POWASSAN, Ont. – A nice redirection power play marker by Mathieu Comeau with under seven minutes remaining in regulation proved to be the difference maker as the Hearst Lumberjacks went on to edge the Powassan Voodoos 3-2 in the third game of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal Tuesday at the Powassan Sportsplex.
The victory is the first of the series for Hearst, who now trails the best-of-seven affair 2-1, with Game 4 set for Wednesday at 7 p.m., back in Powassan.
The visiting Lumberjacks also began the scoring just over four minutes into the match-up as they forced a turnover and eventually saw Riley Klugerman fire a shot over the shoulder of Voodoos’ netminder Kannon Flageolle from the left faceoff circle.
Hearst went on to add another before the first intermission when Mason Svarich darted in to the net from the outside and slammed in a crisp cross-crease pass from Andrew Morton, late into a man advantage opportunity.
Action in the second stanza saw Powassan answer with a couple of tallies of their own to tie things up.
Thomas Gazich notched the first one for the home side during a power play, 11 minutes into the session, when he took a Mitch Wilkie feed on the right side and ripped a shot off the post and in, to beat Ethan Dinsdale in the Lumberjacks net.
They then drew level at 14:51 as Kaedyn Long darted down the right wing and sent a play towards the target that was neatly steered in by Jack Kelly.
In the third, the guests regained the lead while up a skater as Emile Pichette made a spin move inside the blueline, then found the tape of Comeau, who neatly redirected one past Flageolle at 13:18 for the game-winner.
Getting their goalie out with a couple of minutes left, Powassan used the extra skater to try and tie it and force extra time, however Hearst held firm defensively to secure the road victory and get themselves back 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: Wednesday, March 29 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
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)
Powassan leads best-of-seven series 2-1