NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Friday, March 27, 2015
Cochrane Crunch – Powassan Voodoos NOJHL East Division final preview
SUDBURY – Game 1 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s East Division final will see the Cochrane Crunch host the Powassan Voodoos at 8 p.m. this evening at the Tim Horton Event Centre.
The following is a preview of that best-of-seven series:
THE MATCH-UP: As the highest remaining seed in the division, the No. 2 ranked Crunch has home ice in the series and will serve as host for games one and two, as well as five and seven, should they be required.
The Powassan Sportsplex will be the site for games three and four and, if necessary, six.
Cochrane finished second in the NOJHL East with a 29-21-0-2 record, 20 points ahead of surging Powassan, who went 16-28-0-8 in the regular season, but are a solid 6-2 in the playoffs to date.
As a pair of first-year teams in the league, this is the initial postseason meeting between the two sides.
HOW THEY ADVANCED: The Crunch got to the East Division final after upending the Abitibi Eskimos in six games and outscoring them 23-20 overall.
The surprising Voodoos enter the series playing their best hockey of the season.
They began the playoffs by sweeping the Mattawa Blackhawks in two straight in a first round series before upsetting the defending NOJHL champion Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in the divisional semifinal, taking that in six outings.
POINT PRODUCERS: Cochrane has received contributions from multiple players so far in the playoffs with five different skaters registering five or more points in their series triumph over Abitibi.
Leading the way is Dustin Cordeiro, who had 10 points against the Eskimos, on five goals and as many assists.
Cody Gratton is next with seven points, which includes six assists.
Daniel Stagg and Henry Berger are next with a half dozen points each while Jason Berube has five.
The Voodoos have also had plenty of contributions through their first eight postseason contests.
A total of 11 different players have recorded five or more points for Powassan in playoff action so far.
With 13 points, Jake Staples leads the club and is tied for second overall among all NOJHL skaters in offensive production. His nine tallies also top the team and are the second most in the league.
NOJHL rookie of the year and most valuable player Steve Harland is among three players of the Voodoos roster, who are next with nine points.
Nathaniel McLeod and Nicolas Proulx join him. Proulx’s nine assists tie him for the league-lead in that category.
Rounding out the top five on the squad in scoring are Kyle Moore and David Sherman with eight points apiece.
Three of Moore’s six playoff goals have been game-winners, which leads the league.
GOALTENDERS: Brett Young has seen the bulk of the action in net for the Crunch and is tied for second in playoff wins so far in 2015 with four.
Matt Young has gone the distance for the Voodoos so far in postseason play with his six victories leading all goalkeepers in the league.
Brett Young’s 195 saves are the second most in the league while Matt Young’s 189 stops has him third overall in that category.
STREAKS: Powassan has won four straight home games in the playoffs to date.
The Voodoos’ Staples has had multiple-goal nights in his past three games and has points in four straight.
Michael Silveri also has a four-game point streak on the go for Powassan.
Daniel Stagg has a modest three-game point run going for Cochrane entering the series opener.
Cochrane has scored the first goal in four straight games as well as in five of their first six outings.
The Voodoos are 5-0 when scoring first in the playoffs so far and 1-2 when they don’t.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The two teams met a total of eight times during the course of the regular season with three of those contests requiring double overtime before a result was determined.
Cochrane took the season set by winning seven of the eight match-ups, including all three that went to OT.
Cody Gratton was the leading point producer for the Crunch vs. the Voodoos as he amassed 18 points on a dozen goals and six assists.
Dustin Cordeiro was next with 14 points, which included nine tallies.
He was followed by Aviv Milner’s 13 points and Josh Racek’s 11.
Steve Harland paced Powassan with 13 points against Cochrane with four markers and nine helpers.
Brendan D’Agostino was next with 10 points as he scored twice and set-up eight others.
Brett Young was 2-1 in three appearances against the Voodoos while Matt Young went 1-1-1 vs. the Crunch.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Both teams were effective on the power play against each other in 2014-15.
Cochrane scored 11 times in 40 man advantage opportunities while Powassan went 10-50.
The Crunch was also crafty while shorthanded as they struck five times while the Voodoos were on the power play.
Powassan did not connect offensively while they were down a man.
WHAT’S NEXT: The side that comes out on top in this series will meet the winner of the West Division final between the Soo Thunderbirds and Elliot Lake Wildcats for the NOJHL championship.
Sault Ste. Marie leads that best-of-seven set 1-0 heading into Game 2 Saturday in Elliot Lake.
The NOJHL title holder will then advance to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship, April 28 through May 2, in Fort Frances, Ont.
NOJHL East Division final
No. 2 Cochrane Crunch vs. No. 4 Powassan Voodoos
Game 1: Friday, March 27 @ Cochrane 8 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Game 2: Saturday, March 28 @ Cochrane 8 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Game 3: Tuesday, March 31 @ Powassan 7:30 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 4: Wednesday, April 1 @ Powassan 7:30 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 5*: Friday, April 3 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Game 6*: Sunday, April 5 @ Powassan 7:30 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 7 @ Cochrane 7:30 p.m. (Tim Horton Event Centre)
Each game of every series can be viewed online on a pay-per-view basis at nojhl.fasthockey.com.
You can also following live scoring through the league website at www.nojhl.com.
Series stats pack compiled by NOJHL Statistician/Historian David Harrison attached in PDF.