GALLERY: Powassan doubles up Espanola

POWASSAN, Ont. – Flying out to a fast start with five first period goals helped send the Powassan Voodoos on their way to an eventual 6-3 victory over the Espanola Paper Kings Saturday night in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League play at the Powassan Sportsplex.

A rapid response saw the Voodoos take flight 95 seconds into the contest when Carson Ricci led a rush into the Espanola zone then eventually swatted in a loose puck with one hand on his stick into the open corner on Paper Kings’ netminder Andrew Gaulton.

Powassan then extended their early edge a couple of shifts later when Rhys Smetham slid in a close-range backhand at 3:53.

Answering with a man advantage marker, Spencer Horgan’s snap shot from the top of the circles beat Voodoos’ starter Kannon Flageolle glove side.

After a Flageolle save on a shorthanded breakaway, the home side countered with Kaedyn Long roofing a cross-ice pass from Conor O’Brien on the power play.

Not done there, Powassan buried two more to make it 5-1 thanks to Tucker Shields going five hole before teammate Jack Kelly jumped into the rush and sped down the ice on a two-on-one and buried one blocker side on Gaulton.

It also saw Espanola make a goaltending change as Creedon Dyck came in and went the rest of the way.

Moving to the middle stanza, a two-man advantage allowed the Voodoos plenty of space to move the play around before they eventually set-up Alex Little between the circles where he whipped in his 21st of the year to make it 6-1.

Getting two back in the final frame, the Paper Kings looked to make a game of it, beginning with Horgan’s second of the night with 12 minutes to go as he pinched in from the point on a delayed penalty, then lifted a rising attempt into the upper portion of the net.

They then saw Alexander Christopoulos convert in the late going to round out the scoring by banging in a loose puck while a plethora of players battled in front.

The outcome sees playoff-bound Powassan wrap-up their regular season with a record of 37-20-1-0, while in defeat, Espanola, who is also heading to the postseason, finishes up at 29-24-2-3.