Like A Rock: Timmins Rock clinch first in the league thanks to win over Soo Thunderbirds

By Matt Stefano

If the Timmins Rock wanted to clinch first overall in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League this season, all they needed to do was pick up a win against the Soo Thunderbirds on Sunday afternoon.

And on Sunday afternoon, that’s what they did.

On Sunday afternoon, in their final game of the regular season, the Timmins Rock clinched their first ever James Aspin Trophy (NOJHL Regular Season Champions) as they doubled up the Soo Thunderbirds by a score of 4-2 at McIntyre Arena in Timmins.

With the win, the Rock have now finished the regular season in first place in the NOJHL standings with 95 points, just one point ahead of the Greater Sudbury Cubs, who will finish in second place with 94.

“All the guys were rollin this afternoon,” said Timmins Rock forward Brady Harroun, whose team rebounded with a win on Sunday afternoon after suffering a 7-3 loss to the Blind River Beavers back on Friday night in Timmins. “We didn’t come out the way we wanted to on Friday and we ended up chasing that game from the drop of the puck. But this afternoon we all came out with a good sixty minutes and it feels great to finish first overall in the NOJHL.”

Sunday afternoon’s game was also a memorable game for Timmins Rock forward Brady Harroun, as he notched his 50th goal of the season, which came on the power play at the 12:08 mark of the third period.

Harroun’s 50th goal, gave his club a 4-2 lead.

“It felt awesome to score my 50th goal this afternoon, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Harroun said. “My teammates have been awesome all year and I love every single one of them.”

Harroun, who scored his 50th goal on Sunday afternoon, also became the first player in the NOJHL to score 50 goals in a regular season since Logan Fredericks (Kirkland Lake Gold Miners) and Hunter Atchison (Cochrane Crunch) both did back in 2015-2016.

“My teammates made my milestone goal very special,” Harroun said. “They all congratulated me in the dressing room after the game and my 50th goal is something I’ll remember for my whole life.”

Since coming over to the Timmins Rock in a trade from the Red Lake Miners during the 2022 offseason, Harroun has recorded 50 goals and 96 points in 57 games this season as a member of the Rock.

Harroun, who comes from St. Albert, Alberta, is also the Rock’s all-time leader for most goals by a Rock player during a regular season.

“Coming over to Timmins was as smooth as a transition I could’ve asked for,” said Harroun, who spent the last two seasons with the Red Lake Miners from 2020-2022. “The boys here in Timmins were all welcoming from the second I walked into the McIntyre Arena. It’s also been an unbelievable regular season this year with these guys, but the job is not finished yet because we are still hungry for a lot more.”

On Sunday afternoon, Thunderbirds leading scorer Dharan Cap led the way offensively for his club, as he notched a pair of goals on the power play, which gave him his 29th and 30th goals of the season.

Cap’s first goal of the game, came on a power play at the 12:17 mark of the first period from Brock Santa Maria and Ranon Joseph, which made the score 1-0 for the Soo.

With the Thunderbirds trailing the Rock 3-1 almost five minutes into the third period, Cap then notched his second goal of the game and 30th goal of the season on a power play at the 4:41 mark of the third, which at that time cut the Rock’s lead to 3-2.

Cap, who scored his 30th goal, also became the first T-Bird player to score 30 goals in a regular season since Lucas Theriault did back in 2018-2019.

“It’s been a great year for Dharan,” said Soo Thunderbirds head coach Cole Jarrett. “I’m not even surprised that he’s got to 30 goals this season, because he works his tail off every shift and it’s been that way since he got here (In the Soo) last season.”

During Sunday afternoon’s game, the Thunderbirds went 2-for-5 on their power play while also going 2-for-4 on their penalty kill.

After putting up 53 shots on net in Saturday night’s 3-2 victory in Cochrane, the Thunderbirds only managed to get 14 shots on net during Sunday afternoon’s game in Timmins.

Their 14 shots on net during Sunday afternoon’s game, was also the least shots on goal they’ve had during a game this season.

“It was a frustrating game for all of us,” Jarrett said. “I did like our effort level, but it just seemed like we couldn’t get anything going. Credit to Timmins though, because they had something to play for this afternoon and they came out hard and kept the pace up all game.”

Nicholas Frederick had a power play goal and an assist for the Rock on Sunday afternoon while Kenyon Nyman and Nicolas Pigeon both chipped in with two assists each.

Christophe Petit (Game-winner) and Lucas Piekarczyk had the other goals for the Rock while Hayden Rynard and Nolan Ring both had one assist each.

Thunderbirds netminder Landon Miller gave up 4 goals on 33 shots in the loss while Rock goaltender Patrick Boivin made 12 saves for the victory.


During Sunday afternoon’s game against the Soo Thunderbirds, Timmins Rock captain Nicolas Pigeon recorded two assists, which gave him his 80th and 81st assists of the season.

Pigeon, who now has 81 assists this season, became the first player in the NOJHL to have 80 assists or more in a regular season since Marc-Alain Begin (Abitibi Eskimos) did back in 2011-2012.

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