TIMMINS, Ont. – A pair of third period tallies and seeing goaltender Gavin McCarthy’s register his first Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoff shutout led the Timmins Rock to a 2-0 victory over the French River Rapids Friday night in Game 2 of their East Division semifinal at McIntyre Arena.
With the outcome, Timmins now leads the best-of-seven series 2-0, heading into Game 3 Sunday at Noelville Arena, which gets underway at 7 p.m.
A fast-paced first frame saw both clubs have chances, but neither side converted offensively as it remained 0-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Moving to the middle session, some early pressure by the Rock looked to see them open the scoring, but they were held at bay by French River goalkeeper Justin Dilauro.
The contest remained without its first goal the rest of the second as the teams went to the second intermission still awaiting the night’s initial tally.
Timmins would finally solve Dilauro early in the third as Henry Brock darted down the left wing and fired a shot that was stopped, but the rebound went right to a hard-charging Cameron Dutkiewicz who slammed it in to the open side to break the goose egg at 1:12.
Adding some insurance with just over six and a half minutes remaining, the Rock capitalized on a man advantage opportunity to help secure the home ice win as Carson Cox was allowed to skate in from the point where he proceeded to wire one over the glove of the Rapids’ goalkeeper from the right face off dot.
The Rapids pulled their goalie late for an additional skater and came close to getting one, but a shot hit the goal post and stayed out in the final minute before time expired.
NOJHL East Division semifinal
Timmins Rock vs. French River Rapids
Timmins leads best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1: Rock 6 Rapids 2
Game 2: Rock 2 Rapids 0
Game 3: Sunday, April 10 @ French River 7 p.m. (Noelville Arena)
Game 4: Monday, April 11 @ French River 7 p.m. (Noelville Arena)
Game 5*: Wednesday, April 13 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 6*: Friday, April 15 @ French River 7 p.m. (Noelville Arena)
Game 7*: Sunday, April 17 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel