Kyle Moore’s hatrick proved to be too much for the visiting Blackhawks in the opening game of the NOJHL playoffs as the Voodoos flew away with 4-2 victory at the Sportsplex on Monday night.
The Voodoos and Blackhawks wasted little time getting acquainted in this one as both squads carried over the rivaled intensity from their regular season outings with some strong physical play early on to set the tone.
After a failed power-play by Mattawa, Powassan got their chance with the man-advantage as Forward Kyle Moore wristed home the first post-season goal in Voodoos brief history to make it 1-0 midway through the first.
“It felt great to chip in but I’m just glad I could help out on the scoreboard,” said Moore, who finished 2nd in scoring for the Voodoos this season.
“This was one of our best games all year. The guys played a full sixty minutes and I couldn’t be any more proud of the boys with the win.”
The hard-hitting play continued in the second period as the Voodoos came out strong once again with some early chances on Mattawa Goaltender Joe Sheppard. It wasn’t until the 7 minute mark of the middle frame that Powassan added to their lead with Moore notching his second goal after a smart play to walk out front and roof it on Sheppard.
Mattawa would cut into the Powassan lead late in the period after Forward Brett Ouderkirk scored off a rebound shot on the power-play to put the Blackhawks on the board.
Moore was back at it in the third as he restored the two-goal lead for the Voodoos with a sensational coast-to-coast wrap-around goal for the hatrick.
“Most will just see the 3 goals he scored but he did so much more tonight for us,” Powassan Head Coach Scott Wray added about Moore’s big night.
“His two-way game was incredible tonight and he was so responsible in his own end for us. He was playing a 200 foot game and he was rewarded with a hatrick.”
Fellow North Bay Battalion prospect Brendan D’Agostino added a goal for the Voodoos shortly after to increase the lead to 4-1 off a rebound chance from Jake Staples. Staples would finish the game with 2 assists.
Mattawa’s Reed Gregory would score a shorthanded goal late in the third in hopes of a comeback but it was too late as Powassan Goaltender Matt Young turned aside 16 of 18 shots in the victory.
Voodoos regular season scoring leader Steve Harland added 2 assists in the win after being named the NOJHL’s Most Valuable Player and NOJHL Rookie of the Year earlier in the day.
Game 2 between Powassan and Mattawa is set for Tuesday, March 10th at the Mike Rodden Arena in Mattawa. Game time is 7:30 p.m.