Rock and roll with a band of four.
Timmins Rock of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has a firm, formidable foundation to build on ahead of the 2020-2021 season.
Hockey News North has confirmed that four Rock stars — goalie Ty Masternak and forwards Derek Seguin, Josh Dickson and Gabby Kioki — have committed to return to Timmins for another season.
Seguin, of note, is a local product and team captain.
Masternak had mind-numbing numbers as the main man in the Timmins net in 2019-2020, posting a 24-6-2 record to go with a 1.66 goals against average, .932 save percentage and eight shutouts.
Seguin was second on the Timmins scoring chart with 26 goals, 28 assists, 54 points despite playing in only 45 of 56 regular season games for the Rock.
Dickson, a line mate of Seguin’s, led the Rock in scoring with 26 goals, 31 assists, 57 points in 55 games.
Kioki, meanwhile, had 11 goals, 11 assists, 22 points in 27 NOJHL games divided between Timmins and the Powassan Voodoos. He also collected eight points in 22 games with the Rockland Nationals of the Central Canada Hockey League.
Masternak, Seguin and Dickson all have 2000 birth dates while Kioki was born in 2001.
Timmins head coach Corey Beer had plenty to say to Hockey News North about the commitment of the four stalwarts to Rock on for the upcoming campaign.
“Obviously, we are extremely excited to have these key players back in place for the upcoming season,” Beer began. “Seguin and Masternak will both be returning for their fourth season and for Dickson, it will be his third.
“I think anytime you have that kind of talent and leadership coming back year after year it strengthens the continuity on the team and allows new players to learn from guys who have been the backbone of our program.
“These four players give a good indication of what it means to be a member of the Timmins Rock, and what your game can grow into by being here,” added Beer.
As a local standout, Seguin is the center piece of the franchise.
“Derek Seguin is arguably the top player in our league,” Beer said of his captain. “His 200 foot game is outstanding, landing him (the league’s) top defensive forward award from last year.
“But it is the impact that Derek has in our dressing room and practices that might have the most meaning,” Beer boasted of Seguin. “He is a calming influence for younger players and a guy who will always help explain and show how we do things here.
“He has basically become another assistant coach for us with the way his game is. He does everything right. I have loved every second of these past three years together and can’t wait to coach Derek for one more season,” added Beer.
As for Dickson, it is his hockey intelligence that stands out to his coach.
“With Josh Dickson, you get a guy who might be one of the smartest players in our league,” relayed Beer. “His ability to comprehend the playbook and then go out and be reactionary on the ice is really second to none. It puts him in the right spot every time and has allowed him to become a threat not only in the offensive zone, but he has become a high end penalty killer, something that benefits us with his ability to score short handed.
“The breakout in offense last year was just the beginning for Dicksy as his overall game continues to grow. He is one of the sneakier 200 foot players in our league,” Beer added.
Over to Kioki, he proved to be a shrewd pickup at the 2020 January trade deadline.
“Getting Gabby Kioki in a trade was such a great move by our general manager Kevin Peever. Gabby, who had already been a 20 goal scorer in our league (the previous year, with Powassan) gave us another dangerous weapon to deploy throughout our lineup,” Beer noted.
“The best qualities I saw from Gabby as things moved along last year was seeing him develop more of a power forward type of game. He really became a physical presence, which allowed him to be a horse in puck protection and net front play.
“He is always a guy who plays with such high end emotion … his game is always trending upwards and now, by adding that power down low, he has taken his game to another level. I can’t wait to see what he will look like in a full season with us,” Beer said, in further summation of Kioki.
And Masternak, as a veteran goalie, gives Timmins a puck stopper without peer in the NOJHL.
“Ty came in here at age 17 and has not looked back,” Beer said of Masternak. “His shutout record aside, which is beyond impressive, Masty has become such a great leader and someone any player on our roster can look to as a beacon of stability.
“He is always someone who makes sure guys are playing all in and holds his teammates to a high standard. His training has taken a huge step forward to give him an added advantage on the ice. But it is his puck playing ability that might be something that is overlooked when assessing his game.
“Ty has become a third defender for us and he can make breakout passes up the middle if necessary,” Beer added.
As a team, the Rock had the second best record in the entire NOJHL in 2019-2020 with 87 points from a mark of 42-11-3.
As an esteemed NOJHL bench boss, Beer will remain at the helm of the Rock for the foreseeable future, having signed a new deal to remain in Timmins.
“We are very pleased to have signed Corey to a new multi-year contract extension,” relayed Rock president Ted Gooch.
“Corey’s ability to forge impactful relationships with everyone from players to staff has been a hallmark of his tenure with our organization and he is the absolute best coach for our hockey team.
“Corey’s ability to develop a strong culture, while continually adapting, has been a big part of our team’s success.
“He has set high standards for our organization with his unrelenting drive for excellence,” Gooch added in further praise of the 35-year old Beer, an Oshawa native who moved to Timmins to take over as head coach of the Rock prior to the start of the 2017-2018 season.