Photo: Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network
Jaden Lyons second goal of the game, coming with 3:49 remaining in regulation would hold up as the winner as the Timmins Rock held off a persistent Soo Thunderbirds side 5-4 Sunday, September 17th in an afternoon matinee in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at McIntyre Arena.
The hometown Rock opened the scoring while shorthanded, 3:36 into the match-up, when Lyons picked off a clearing attempt, then cut around a Sault Ste. Marie defender and fired a shot from the right circle that netminder Alex Hall could not quite contain before it slid in.
Timmins then tacked on another a couple of shifts later when Kaden McArthur’s individual effort saw him power his way up the ice before darting through a trio of T-Birds and lifting a back hand to the opposite direction and completing a highlight reel tally.
Getting that back 36 seconds later, the Soo got on the board thanks to Grayson Ebrahim digging the puck free from behind the goal line and putting it in front where Alex Remenda was there to stuff it in on Rock starter Patrick Boivin.
Ebrahim then got a goal of his own at 8:21 as he whipped a short-range shot into the open side off a solid Soo forecheck and a Jacob Smith set-up.
Regrouping, the Rock came back to strike twice more in the session to take a 4-2 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes.
Liam Wells got the third one for Timmins as he neatly redirected a Harry Clark shot to the net before Nolan Ring picked the corner from the slot after forcing a turnover just prior to that.
Heading to the middle stanza, a solid Thunderbirds forecheck helped Remenda get just enough of a Daniel Beaupre backhand that slipped through the legs of Boivin, who was without his goal stick.
Staying that way until deep into the third, and after killing off a penalty in the latter stages, the Rock got the eventual decider as they broke out in numbers and put a shot on net that was stopped by Hall, only to see Lyons swoop in and lift the rebound into the back of the net at 16:11.
Battling to the end, the visitors got one goal back, thanks to James Legler in the final minute, as he completed a pass across from Beaupre for his first in the NOJHL.
Timmins did hold on from there to pick-up the narrow victory.
The win sees the Rock improve to 2-1-1-0 on the year while the Thunderbirds fell to 1-3-1-0.