We are just one week away from the Centennial Cup, and all ten participants have been finalized. 

The Timmins Rock are representing the Northern Ontario Junior A Hockey League (NOJHL) after they defeated the Soo Thunderbirds in the league final. The Rock were down 2-1 in the series before winning three straight games to finish the series off in Game 6. 

Head coach Eric Paquette says they have a lot of players with championship pedigree, and he believes that made the difference.

"We have five or six guys that were at the Centennial last year in our lineup. One guy played for Soo, and we had five guys that played for Red Lake (Miners) who also went on to the Centennial last year," Paquette explains. "Those guys definitely knew what it takes to win a championship. They pulled together with our captain and our leadership group, and we didn't panic. We just got back to playing our game and got the three wins in a row to win the series."

Paquette says having this many guys who are familiar with the environment at the Centennial Cup should give them an edge over a good portion of the competition.

"They know what to expect when we get there. Having those guys as our leaders all year long and being able to lean on them again once we're there is going to be huge for us."

The Rock's offence was led by two players in the regular season. Nicolas Pigeon was the NOJHL's leader in points with 107 in just 58 games, while Brady Harroun was second in points with 96 but led the NOJHL in goals with 50. The next highest scorer on Timmins was at 60 points.

The scoring was much more spread out in the postseason for the Rock as the team had nine players with at least ten points through 15 playoff games. 

"We like to play fast," says Paquette. "We like to spend a lot of time in the offensive zone and to be creative with the puck. Mainly we want to play structured hockey but play fast."

Timmins will begin their Centennial Cup journey on day two of the tournament as they face off with the Yarmouth Mariners in their opening contest.