FRENCH RIVER – The Powassan Voodoos tightened an already confined race in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s East Division standings with an 8-2 decision over the French River Rapids Thursday evening at Noelville Arena.
Powassan had a strong first frame by striking four times on tallies from David Campbell (14th), Cade Herd (18th), Joe Whittet (10th) and Tomas Yachmenev (19th), who have all notched markers in the double digits this season.
The Voodoos kept coming in the second stanza to extend their lead with Ryan Mills and Matthew Hardwick both finding the back of the net.
French River got one back at 13:29 as Griffin Simpson helped set-up Will Frustaglio for his 17th goal and 40th point of the season, which are both personal single-season highs.
Later in the period, Yachmenev added his second of the night and 20th overall to match the total number of tallies he produced in 2017-18.
Heading to the third, Seiji Martone picked his sixth in league play at 3:34 for Powassan before the Rapids’ Chad Lafortune rounded out the scoring late.
The Voodoos’ Rico Rossi dished out three assists in the decision while goaltender Joe Vrbetic finished with 49 stops to record the win as the rookie netminder faced 50-plus shots against for the fourth time this season.
Niko Mantas started for French River and suffered the setback before giving way to Deric Rivet in relief with the duo facing a combined 35 attempts against.
The result sees Powassan register their 170th regular season win while improving to 24-18-1-1 on the campaign to tighten the race between first and fifth in the NOJHL East, with only nine points separating that group in the standings.
Game Photos courtesy of Dal Photography