TIMMINS, Ont. – A Kyle Herbster goal with 5:01 remaining in regulation proved to be the only one of the night as the Cochrane Crunch pulled out a narrow 1-0 victory over the Timmins Rock Wednesday evening in Game 4 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division Final with 1,311 spectators on hand at McIntyre Arena.
With the outcome Cochrane now leads the best-of-seven series 3-1 heading into Game 5 Friday at Tim Horton Event Centre at 7:30 p.m.
For a second straight contest, the opening 20 minutes was scoreless as neither side was able to capitalize offensively.
The goaltenders, in Cochrane’s Shayne Battler and Eric Jackson of Timmins were also spotless in the middle stanza as the contest stayed 0-0 after two periods of play.
It remained goalless well into the final frame when the Crunch finally broke the deadlock as Herbster backhanded in the rebound from the left of Jackson off a Levi Johnson right side shot.
The Rock pulled their netminder in the final minute to try and tie it and force overtime, but Battler was not to be beaten on this night as he posted the shutout and put his club within a win from moving on to the NOJHL final.
Action in the tightly-contested game saw Battler stop all 30 shots he faced on the night while Jackson handled 33 of 34 in suffering the narrow setback.
East Division Final
No. 2 Cochrane Crunch vs. No. 5 Timmins Rock
Cochrane leads best-of-seven series 3-1
Game 1: Cochrane 6 Timmins 2
Game 2: Cochrane 3 Timmins 1
Game 3: Timmins 2 Cochrane 0
Game 4: Cochrane 1 Timmins 0
Game 5: Friday, April 6 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Game 6*: Sunday, April 8 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game7*: Tuesday, April 10 @ Cochrane 7 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Photos courtesy of Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)