TIMMINS, Ont. – The Timmins Rock continue to impress in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoffs, adding their latest triumph, a 2-1 decision over the top-ranked Powassan Voodoos Tuesday night in Game 3 of their East Division semifinal in front of 1,123 boisterous fans at McIntyre Arena.
The Rock now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 heading into Game 4 Wednesday back at the McIntyre Arena.
Buoyed by a solid Game 2 road road victory, Timmins built on that momentum by tallying twice in the opening 20 minutes to gain early control of the contest.
The Rock began the scoring at 12:47 as Jace Soroko swiped the puck off a Voodoos defender behind the net then proceeded to make a crisp pass into the slot to a charging Riley Robitaille who fired a quick shot that beat Powassan starter Christian Cicigoi.
Derek Seguin then made it 2-0 with 17 seconds left in the opening frame thanks to some diligence from Evan Kentish-Stack and Tyler Gilberds who combined to get a shot on goal that Cicigoi could not corral and presented a tap-in.
Some impressive stickhandling from close range saw NOJHL Rookie of the Year Harrison Israels put the visitors on the board as his slick work saw him stuff one in past Timmins netminder Tyler Masternak at 17 minutes into the middle session during a Powassan power play.
An action-packed third period saw the clubs trade some quality chances along with some solid defensive play that kept the contest at 2-1 throughout the final frame.
The Voodoos pulled Cicigoi with 90 seconds to go in regulation, but Masternak and the Rock were resilient as they held on for the win and take the series lead.
Shots on goal favoured Powassan 31-21 on the night with Masternak picking up the win while Cicigoi suffered the setback in his playoff debut.
East Division semifinal
No. 1 Powassan Voodoos vs. No. 5 Timmins Rock
Timmins leads best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Powassan 5 Timmins 2
Game 2: Timmins 5 Powassan 2
Game 3: Timmins 2 Powassan 1
Game 4: Wednesday, March 21 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre)
Game 5: Friday, March 23 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Sportsplex)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 25 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre)
Game7*: Tuesday, March 27 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Sportsplex)
*- if necessary
Photos courtesy of Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)