Photo Credit: Freeze Frame Photos
At the Mac in Timmins, Ontario, the Soo Thunderbirds took to the ice to look to win back to back Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Copeland McNamara Cup championships when they opened the 2023 NOJHL Copeland McNamara best of seven championship against the 2023 NOJHL regular season champions, the Timmins Rock on Thursday, April 20th.
6:14 into the opening period of the series, Ethan Pool fires a shot along the ice from the left faceoff circle to find the back of Thunderbird Landon Miller net under the Soo’s netminder left pad to give the Rock an 1 – 0 lead. Pool’s fifth goal of the post season was unassisted. 39 seconds past the midway mark of the first to the right of the Thunderbird net, Lucas Piekarczyk sinks Timmins second of the contest through Miller’s five hole to bring the Rock’s lead to 2 – 0. Former Soo Thunderbird Kyle Trottier drew the lone helper on Piekarczyk’s third of the playoffs. At 11:39 of the second period, Rock forward Ethan Pool outraced Thunderbird defenseman Ranon Joseph to sink his second of game one with Timmins third goal under a sprawling Landon Miller to give the Timmins a 3 – 0 lead. Christophe Petit and Rock goaltender Patrick Boivin adding the assists on Pool’s goal. With Landon Miller on the bench for an extra attacker with 100 seconds remaining in game one, Piekarczyk scores his second of the game into a Thunderbird empty net to give the Rock a 4 – 0 shutout win. Nicholas Frederick and Boivin notched the contributors on Piekarczyk’s goal. Timmins goaltender Patrick Boivin stopped 19 of 19 shots in the Rocks’ 4 – 0 shutout win while Soo netminder Landon Miller turned away 28 of 31 shots in the Thunderbirds 4 – 0 loss.
Game time of the best of seven series will be in Timmins on Friday, April 21st in a 7:00 p.m puck with the Timmins 4 – 0 win to be leading the Copeland McNamara Cup final 1 – 0 over the Thunderbirds.