TIMMINS, Ont. – A Josh Russell tally midway through the first period held up as the eventual difference maker as the Timmins Rock went on to top the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 5-1 Friday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest in front of 1,087 fans at McIntyre Arena.
The defending NOJHL champion Rock got going offensively just over four minutes into the match-up when Kyle Trottier moved in from the left point, after taking a cross-ice pass just inside the blueline, then snapped a shot past a screened Connor Davis in the Gold Miners’ net.
Timmins tacked on another midway through the first period thanks to Russell connecting from a similar spot as the Trottier marker.
Carrying their two-goal lead into the middle session, the hosts added to that just nine seconds in when Harry Clark correctly opted to pass from a prime shooting area over to Liam Wells, who ripped his chance high into the top left hand corner.
Kirkland Lake got on the board nine minutes later after breaking out of their own zone and using some quick passes before Noah Woodard pushed a bouncing puck under the pads of Timmins’ starter Patrick Boivin.
Adding some insurance nine minutes into the third, the Rock’s Kaeden McArthur wheeled out from behind the net, then proceeded to roof one, short side, for his second of the campaign.
Nolan Ring then capped off the home ice triumph with a late empty netter from just outside the Kirkland Lake blueline.
The win sees Timmins get their initial victory on the season, moving to 1-1-1-0 while the Miners dipped to 1-2-1-0.