CHELMSFORD – Brendan Boyce set-up the night’s opening goal and added some insurance with a third period blast to help lift the Timmins Rock to a 4-1 triumph over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play Sunday evening at Chelmsford Arena.
The visiting Rock opened the scoring during late first period power play as Boyce picked off a clearing attempt at the blueline, then sent a perfect cross-ice pass right to Timmins captain Derek Seguin, who promptly ripped a quick shot past a diving Rayside-Balfour starter David Bowen at 17:28.
Moving to the middle session, the Canadians had a great chance to draw even early as Nicholas DeGrazia went in alone on a breakaway, only to be denied on a sparkling glove save by Timmins’ stalwart netminder Tyler Masternak.
The visitors added to their lead midway through the contest when Eric Moreau finished off his own rebound from the slot to put the guests up by a pair.
Up a man after that, the Rock had a chance to extend their lead, but DeGrazia swiped the puck in the neutral zone, flew into the Timmins zone and ripped a shot that Masternak could only get a piece of as the puck trickled through him and slid just across the goal line to put the hosts on the board.
However, another man advantage for the guests featured some impressive movement and saw them collect their third tally of the evening when Tyler Schwindt was left alone in front and knocked in his first of the season from close range off a Bowen save.
Third period play saw Boyce put the game away as he walked into a slap shot from the high slot with just under eight minutes to play to round out the evening’s scoring.
Masternak finished with 30 saves to record the victory for the Rock, who put a damper on Bowen’s 20th birthday as they fired 31 shots in his direction in defeat.
The two teams are scheduled to meet again Thursday back in Chelmsford in a 7 p.m. start on HockeyTV.com.