Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy NOJHL Final preview: Powassan Voodoos vs. Greater Sudbury Cubs

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League championship series, between the Greater Sudbury Cubs and Powassan Voodoos, for the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy, gets underway Thursday evening at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.

Here’s a look at the best-of-seven affair.


Cubs: Darryl Moxam
Voodoos: Peter Goulet


Playoffs: 8-3
Regular season: 43-12-1-2 (2nd NOJHL West/2nd overall)


Regular season: 36-19-1-2 (3rd NOJHL East/6th overall)

HOW THEY ARRIVED: Greater Sudbury punched their ticket to the NOJHL final by virtue of series wins over the Soo Thunderbirds and the regular season-winning Blind River Beavers.

They topped the Thunderbirds in six games in a divisional semifinal before bouncing the Beavers in five to claim the West Division crown.

As for Powassan, they took down the Hearst Lumberjacks in five contests in one division semifinal, prior to prevailing over the defending NOJHL-champion, the Timmins Rock, in a match-up that went the distance, to earn the East Division title.

POSTSEASON PROGRESS: Greater Sudbury has gone 8-3 in the 2024 playoffs to date, playing .727 hockey.

The Cubs have outscored their opponents by a 39-22 margin for a goal differential rate of plus-17.

Powassan has gone 8-4, including winning all six games they’ve played that have gone to overtime.

They have however been outscored 45-43 overall along the way.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: The two teams met 11 times during the course of the regular season, with the Cubs prevailing by going 8-2-0-1 overall versus the Voodoos.

Two of the contests were determined via a shootout, while three others were decided by just one goal.

In all, Greater Sudbury outscored Powassan by a 42-34 count.

ROAD WORK: Both competing clubs in the NOJHL final have been solid on the road so far in these playoffs.

Powassan has gone 6-1 to date as the visiting team, including boasting five consecutive away triumphs to their credit.

As for Greater Sudbury, they sport a 4-2 mark as the visitor so far in the postseason.

Each team secured their first two playoff series on the road, winning away from home on the combined four occasions.

Two organizations that haven’t won a NOJHL championship in awhile will be squaring off for this season’s title.

Powassan last took home the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy seven years ago when they swept the Blind River Beavers in the 2017 final to capture their first-ever league title.

Meanwhile, the last time a Sudbury-based franchise won it all was back in 2008, when the Sudbury Jr. Wolves put the broom to the Abitibi Eskimos in a best-of-seven that went the minimum.


Sept. 16 @ Powassan: Cubs 4 Voodoos 3 (SO)
Oct. 4 @ Sudbury: Voodoos 3 Cubs 1 (NOJHL Showcase)
Nov. 8 @ Powassan: Cubs 6 Voodoos 2
Nov. 16: @ Sudbury Cubs 4 Voodoos 3

Dec. 8 @ Powassan: Cubs 4 Voodoos 3
Jan. 6 @ Powassan: Cubs 7 Voodoos 5
Jan. 11 @ Sudbury: Cubs 5 Voodoos 3
Jan. 27 @ Powassan: Cubs 5 Voodoos 3
Feb. 1 @ Sudbury: Voodoos 5 Cubs 2
Feb. 19 @ Sudbury: Voodoos 3 Cubs 2 (SO)
March 14 @ Sudbury: Cubs 3 Voodoos 2


Powassan Voodoos vs. Greater Sudbury Cubs
Best-of-seven series

Game 1: Thursday, April 18 @ Sudbury 7:05 p.m. (Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex)
Game 2: Friday, April 19 @ Sudbury 7:05 p.m. (Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex)
Game 3: Sunday, April 21 @ Powassan 2 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 4: Monday, April 22 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 5*: Thursday, April 25 @ Sudbury 7:05 p.m. (Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex)
Game 6*: Sunday, April 28 @ Powassan 2 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 30 @ Sudbury 7:05 p.m. (Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex)
*-if necessary



PLAYOFFS: Noah Metivier has seen the bulk of the work in net for Greater Sudbury so far this postseason. … The 20-year-old Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., product has gone 7-1 in his past eight playoff starts and is 8-3 overall. … Metivier leads all NOJHL netminders in goals-against average at 1.82 and sits third in terms of save percentage at .924. He’s also tops in shutouts with two. … He’s played the second-most minutes of any goaltender at 659. … A pair of veteran blueliners have been pivotal on the back-end for the Cubs. … Mason Chitaroni leads all league rearguards in offensive production with 11 points, all assists, in as many games. … His assist total presently leads all NOJHL skaters. … Josh Kavanagh is next on the squad, among defencemen, and third overall, with his nine helpers. … Rookie D-man Hudson Martin has chipped in with a half-dozen assists. … Up front, Nolan Newton paces the club in scoring with 16 points, including notching nine goals. … His totals tie him for third in the NOJHL. … His three game-winning markers put him in a share of top spot in the league in that department. … First-year forward Hudson Chitaroni sits second on Greater Sudbury in scoring with 13 points. … that sees him sitting tied for eighth in the league. … Veteran Oliver Smith meanwhile has provided 11 points. … Smith enters the final on a five-game point streak, having collected five goals and four assists in that span. … The Cubs are fourth overall in power play proficiency at 24.4%, scoring 10 times in 41-man advantage opportunities. … On the penalty kill, Greater Sudbury sits second in the NOJHL at 78.3%. … They’ve been shorthanded 46 times and have allowed 10 tallies against. … The Cubs are 4-1 on home ice and 4-2 on the road. … They are 7-2 when scoring first in a playoff game and are a perfect 8-0 when leading after two periods of play. … Greater Sudbury head coach Darryl Moxam captained the Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats to a NOJHL championship in 1996-97. … His 100-point season saw him named league and playoff MVP, be tabbed a 1st Team NOJHL All-Star and earn Canadian Junior Hockey League Player of the Year laurels that same season.

REGULAR SEASON: Sporting the second-best overall record in the 12-team NOJHL, Greater Sudbury boasted a winning percentage of .767 while going 43-12-1-2 overall. … The Cubs feature plenty of veteran talent, with a nice mix of youthful skill. … NOJHL 1st Team All-Star Oliver Smith was second in the league in goals scored with 45, giving him 100 overall in his career, and finished third in scoring with 102 points. … Six of his markers were game-winners, which knotted him for second in the NOJHL in that department. Smith also had a 21-game point streak during the campaign. … 1st Team All-Rookie squad member Hudson Chitaroni led all first-year skaters in scoring, ending up tops in goals (31); assists (46) and points (77). … He finished sixth in league scoring. … They also boast two other skaters who had 60-plus points this season in forwards Samuel Assinewai and Nolan Newton. … They averaged 63 points between them and combined for 49 tallies. … A trio of veteran defencemen, in Josh Kavanagh, Chris Innes and Mason Chitaroni boost the Cubs back-end as does All-Rookie 1st Team blueliner Hudson Martin. … The foursome all had over 30 points apiece. … 3rd Team All-Star goaltender Noah Metivier goalkeeper went 24-9-0-1 overall. … His win total was second-best in the league with 14 of the starts made by the 20-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., seeing him allow two, or fewer goals, including a pair of shutouts. … Fellow goalkeeper Noah Beaulne was 18-3-1-1 with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. … Greater Sudbury led the NOJHL in goals scored with 285, with skaters notching 10, or more, markers. … Solid defensively as well, the Cubs gave up the third-fewest goals-against at 167. … Their 25.5% success rate on the power play ranked them third in the league. … The club was first overall in penalty kill proficiency at 85.9%.



PLAYOFFS: Sharing the league-lead in playoff wins with eight, Daniel Dirracolo has been solid when called upon for Powassan since the postseason got underway last month. … Despite only sitting sixth among league goalkeepers in both playoff average and save percentage at 3:24 and .910 respectively, the 18-year-old from Woodbridge, Ont., has been clutch when it counts. … Dirracolo is a perfect 6-0 in overtime, not having allowed a goal in 72 minutes and 19 seconds of OT action. … He has seen more minutes than any other NOJHL netminder at 760. … On the back-end, team captain Alex Little leads the Voodoos’ D-corps in points with six. … He also has 20 career playoff points in 26 appearances. … Carson Ricci and Alexander Case are tied for second in scoring by Powassan D-men with five points apiece. … Eight different forwards have registered eight, or more, points through two playoff rounds. … Rookie Reyth Smith leads the contingent with 16, through a dozen games played. … Smith and Mathieu MacMillan share the team tally lead with eight apiece. … Smith tops all NOJHL rookies in both assists and points, and is tied for first in goals. … MacMillan sits second on the Voodoos in scoring with 14 points. … Tucker Shields (5G-7A-12PTS) and Cameron Lemcke (1G-9A-10PTS) are next in numbers. … Two of Zach Turner’s four goals have been game-winners, having notched the deciding tally in overtime in the opener against Hearst before providing the clincher late in Game 7 versus Timmins. … Powassan sits seventh in the league on the power play at 16.7%. … They’ve scored seven times in 42 extra-man opportunities. … On the P.K., the Voodoos are also seventh, at 70%. … They’ve given up 12 tallies against while shorthanded. … They are 7-1 in the postseason in contests decided by just one goal and are 5-1 when tied after 40 minutes of play. … The club is just 2-3 on home ice, but have a league-best six victories, against only one defeat, on the road.

REGULAR SEASON: Going 8-2 in their final 10 outings before the playoffs, a disciplined Powassan side had the second-lowest penalty minute total in the league. … Skilled second-year forward Mathieu MacMillan had a solid campaign for the Voodoos in leading them in offensive production. … Named a 3rd team NOJHL All-Star, the 19-year-old from Gloucester, Ont., tallied 25 times and doled out 48 assists along the way for Powassan. … His numbers placed him eighth in league scoring. … Like MacMillan, versatile forward Chase Thompson set personal single-season bests offensively this season. … Thompson was second on the squad, and 15th in the league, with 64 points in 56 appearances on 24 tallies and 40 helpers. … Cameron Lemcke too established new scoring marks while ending up third in team scoring. … He collected 56 points on 16 goals and 40 assists. … Second team NOJHL All-Rookie honouree Reyth Smith impressed in his initial regular season. … Scoring 27 times and assisting on 26 more, Smith played at close to a point-per-game pace for Powassan. … He was third in goals among rookies and ended up fifth in points, with his 53. … A strong defender at both ends of the ice, the Voodoos’ Alexander Case earned 2nd Team All-Star laurels on defence. … Solid throughout for Powassan, Case collected 41 points from the back-end for the Voodoos in 54 games. … Case scored 10 times and doled out 31 assists to pace all Powassan blueliners offensively and ending up sixth among all league rearguards, while providing steady play in his own zone. … Team captain Alex Little holds nearly every franchise record among defencemen. … Despite missing games with injury, Little still collected 27 points in 34 contests to surpass the 100-point plateau in his NOJHL career. … Goaltender Daniel Dirracolo was second among all league netminders in save percentage at .924. … He also won 19 times and played the second-most minutes overall at 2,069. … After being acquired by the club in January, goaltender Patrick Charette went 5-1-1-0 for the Voodoos with an average of 2.83, along with a save mark of .920. … His save percentage rate was seventh-best in the league. … Powassan scored 253 times this season, the sixth highest total in the league. … They gave up 182, which was the fifth fewest in the NOJHL. … The Voodoos were seventh in power play success at 22.9%. … On the P.K., they were eighth at 74.4%. … Powassan is taking on Hearst in the playoffs for a third-straight year, with each team winning once previously.

WHAT AWAITS: The NOJHL winner will move on to compete in the Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, Canadian Junior A Championship, May 9-19, in Oakville, Ont.

WHERE TO WATCH: All contests in the league final will be streamed live, and on demand, via

Photo credit: Chris Dawson