Photos: Erica Perreaux / Hockey Canada Images
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – The brilliant goaltending of Patrick Boivin of the Timmins Rock backstopped his side to a 2-1 shootout triumph over the Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL) Wednesday afternoon in the final day of round robin play at the Centennial Cup in Portage la Prairie.
Despite the victory, the Rock’s season comes to a close however as they finish 2-2-0 overall in the 10-team event, but will not advance to the playoff round, which begins Friday.
Wednesday’s match-up saw the Jr. Senators hold a distinct advantage in shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes, by a 15-4 count, as the contest remained scoreless, much in part to the continued splendid efforts of Boivin.
Heading to the second stanza, Ottawa would finally solve the Rock netminder midway through the proceedings.
The tally came about the Jr. Senators forced a play free near the Rock blueline, then came in on an odd-man rush and saw Vincent Velocci send a crisp feed across that was quickly swatted in by Emile Villiard.
From there, the Central Canada Hockey League champions carried their one-goal lead into the second intermission.
Knowing they needed to win in regulation time to try and extend their season, Timmins came out looking to get back into the proceedings, in the third.
The Rock looked to have an equalizer five minutes into the frame, but it was correctly deemed by the on-ice officials, to have been kicked into the net.
Continuing to battle, the NOJHL representatives did eventually tie it after Brady Harroun led play into the Jr. Senators’ end where, even after being taken down, managed a shot on goal that was stopped by netminder Rorke Applebee, but saw Lucas Piekarczyk swoop right in and bury the rebound from between the circles.
Getting their goalie late to try and get the game-winner within 60 minutes, Timmins pressed hard to do so, but could not get one by Applebee.
After a scoreless five-minute OT, extra shots were needed to determine a winner.
There, the Rock’s Harry Clark connected off a nice deke to his right, before tucking in the only marker in the shootout, while Boivin was flawless once more, saving all three Ottawa attempts to earn the victory, to go along with 36 saves, throughout the game.
The impressive play of Boivin saw him finish up with a crisp 1.90 goals-against average and equally stingy .950 save percentage in Centennial Cup play.
“Game Highlights” – NOJHL YouTube Channel