Powassan’s second period powerplay surge was all the Voodoos needed to prevail as they scored quick and often en route to a 9-3 victory against the struggling Blind River Beavers at the Sportsplex on Friday night.
It took Powassan until midway through the first period to solve Blind River Goaltender Zach Mills as Voodoos Defenceman Jeremy St. Pierre opened the scoring with his 6th goal of the season off a nice give-and-go play with Forward Michael Silveri. North Bay Battalion prospect Kyle Moore added to the lead with his 22nd after a nice backhand feed by Powassan’s leading scorer Steve Harland.
The Beavers answered shortly after, however, as Defenceman Austin Lamont scored on a seeing-eye shot from the point. The Voodoos would eventually restore the two-goal lead before the end of the period as Forwards Brendan D’Agostino and Jake Staples connected on a 2-on-1 rush to make it 3-1 with D’Agostino picking up his 17th marker of the year.
Special teams proved to be the story in the second frame as the Voodoos scored three straight on the man-advantage to start the period with Forward David Sherman sniping twice and Silveri adding the other to increase the Powassan lead to 6-1.
Moore would score soon after for his second tally of the game off another great dish by Harland before Beavers Forward Nathan Hans replied late with his 12th of the season. Harland would eventually finish the game with 4 helpers to move him into the NOJHL scoring lead with 90 points.
Harland expressed his excitement about the scoring race and commented on his chemistry with line-mates David Sherman and Kyle Moore.
“It’s unexpected for me but it feels pretty good,” said Harland, who is in his first season in the NOJHL.
“There’s a couple games left to pick up some more points and 100 in my first year would be cool but we’ll see. We’ve picked it up with our line and even though there were some ups and downs we found a connection together and have been playing really well lately.”
After both team’s traded goals to start the third period, Silveri notched his second marker of the game to seal the deal for the Voodoos.
Powassan outshot Blind River 53-21 with back-up Goaltender Jack Ondrovic making 18 saves in the contest to pick up his 6th victory of the year.
“He’s been getting a lot of action lately and that’s what he needs,” said Head Coach Scott Wray regarding Ondrovic’s recent progress with the team.
“He’s not going to improve sitting on the bench so we are trying to play him down the stretch and I thought he played well again tonight.”
Wray also spoke on Harland’s breakout season with the Voodoos.
“His play speaks for himself and you can’t put it into words,” said Wray.
“He’s a great player and a fantastic kid. He’s embraced the role as the face of the franchise and it’s nice to see him get the recognition he deserves.”
Harland and the Voodoos squad are back in action Saturday night as they take on the Elliot Lake Wildcats at the Powassan Sportsplex. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.