Rock of the NOJHL
February 27, 2023
They are a model franchise, both on and off the ice. Not only does the Timmins Rock top the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League attendance chart with a per game average of 693 but it is the leader among a number of other categories.
With the regular season headed towards the playoffs in less than a month, the Rock has the best winning percentage in the NOJHL at .817. Not only that, the Rock leads the NOJHL in goals scored and in fewest allowed. Timmins has also been assessed the second fewest penalty minutes among the 12 teams of the NOJHL.
Individually, Nicolas Pigeon of the Rock is the league points leader with 90 and Brady Harroun has the most goals with 41. At the other end, Timmins goalies Patrick Boivin and Jacob Brown have combined for a league-best 11 shutouts and Kenyan Nyman of the Rock is tied for the most points by a defenseman with 53.
One might think with all of those statistics that Timmins is the clear-cut favourite to emerge as NOJHL champions this season. But the Rock has not even clinched first place in the East Division, let alone overall in the league. And Brandon Perry, the wise-beyond-his years coach and general manager of the Rock, knows what Timmins is up against come playoff time.
“Oh man, there are a lot of good teams out there,” said Perry, who just turned 34 years of age and is in his second season as the hockey boss in Timmins. Perry specifically mentioned the Hearst Lumberjacks and Powassan Voodoos from the East Division and agreed that the Sudbury Cubs, Blind River Beavers and Soo Thunderbirds are teams to be reckoned with.
“There are a lot of scary teams out there,” Perry reiterated.
Still, Perry likes what he has in Timmins and takes pride in the roster that he and his staff have assembled through trades and recruiting. Not only that, Perry said he is proud to be associated with a template organization such as the Rock, which is led by president Ted Gooch.
What you think about “Rock of the NOJHL”
Full disclosure: I am one third of the Rock billeting committee, with duties that include arranging public appearances for the players. I am also into my fourth year of being a single billet parent myself. This year’s Hockey Son is #28 Liam Wells.
I’m glad that you included the last line in this fine story. The Rock is a model of community involvement and, in my estimation, that’s one reason it does so well at the gate.
The players jump feet first into community appearances, ranging form hockey practices to floor hockey with special needs people and serving Christmas breakfast at one elementary school, and turkey dinner at another. They also attend hockey practices with teams and do almost anything they’re asked. Even when the occasion calls for only a handful of Rock players to attend, the entire roster usually shows up.
I am extremely proud of all the fine young gentlemen and of being a small part of this awesome organization.
The best night out in the Northland! When Iroquois Falls enjoyed a Junior Hockey Team I could see shoppers from out of town in our stores and restaurants. I have watched businesspeople making deals during an intermission, and watched a guy go home with a down payment for a house on a 50/50 draw.
On Sunday Feb. 26 I went to a Game at the Mac. and loved hearing the crowd get the best entertainment live and unscripted. The whole package was loud, exciting and professionally handled.
Best Wishes for a great finish of the regular season and continued success in the Playoffs.