Photos: Dal Photography
FRENCH RIVER – Picking up a multi-point performance from their captain Nicolas Pigeon, the Timmins Rock went on to defeat the French River Rapids 4-1 Tuesday night in the fourth game of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal at Noelville Arena.
With the outcome, Timmins now leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 and will have a chance to close it out on home ice Thursday in a 7 p.m. start at McIntyre Arena.
After both being held off the game sheet in Monday’s Game 3 overtime defeat to the Rapids, the talented Rock duo of Pigeon and Brady Harroun teamed up to supply the lone tally of the opening 20 minutes.
The marker came at 16:07 off an odd-man rush, then saw Pigeon split the defence off a Harroun feed, and smartly finished off a shot into the top corner on French River starter Brady Dyer.
Adding to their lead early in the middle frame, Pigeon dropped a pass to Christophe Petit at the left point who sent an attempt towards the net that was deflected in by Hayden Rynard parked in front.
The Rapids countered with one of their one at 5:40 as Connor Picard came down the left side and put one high over the glove of goalkeeper Jacob Brown.
Getting that right back, Pigeon picked up his third point of the night after Rynard chipped a play ahead that sent him in alone on Dyer and was left with time after being initially foiled, to lift a backhand over the sprawled netminder’s pad.
The Rock power play then went to work with five minutes left in the second and saw Felix Cadieux-Fredette take a shot from the right point that was tipped in by Liam Wells.
A solid forecheck and a defensive blanket aided in a scoreless final frame for Timmins to put them a win away from advancing to the East Division final.
NOJHL East Division semifinal
Timmins Rock vs. French River Rapids
Game 1: Rock 8 Rapids 2
Game 2: Rock 7 Rapids 0
Game 3: Rapids 4 Rock 3 (OT)
Game 4: Rock 4 Rapids 1
Game 5: Thursday, March 30 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 6*: Saturday, April 1 @ French River 7 p.m. (Noelville Arena)
Game 7*: Monday, April 3 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Timmins leads best-of-seven series 3-1