St. Albert natives Brady Harroun and Ethan Pool are back in the hunt for the Centennial Cup — but this time it's with the Timmins Rock.
The two forwards are no strangers to the National Junior A Hockey Championship, having played in the tournament last year for the Red Lake Miners of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL). However, Harroun and Pool were left with some unfinished business when the Miners were eliminated in the preliminary round.
Fresh off winning the Copeland Cup as Northern Ontario Junior A Hockey League (NOJHL) champions in early May, their new team, the Rock, is ready for a fierce battle. Featuring 10 of the top teams in Canada, this year's Centennial Cup presents tough competition.
Harroun was the Rock's leading goal scorer during the regular season, lighting the lamp 50 times. Pool has been hot during the playoffs, with eight goals in 10 games.
Pool described his approach for dealing with nerves when playing on a national stage.
“You don't get too high or too low, you kind of just stay in the moment,” he said.
The former St. Albert Raiders credit their Rock coaches and organization for their current success, and the respect is mutual.
“We had a really good team last year and then we came up just short,” says head coach Brandon Perry. “Bringing guys like Brady this year complemented the leadership.”
Perry was immediately impressed by their work ethic.
“I just couldn’t believe their compete level," he said. "We're doing the battle drills and they're just competing extremely hard. They're two guys that show up to work every single day.”
Timmins had a dominant regular season, finishing with 95 points and leading their division. While they faced some adversity early on losing both their games at college showcase weekend, they had a 12-game winning streak in January and February. They capped off the season hoisting the Copeland Cup as NOJHL champions.
“I mean, even just winning this league championship for the first time in team history, the city was ecstatic, and so were we,” Harroun said. “To win [the Centennial Cup] would be a dream come true for every single person on this team.”
The tournament runs May 11-21 in Portage la Prairie, Man.