TIMMINS, Ont. – Keegan McMullen tallied twice and added an assist to help propel the Timmins Rock to a 5-2 victory over the Cochrane Crunch Saturday in Game 1 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division quarter-final series in front of 1,016 spectators at McIntyre Arena.
Continuing his solid campaign, Timmins captain Derek Seguin opened the scoring in the series near the nine-minute mark of the first period with help from McMullen.
From there the two sides tightened up defensively through the rest of the frame as well as all of the second stanza, which was played without a goal.
Action in the final frame though, saw the teams open up offensively beginning with the Rock striking twice quickly in to go up by three on markers from Riley Brousseau and Matt Capisciolto before the session was three and a half minutes old.
Down a man, Hunter Buzzi got the Crunch back into it at 6:27 as his shorthanded effort gave the visitors some life.
However, McMullen connected on the power play 38 seconds later to restore the home side’s cushion.
He then added another midway through the third to put Timmins up by four before Trent Grimshaw rounded out the scoring for Cochrane with 7:59 remaining.
Rock netminder Tyler Masternak made 22 saves on the night to record the win.
Zach Wickson started for the Crunch and suffered the loss allowing the five against on 27 attempts while Bradley Dobson handled both shots he saw in 10 minutes and 37 seconds of relief.
Game 2 goes Sunday night in Cochrane at 6 p.m.
East Division quarter-final
No. 4 Timmins Rock vs. No. 5 Cochrane Crunch
Timmins leads best-of-three series 1-0
Game 1: Timmins 5 Cochrane 2
Game 2: Sunday, March 10 @ Cochrane 6 p.m. (Tim Horton Events Centre)
Game 3*: Wednesday, March 13 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)