POWASSAN, Ont. – A Mathieu MacMillan marker early in the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Powassan Voodoos went on to defeat the Espanola Paper Kings 6-4 Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at the Powassan Sportsplex.
The Voodoos began the scoring just over five minutes into the contest when Rhys Smetham knocked in a rebound while parked to the left of Paper Kings’ starter Jake Marois.
Powassan then came right back and made it 2-0 less than a minute later as captain Alex Little led a rush up ice, dumped the puck off the end boards, and was first to reach it as he then put it by Marois.
Espanola answered back however by striking twice as well to send the sides to the first intermission knotted a 2-2.
A surging Lucas Signoretti put the visitors on the board at 16:04 when he notched his 28th of the campaign by putting one into the corner past a diving Voodoos’ goalkeeper Daniel Dirracolo, after taking a Joshua Rumolo feed from the right side.
The guests then answered with an equalizer while on the power play as Benjamin Lacroix put one through Dirracolo from a sharp angle just over a minute later.
In the middle frame, the Voodoos went back on top at 5:37 on a play that saw Chase Thompson wheel down the right wing, then lean in towards the middle where he slipped a chance through the legs of Marois to give him goals in three consecutive outings.
Answering with another tying tally, Signoretti forced a turnover and eventually buried a cross-ice one-timer from Lacroix for his second of the night and his eighth goal in his past four games.
Espanola then took the lead during a man advantage thanks to Rumolo sending a rising shot from the right point that sailed through a maze of bodies along the way at 14:16.
Powassan then answered themselves to make it 4-4 thanks to Jack Kelly lifting in a backhander to send the squads to the second intermission all square.
In the third, another lead change the Voodoos go back in front after a Paper Kings defender lost an edge and fell, which allowed MacMillan an uncontested chance on net, which he converted by picking the corner with a nice shot from the right wing.
Adding another, the hosts went up by a pair when Kaedyn Long chipped one by Marois off a Kelly attempt towards the target to round out the scoring.
The victory sees Powassan raise their record to 31-11-1-0 while Espanola dropped to 22-18-2-2 in defeat.