Timmins Rock capped a championship series comeback tonight with an exclamation mark. The Rock rolled to a 4-2 win over the Soo Thunderbirds to take the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship series four games to two.
Playing on the road in tonight’s Game 6, Timmins took a 3-0 lead that was narrowed to 3-2 late in the third period before salting away a Rock solid performance with an empty net tally. Harry Clark, Brady Harroun, Nicolas Pigeon and Nicholas Frederick scored solo goals, Lucas Piekarczyk aided the cause with two assists and Patrick Boivin made 26 saves as the Rock won its first NOJHL championship in a franchise history that began in 2015.
At one point, Timmins trailed the best-of-seven series two games to one and momentum was clearly on the side of the Soo heading into a critical Game 4 match. But the Rock stole Game 4 in the Soo by a 7-4 score, then took Game 5 at home by a narrow 3-2 margin before heading back on the road to take Game 6 by the 4-2 count.
Timmins finished atop the NOJHL regular season standings with a record of 45-8-3. Coupled with 12 wins in 15 playoff games, the Rock finishes the 2022-2023 NOJHL season with a record of 57-11-3. Timmins will now represent the NOJHL at the Centennial Cup national championship tournament that will be held May 11-21 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
RED LAKE REFUGEES: The championship series victory was the second in a row with a different team in a different league for five 20-year old Timmins stalwarts. Forwards Brady Harroun, Ethan Pool and Lucas Piekarczyk and defensemen Kenyon Nyman and Brandon Rossetti all won a championship a year ago as members of the Red Lake Miners of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League. The fab five were obtained by Timmins head coach/general manager Brandon Perry in four separate summer transactions with Red Lake.