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Lafleur steps down as Voodoos’ head coach

POWASSAN, Ont. – The Powassan Voodoos announce that coach Marc Lafleur has stepped down from his position with the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League club, the team announced Wednesday.

“I would like to take this time to announce that I will not be returning to the Powassan Voodoos for the 2022-23 hockey season,” said Lafleur.

“This past year has been an extremely enjoyable one coaching some players with great character and a willingness to improve.

“Working alongside general manager Chris Dawson has not only been gratifying, but I have come to consider him a good friend! Being surrounded by a great staff such as Josh Dale, JJ Johnson, Adam Kennedy, Rob Graham and people such as Stephen Boyle, who makes everything happen from behind the scenes, made my job much easier and rewarding.

“Although I always respected Jim Bruce from knowing him as the owner of an opponent in our league through the years, I have come to personally know him this past year and he is truly someone who is compassionate and cares about others! It was a pleasure working for you Jim!

“Just as hockey players strive to get better and attain another level; coaches, trainers, and support staff are no different and I was recently given the opportunity to do so and accepted the next challenge in my coaching career,” continued the two-time NOJHL coach of the year.

Lafleur led a young Voodoos squad to a 30-11-6-1 in 2021-22 good for third in the NOJHL East and then fell in 6 games in the conference semifinals to the Hearst Lumberjacks. He also guided the Hearst Lumberjacks in 2019 and the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in 2014 to league playoff championships.

Lafleur will move on to a higher level of hockey next season.

“Being part of the Voodoos organization helped me further develop as a coach and no doubt helped me get this new opportunity,” admitted Lafleur.

“I hope the Voodoos’ base will understand my decision and nevertheless, they will be in great hands with the aforementioned people that make this organization one of the top in Canada. My biggest regret will be that I was not able to bring a championship to the great fans of Powassan and to the people who dedicate so much of their time to the team.”

Chris Dawson, Voodoos GM, says the organization will miss Lafleur.

“We understand the situation and it is great news when our coaches move to a higher level of hockey too, not just our players,” said Dawson.

“We wish Marc tremendous success in his new opportunity as he is one of the really good people involved in the game of hockey.”

The Voodoos will be announcing the organization’s new head coach for the upcoming 2022-23 later this week.