VIDEO / GALLERY: Voodoos edge Lumberjacks as OT magic continues


POWASSAN, Ont. – A spectacular Dylan McElhinny backhand goal, late in the first overtime, propelled the Powassan Voodoos to a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks Wednesday in an action-packed Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East semifinal at the Powassan Sportsplex.

The outcome gives the Voodoos a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven affair, heading into Game 5 Friday in Hearst at 7:30 p.m.

As was the case in Tuesday’s match-up, this night’s opening 20 minutes was also scoreless.

Heading to the second stanza, the Lumberjacks opened the scoring at 2:23 when Damien Bourdon-Lemoyne used a clever stick-lift in the neutral zone to swipe the puck, then wheeled into the Voodoos zone and ripped a shot past netminder Daniel Dirracolo.

Building on that, the visitors connected once more off some solid pressure, which allowed Jean-Pierre Audras a couple of cracks in close, before stuffing in his third of the series.

Powassan’s best chance to get on the board came with seven minutes remaining in the session, but saw Cameron Lemcke foiled on a breakaway, and a subsequent opportunity, by Hearst’s Tristan Boileau.

The Voodoos did eventually convert in transition, which allowed Mathieu MacMillan fire an attempt that Boileau could not fully contain and found its way into the net at 16:21.

It was more from MacMillan 75 seconds later as he took a Reyth Smith feed and roofed it.

Countering, Hearst regained the lead prior to the intermission when Mathieu Comeau blasted in a rebound off an Aiden Kalen attempt, that he initially set-up.

Third period play saw Powassan draw level once more when Tucker Shields steered in the equalizer by getting it over the pad of Boileau with 9:17 remaining in regulation.

Heading to OT for the third time in the series, Hearst rang a couple of attempts off the post early.

Some stellar stops, by the glove of Boileau, and Dirracolo’s pad, on a shorthanded breakaway, kept the contest going through the initial 13 minutes of extra time.

In the end though, Powassan won for a third time in OT in the series when McElhinny won a race down ice to negate an icing, then moved to his right after corralling the puck and lifted in the game-winner to put Hearst on the brink of elimination.

NOJHL East Division semifinal
Hearst Lumberjacks vs. Powassan Voodoos
Powassan leads best-of-seven series 3-1

Game 1: Voodoos 5 Lumberjacks 4 (OT)
Game 2: Lumberjacks 6 Voodoos 5
Game 3: Voodoos 4 Lumberjacks 3 (OT)
Game 4: Voodoos 4 Lumberjacks 3 (OT)
Game 5: Friday, March 29 @ Hearst 7:30 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 31 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 2 @ Hearst 7:30 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
*-if necessary

“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel