POWASSAN, Ont. – The Powassan Voodoos picked up goals in the second period while shorthanded, at even strength, and on the power play as they went on to defeat the French River Rapids 5-2 Wednesday night in a fast-paced Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair at the Powassan Sportsplex.
Neither side would convert offensively in a scoreless opening 20 minutes with French River netminder Matthew Perdue and his Powassan counterpart, Daniel Dirracolo, both handling each respective attempt they faced in the session.
An action-packed second stanza saw plenty of opportunities, including seeing an early penalty shot being awarded.
That came about after the Rapids’ Connor Picard split the Voodoos’ defence on a rush and was obstructed on his way to the net.
On his opportunity though, Dirracolo calmly outwaited him and stood tall, making a pad save to thwart the opportunity.
Going on to trade end-to-end chances, the visitors eventually broke the deadlock near the four-minute mark of the frame.
They got the game’s first goal after intercepting a clearing attempt and used a couple of quick passes before Picard did connect this time as he chipped the puck past the outstretched pad of the Powassan keeper, for his 11th of the campaign.
Countering fairly quickly, the home side drew level thanks to Liam Serviss forcing a turnover, which allowed Jake Fullerton to skate in on a two-on-one with his club down a skater where the defenceman elected to shoot and snapped in a shot from the left circle for his first NOJHL tally.
The frenzied pace continued and saw Powassan take the lead, shortly after the mid-period break, as Cameron Lemcke snagged a loose puck and stuffed in a wraparound between Perdue’s skate and the post.
With the tally, Lemcke now has points in four straight as he also notched his 20th career league marker.
Adding another via special teams, the Voodoos capitalized on the power play as they converted before the second intermission.
There, some solid work along the end boards helped Chase Strychaluk put a pass out front from behind the net that was promptly whipped in off a Nicholas Liotino one-timer at 17:20.
In the final frame, French River pulled back to within one on a play that saw Jordan Bax see a puck hit off his chest and allow him to move in and fire one past the glove of Dirracolo.
Regrouping, Powassan got that back when Conor O’Brien finished off a three-way passing play, with Thomas Gazich and Lemcke, from right on top of the Rapids’ net.
Helping put the game away with eight minutes to play, Tucker Shields made quick work of a feed he was provided in the slot, which he fired in for his team-leading 19th of the year.
Providing the set-up on the evening’s final goal was Mathieu MacMillan, who now has points in seven consecutive contests.
The win sees the Voodoos improve to 28-11-1-0 overall while the Rapids fell to 6-34-1-1.
“Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel