NOJHL East Final preview: Powassan Voodoos vs. Timmins Rock

SUDBURY, Ont. – Set to meet for a second-straight year in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s East Division Final, the Timmins Rock and Powassan Voodoos will renew acquaintances, beginning Thursday night at McIntyre Arena, with a 7:30 p.m. start.

The Rock won last season’s match-up in a four-game sweep en route to winning the NOJHL championship.

Here’s a look at the latest best-of-seven affair get together:


Rock: Brandon Perry

Voodoos: Peter Goulet


Rock: 41-15-2-0 (1st NOJHL East/3rd overall)
Voodoos: 36-19-1-2 (3rd NOJHL East/6th overall)

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Timmins held the edge in the regular season meetings with Powassan, winning all four, including the finale in overtime back on February 23.

The Rock outscored the Voodoos 18-9 along the way.


Oct. 20 @ Timmins: Rock 4 Voodoos 1
Dec. 16 @ Powassan: Rock 5 Voodoos 3
Feb. 7 @ Powassan: Rock 4 Voodoos 1
Feb. 23 @ Timmins: Rock 5 Voodoos 4 (OT)


NOJHL East Final
Powassan Voodoos vs. Timmins Rock
Best-of-seven series

Game 1: Thursday, April 4 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 2: Friday, April 5 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 3: Sunday, April 7 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 4: Monday, April 8 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 5*: Thursday, April 11 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 6*: Saturday, April 13 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 16 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
*-if necessary


PLAYOFFS: Timmins improved to 16-3 in their past 19 postseason outings after quelling the Iroquois Falls Storm in a series that was closer than expected, but still went the minimum. … In knocking off Iroquois Falls in four games, there were 13 Rock skaters who collected two, or more points, in the four-game sweep of the Storm. … Leading the way was NOJHL 1st Team All-Star and top overall player award recipient Harry Clark. … He had a team-high five goals and seven points in the opening round. … Three of his markers came on the power play, which ties him for third in the league. … Following him in scoring was rookie forward Brant Romaniuk, who collected six points, including a trio of tallies. … Then there was Mason Svarich, who picked up five points, featuring a pair of game-winning goals, highlighted by the series-clincher in Game 4, on a breakaway in overtime. … The trio of Jack Kelly, Kaeden McArthur and Thomas Beard chipped in with four points apiece. … Ryan Armitage notched one of two penalty shot markers in the first round. … Pacing the Rock defensive corps was team captain Felix Cadieux-Fredette. … He supplied three assists while Tenzin Nyman, Thomas Sefton and Chase Longhurst-McIntyre had two helpers each. … Splitting the netminding duties in the triumph over the Storm, Patrick Boivin and Dryden Riley both went 2-0. … The Timmins duo sit one-two respectively in playoff goals-against average at 1.44 and 1.50. … They are also first and second in terms of save percentage at .949 and .941. … Timmins sits second in playoff power play proficiency at 30%, notching six extra-man markers in 20 opportunities. … They sit No. 1 on the penalty at 90%, having only allowed one against in the 10 times they were shorthanded. … The Rock went 3-0 when scoring first against the Storm and had the same total when ahead after two periods of play.

REGULAR SEASON: The defending NOJHL champions entered the postseason going 8-2 in their final 10 outings. … 20-year-old Harry Clark was a key cog in the Rock’s overall success and was named the NOJHL’s Best Overall Team Player award winner. … He racked up 101 points, in 56 games played, collecting 36 markers and dishing out 65 assists to finish fourth in NOJHL scoring. … Clark, who will move on to play USPORTS hockey at York University in Toronto, led all league skaters in both power play assists (38) and man advantage points (52). … David Harrison Most Gentlemanly Player trophy recipient Mason Svarich is another big-time performer for the Rock. … Svarich was a 40-goal man for the Rock, with a league-best 17 of those on the power play. … He also chipped in with 35 assists to finish seventh in league scoring and will join Clark at York to play USPORTS for the Lions… All-Rookie 2nd team member Brant Romaniuk was fourth in scoring among first-year players, competing at a point-per-game clip for the Rock with 57 points, in as many appearances, including notching 23 goals. … Six of the 22 goals Kaeden McArthur had this season were game-winners, which tied for the team lead with Svarich and knotted him for second in the NOJHL. … Timmins captain Felix Cadieux-Fredette was over a point-per-game performer with the squad, registering 61 in 57 games on five markers and 56 helpers. … That placed him third in scoring among NOJHL defencemen. … His 172 games played in his career are the most of any skater in the league, over the past four seasons. … The Timmins netminding tandem of Patrick Boivin (20) and Dryden Riley (21) combined for 41 wins this season. … Riley was named to the NOJHL 2nd All-Rookie Team in net, he finished in Top 10 in league play in goals-against average and save percentage. … His 2.55 GAA was fourth while his .913 save mark placed him seventh. … The Rock were third in the league in goals scored at 272 and gave-up the fourth fewest at 177. … Timmins topped the NOJHL in power play proficiency during the season at 32.7%. … They were 10th however on the P.K. at 72.6%.


PLAYOFFS: Powassan earned their way to the East Final by downing the Hearst Lumberjacks in five games. … Three of their triumphs came in overtime. … Goalkeeper Daniel Dirracolo went the distance in the series with Hearst with his four victories knotting him for top spot among NOJHL netminders. … Dirracolo sits sixth in goals-against average (3.42) and eighth in save percentage (.902). … Among his 194 saves, he was a perfect 18-18 in his trio of OT triumphs, featuring a number of point-blank stops. … His 50 saves in the OT win in Game 4 are the most of any goalkeeper so far in these playoffs. … Rookie Reyth Smith averaged two points-per-game versus Hearst on six goals and four assists. … That ties him for fourth among league skaters and places him first among first-year players. … Mathieu MacMillan is next on the squad with eight points, including five markers. … That ties him for seventh in the league. … Dylan McElhinny and Ryan Patrick were next with six points apiece. … In all, 13 Powassan players had three, or higher, point totals. … Carson Ricci led the Voodoos, among defencemen, with five points. … That ties him for third in the NOJHL playoffs to date. … Alexander Case and captain Alex Little chipped in with three each. … The club went 4-15 on the power play vs. Hearst, with their 26.7% success rate placing them fourth in the league. … They sit sixth on the P.K. at 70%, giving up three against on the 10 times they’ve been shorthanded. … The Voodoos are 2-0 so far in the playoffs at the Powassan Sportsplex and 1-2 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 winner of the series will meet either the Blind River Beavers or Greater Sudbury Cubs for the NOJHL championship.

The league title holder will also move on to compete in the Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, May 9-19, in Oakville, Ont.

WHERE TO WATCH: All NOJHL playoff games will be streamed live, and on demand, via, the league’s official online broadcaster.

Photo credit: Thomas Perry / Timmins Daily Press