantage.
Timmins did get one back before the intermission on Elijah Pool’s first in the NOJHL as he moved in from the point with his club up two skaters and sent a shot through Tegelaar at 18:47.
Notching a seventh on the night, the Beavers appeared to have put the game away early in the third when Bryce Burnett made an unselfish pass over to Brendan Cooke, who quickly whipped it into the open corner.
Up a skater midway through the final frame, the Rock’s Brant Romaniuk made a couple of nice moves in close, then roofed a shot from the left of the crease for the evening’s final marker.
With the result, Blind River moves to 6-2-0-0 on the campaign while the defending NOJHL champions from Timmins dropped to 3-4-1-0.