TIMMINS, Ont. – A Justin Charette top shelf tally with 4:17 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winner as the Timmins Rock pulled out a late 1-0 victory over the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in a tightly-contested Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up Tuesday night at McIntyre Arena.
Action in the opening 20 minutes saw Timmins carry the majority of play, however they could not solve the solid netminding of Kirkland Lake’s Ethan Barron, who made some big stops throughout the period.
Barron also received the benefit of some help by having the NOJHL’s leading goal-scorer, Brady Harroun, make an impressive move to the net, only to see his attempt hit off the post before he was able to reach back and cover up the puck.
It was more from Barron in the Gold Miners’ net in the middle stanza, which also went without seeing the evening’s initial tally as he continued to keep opposing shooters at bay.
Rock starter Patrick Boivin was also steady when called upon in the session, featuring him handling a shorthanded breakaway attempt by the Gold Miners’ Benjamin Armatage 12 and a half minutes into the middle stanza, along with a sharp glove save off a one-timer from the left of the net later in the period.
Heading to the final frame, Timmins finally solved Barron deep into the proceedings.
There, Harroun snagged a Kirkland Lake clearing attempt in the neutral zone then saw Charette work a quick give-and-go with Nicolas Pigeon before lifting in the night’s only marker past Barron’s outstretched glove.
The visitors looked to tie it in the final minute in getting their goalie out for an extra attacker, but the Rock held firm to collect their 11th win in a row and move into top spot in the overall NOJHL standings, one point clear of the idle Greater Sudbury Cubs, who do hold one game in hand.
As for Boivin, the shutout was his league-leading sixth of the season.