COCHRANE, Ont. – A standout 45-save performance by Cochrane Crunch goaltender Zach Wickson backstopped his side to a 3-1 triumph over the Timmins Rock Friday night in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest at Tim Horton Events Centre.
Collecting his first NOJHL goal, two minutes into the contest, was Zachary Fortin of Timmins as his initial league effort gave the visitors a 1-0 lead after one period of play.
On the power play past the midway portion of the second helped Cochrane draw level as Billy Paschen picked up his seventh of the season at 11:17.
One of the assists on that play went to Nicholas Grandy, giving him points in four consecutive outings.
Down a man in third, Hunter Buzzi struck shorthanded to put the Crunch on top with just over 13 minutes remaining in regulation in what proved to be his fifth career game-winning tally.
With Rock netminder, Tyler Masternak, out late for an extra attacker, Matthew Minichiello sealed the Crunch victory with an empty netter in the final moments to wrap things up offensively.
Final shots on goal finished up 46-17 in favour of the visitors, but Wickson stole the show in picking up the well-deserved victory while Masternak suffered the defeat.
The clubs will meet again Saturday, with McIntyre Arena in Timmins serving as the venue in a 7 p.m. start.
NOTE: It was also announced Friday, that the January 16 contest between the Crunch and Rock that was postponed, will now be held on Friday, February 7.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Tim Horton Events Centre in Cochrane.
Game Photos courtesy of Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)