KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – A Joshua Maine marker with just over two minutes remaining in regulation was the game-winner as the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Timmins Rock Thursday in a highly entertaining, fast-paced, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
Recently acquired Benjamin Jossinet made an immediate impression for the Rock in his NOJHL debut by opening the night’s scoring seven and a half minutes into the contest.
Sporting throwback jerseys recognizing the 1940 Allan Cup champion Lake Shore Blue Devils, Alex Elie got that back for the Gold Miners at 12:53 as he picked up his seventh tally of the campaign.
A late first period power play helped Timmins regain the lead as Keegan McMullen collected his ninth at 18:51 to give the visitors a 2-1 cushion heading into the intermission.
Another man advantage effort from the Rock saw them go up by a pair at 6:37 of the middle session as Owen Shier finished off the work of teammates Riley Robitaille and Derek Seguin, which spelled the end of Gregory Brassard’s night in the Kirkland Lake net in favour of Dawson Rodin, who went the rest of the way.
Down a skater once more, Kirkland Lake clicked shorthanded 74 seconds later to pull back to within one thanks to Patrick Murphy.
The home side then drew level once more before the stanza was complete as Vinny DeSanctis buried his eighth of the season at 14:51 to knot the affair at 3-3 after 40 minutes.
A back and forth final frame provided end-to-end action as both sides skated with speed and skill.
After Rodin made a big pad save for the Gold Miners to keep the contest even, it helped his side counter and pull out the come from behind triumph in the late going.
Forcing the play in the Timmins end, Elie dug out a loose puck in the corner and fed a pass to Quinn Schneidmiller at the right point, who in turn fired a shot that was stopped by Rock goalkeeper Tyler Masternak, but the rebound bounced right to Maine who wasted little time in firing the puck into the net of the net in what proved to the game-winner.
The visitors pulled Masternak for an extra attacker to try and level the proceedings once more, however the hosts held on from there to secure the decision.
Rodin, in relief, handled every shot he faced to record the win.
Masternak meanwhile saw 32 attempts fired his way in the setback.
With the result, Kirkland Lake becomes the first NOJHL side to surpass the 40-point plateau on the season as they move to 41 in total while reaching the 20-win mark at 20-8-1-0.
In the loss Timmins falls to 18-10-1-0.
Photos courtesy of CapturingTheMoment.ca