TIMMINS – The Timmins Rock got two goals, including his 75th Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League tally, and an assist from Derek Seguin as his big night helped lead his side to a 7-2 triumph over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians Saturday evening at McIntyre Arena.
Both netminders, in Timmins Gavin McCarthy and Rayside-Balfour’s Jake Marois, were making their first starts in the NOJHL on this night.
It was the visiting Canadians who opened the scoring just over three minutes in as Oliver Smith redirected a Nicholas DeGrazia feed from in close for the club’s initial even strength effort of the young season.
Countering quickly, Hearst drew level as Tyler Schwindt snagged an errant clearing attempt then picked the corner from the slot at 5:24.
It was more Rock midway through the opening frame as they scooped up another RBC pass in the neutral zone that resulted in a two-on-one where Harry Clark put a cross-ice feed on the tape of Zach Smith, who whipped in his first of the season midway through the first period.
A late man advantage helped the hosts go up 3-1 as Seguin was left with an open side where the Timmins captain made no mistake in burying his second of the campaign at 19:15.
It was more Rock early in the second as Clark made it 4-1 at 2:15 off a three-on-one from in close.
Going to the power play a couple of shifts later, Seguin secured NOJHL marker No. 75 while parked to the right of the crease as he lifted a shot over a sprawled Marois to make it 5-1.
A third man advantage effort on the evening, came a half minute into the third, as Josh Dickson banged in a rebound off a Seguin shot to extend the home side’s lead.
The Canadians got one back in the late going while up a skater that resulted in Owen Perrala jamming in his first on a goal-mouth scramble with 3:17 remaining.
Timmins then wrapped up a scoring in the final minute with Schwindt chipping in his second off an odd-man rush.
Smith joined Seguin with three points apiece in the win.
McCarthy saw 18 shots fired his way to pick up his first NOJHL victory while Marois faced 29 attempts against in his debut.
With the outcome, the Rock improved to 3-0 on the season while the Canadians slipped to 0-2-1.
The teams will meet again Sunday evening back in Timmins, in an 8:30 p.m. start back at ‘The Mac’ on HockeyTV.com.
Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network