NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Kirkland Lake’s valiant comeback falls just short as Powassan holds on for series sweep
KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – Another fast start allowed the Powassan Voodoos to gain the upper hand early, but they had to withstand a furious and valiant third period comeback bid by the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners before eventually prevailing 7-6 in an action-packed finish Thursday in Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
With the triumph, Powassan sweeps the best-of-seven series 4-0 and now advances to the division final against either the Timmins Rock or Cochrane Crunch.
Thursday’s tilt saw Gabriel Rheault strike shorthanded two and a half minutes into the contest to put the Voodoos in flight.
Tallies 39 seconds apart later in the frame from Tyson Gilmour and Andy Baker extended the visitors cushion to three while Gary Mantz’s third of the series made it 4-0 after one period of play.
Kirkland Lake got on the board five minutes into the middle stanza thanks to Matthew Brassard’s second of the postseason.
On the power play midway through the contest, Powassan got that goal back 12 seconds into the man advantage as Eric Nagy fired home his first of the playoffs with Cameron Mooe and Mantz picking up assists on the marker.
The Voodoos continued to connect late in the period with Parker Bowman making it 6-1 at 18:25, which spelled then end of Kirkland Lake starter Allan Menary’s night in favour of Ridge Gerads.
With their season on the line, the Gold Miners stormed out in the third period and scored three times before the stanza was six minutes old.
After Brassard added his second of the night at 2:01, Alex Storjohann and Stavros Soilis both scored on the power play in quick order to pull the home side to within two.
Kirkland Lake kept coming and notched their fourth of the stanza with five minutes remaining as Tyler Fyfe made it a 6-5 game.
Powassan managed to regroup briefly when Gilmour put the visitors back up by two.
Undaunted, the Gold Miners struck once more just 17 seconds later on Storjohann’s seventh overall to move back to within one.
Kirkland Lake pressed for the equalizer in the final moments but their tremendous comeback bid, that featured five goals in the period, fell just short before time expired as the Voodoos held on to secure the series victory.
Moore and Tye Lindeman had two assists each for the Voodoos as did Brassard, Fyfe, Patrick Smith and William Mizuik for the Gold Miners.
Nate McDonald faced 41 shots in picking up the win.
Menary stopped 21 of 27 for Kirkland Lake and Gerads saved seven of eight in a season-ending defeat.
“Going into the third up 6-1, you never expect that,” Powassan head coach commented at the end of the contest.
“You’ve got to take your hat off to Kirkland Lake. They never quit. It’ll be nice for us to get some rest and prepare for next series,” added the Powassan bench boss.
The East Division final schedule will be announced once it is finalized. The Rock current leads their divisional semifinal best-of-seven set 2-1 heading into Game 4 Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at McIntyre Arena in Timmins.
East Division semifinal (Series C)
No. 1 Powassan Voodoos vs. No. 4 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Powassan wins best-of-seven series 4-0
Game 1: Powassan 5 Kirkland Lake 1
Game 2: Powassan 5 Kirkland Lake 2
Game 3: Powassan 5 Kirkland Lake 1
Game 4: Powassan 7 Kirkland Lake 6
Photos courtesy of www.capturingthemoment.ca