POWASSAN, Ont. – A three-goal third period outburst propelled the Powassan Voodoos to a 6-3 victory over the French River Rapids Thursday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the Powassan Sportsplex.
The hometown Voodoos took flight near the midway mark of the opening frame on a play that saw Cameron Lemcke slide a low shot from the left side that clipped off the skate of Finn Acton-Rinaldo and past Rapids’ netminder Cole Sheffield.
Coming right back, Powassan went up by a pair 58 seconds later on a Rodion Tatarenko tally as he whipped one in from the high slot while using a French River defender as a partial screen.
Down a skater late in the first, French River struck shorthanded as speedster Dominik Godin won a race down the ice for the puck and lifted a backhand that got through Voodoos’ starter Alex Bugeja for his team-leading 33rd goal of the season.
That marker also put him into a tie for tops in the NOJHL with Robbie Rutledge of the Hearst Lumberjacks.
Staying 2-1 for the hosts into the middle session, the visitors collected the equalizer at 3:26 when Ryan Goral banged in a rebound following a give-and-go with teammates Spencer Borg and Chase Lefebvre.
Picking up a third-straight tally, Borg converted from the left circle with a snap shot that eluded Bugeja and resulted in the Voodoos replacing him with back-up Owen Wray.
Regrouping, Powassan drew level at 8:52 compliments of Alexander Bradshaw as he took a cross-ice pass from Lemcke, then cruised down the right wing and neatly picked the corner for his 22nd of the campaign.
Tightening up defensively the rest of the period, the two clubs hit the second intermission knotted at three.
Picking up the eventual game-winner a couple of minutes into the third, the Voodoos’ Jacob Dupont cruised into the slot and whistled a shot over the glove of Sheffield.
Maintaining the pressure, Powassan went up by two at 3:09 thanks to Owen Fergusson, who snagged a loose puck, skate in front and hoisted in a back hand from close range.
They then capped off the home ice triumph in the latter stages of the contest as Jacob McClellan launched one from his own zone into an empty net to wrap things up.
Wray picked up the win in spotless relief helping the Voodoos improve to 29-10-4-1 on the year while the Rapids slipped to 22-22-1-0 in defeat.