POWASSAN, Ont. – Collecting a pair of tallies from Thomas Gazich helped push the Powassan Voodoos past the Hearst Lumberjacks 6-1 Wednesday in Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal at the Powassan Sportsplex.
With the outcome, Powassan now leads the best-of-seven affair 3-1, with Game 5 set for Friday in Hearst at 7 p.m.
The Voodoos gained the early edge in the contest, with Conor O’Brien connecting just after the three-minute mark in beating Lumberjacks goalkeeper Ethan Dinsdale.
Powassan then extended their lead midway through the first period, with Rhys Smetham being credited for his third postseason marker, with help from Chase Strychaluk.
Heading to the middle session, Hearst pressed the pace and carried the play early on, but it was the Voodoos who countered on their initial shot of the frame as Gazich went top shelf on a delayed penalty at 6:36.
A nice individual effort following that from Kaedyn Long helped the hosts add to their edge in beating Dinsdale high.
The Lumberjacks got one back, four minutes into the final frame, when Andrew Morton lifted one by Powassan goaltender Kannon Flageolle.
Countering a couple of shifts later, Alex Little notched his third of the series, with assistance from Liam Serviss.
Putting the game away during a man advantage, Gazich banged in his second of the night with 11:08 remaining to spell the end of Dinsdale night in favour of back-up Kaleb Papineau.
There would be no further scoring from there as the Voodoos cruised to the victory and became the first home team to win a game in the series.
NOJHL East Division semifinal
Hearst Lumberjacks vs. Powassan Voodoos
Game 1: Voodoos 8 Lumberjacks 4
Game 2: Voodoos 4 Lumberjacks 3
Game 3: Lumberjacks 3 Voodoos 2
Game 4: Voodoos 6 Lumberjacks 1
Game 5: Friday, March 31 @ Hearst 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
Game 6*: Sunday, April 2 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 4 @ Hearst 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)