Photos: Erica Perreaux / Hockey Canada Images
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – An Ethan Pool goal, 4:14 into overtime, was the difference as the Timmins Rock (NOJHL) pulled out a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners (MHL) Friday in Day 2 play of the Centennial Cup National Jr. A Championship Friday at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.
Making their Centennial Cup debut, the Rock start off 1-0-0 at the 10-team event while the Mariners fell to 0-1-1.
The opening 20 minutes was scoreless, due in part to the efforts of Timmins’ goaltender Patrick Boivin, who was peppered with 20 shots against, but stopped them all, including making a number of stellar saves.
Yarmouth starter Joey Lovullo also did what was required for the Maritime Hockey League champs, handling each of the nine Rock attempts fired his way.
Action in the second stanza saw the Jr. A Mariners finally solve Boivin early after working a play from the end boards and got it in front to an open Ryan Semple in the slot, who quickly whipped one high blocker side, to make it 1-0 at 1:43.
Answering right back with an equalizer, Timmins drew level on a rush up ice that saw Chase Longhurst dish one off to Nolan Ring, who in turn snapped a shot from the right circle that found its way across the goal line.
Yarmouth however regained the lead moments after a man advantage opportunity they were on had expired when Reid Vos found himself in the crease and jammed one in.
The Rock power play then went to work to level the proceedings once more, by converting midway through the affair, and saw Harry Clark neatly deflect a Felix Cadieux-Fredette point attempt.
Then taking their first lead of the contest, the NOJHL title holders saw Lucas Lowe put a play up to Thomas Beard at the Mariners’ blueline when he chipped it past a defender, then darted in alone on Lovullo and fired one over the glove at 11:20.
Continuing the fast-paced play, the remainder of the session saw end-to-end action generate multiple chances for each team, but provided no additional tallies as the Rock took their slim lead into the second intermission.
Third period play saw Yarmouth tie it in the late going, with Lovullo out for an extra attacker in the final minute.
After a draw in the Rock zone, the Mariners forced OT off a battle in front and saw the puck hit off the skate of Vos parked in front and slide in.
Heading to extra time, Nicolas Pigeon had a glorious chance to win it early as he went in alone, only to be outwaited by a patient Lovullo.
Carrying the play in OT, Timmins eventually won it when Kenyon Nyman sent a backhand up to Pool who dashed down the left wing and drove hard to the net, where he put the game-winner through the legs of Lovullo to end it.
Boivin’s 46 stops, in a winning cause, earned him player of the game honours for his side, while Semple was recognized for Yarmouth.
Timmins returns to game action Sunday at 4:30 p.m. as they take on the 0-0-1 Terrebonne Cobras (LHJAAAQ).
All Centennial Cup round robin, quarter-final and semifinal games are being streamed live, on a pay-per-view basis, via https://video.hockeycanada.ca/en/
The championship games on Sunday, May 21 will be broadcast on TSN.
“Game Highlights” – NOJHL YouTube Channel
May 12-23 – Patrick Boivin – Gatorade Performer of the Day