Rob Fera – Sudbury Light Event Photography
SUDBURY, Ont. – A Cole Crowder close-range marker with 3:51 remaining in regulation proved to be the difference maker as the Greater Sudbury Cubs went on to edge the Powassan Voodoos 3-2 in a hard-fought Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest Thursday evening at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Taking the lead near the five-minute mark of the opening frame, Powassan powered out of their own zone and saw Mathieu MacMillan sent ahead up ice where he charged through the Greater Sudbury defence and in on goal where he snapped a shot by Cubs’ netminder Noah Metivier.
The home side actually carried most of the play in the period, holding a big edge in shots.
Having a solid opportunity to tie it midway through the first, Kyloe Ellis countered in transition and darted down the right wing where he fired a shot by Voodoos’ goalkeeper Daniel Dirracolo, but it rang off the cross bar and sailed out of play.
Greater Sudbury eventually drew even at 15:38 when Samuel Assinewai flew into Powassan territory and proceeded to rip a rising wrister over the shoulder of Dirracolo.
The marker now gives him tallies in three straight games as well as point in each of his past dozen outings played.
It appeared that the visitors had retaken the lead late in the session, but it was eventually waived off as it was deemed Metivier was inadvertently obstructed by a Voodoos player, which contributed to the puck going into the net.
Eventually, it was the Cubs who went in front late in the second stanza.
There, a red-hot Pierson Sobush worked his way free in the slot after some solid work in the offensive zone and buried his NOJHL-leading 29th goal of the season over the glove of Dirracolo.
The marker was also the 50th of his NOJHL career as he ran a consecutive game point streak to 11 in succession.
The surging Sobush has also scored at least once in 13 of his previous 15 contests.
Moving to the third, the guests converted on the power play at 9:09 to tie it with Tucker Shields lifting in a backhand off his own shot from the right circle that Metivier could not contain.
That goal gives Shields a team-best 17 tallies as well as a seven-game point streak.
Carrying a big edge in terms of shots on net, Greater Sudbury collected the difference maker late as Crowder collected a rebound off an Assinewai attempt from up high and moved to his left before lifting in the game-winner.
Going with an extra attacker with under two minutes to go, Powassan pressed hard to force overtime, but the Cubs held firm to become the first team in the league this season to reach 30 wins (30-5-2-0).
With the narrow setback, the Voodoos saw their record dip to 23-11-1-0 overall.