SUDBURY, Ont. – Game No. 1 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s East Division final between the Timmins Rock and Powassan Voodoos goes Thursday at McIntyre Arena, with a 7 p.m. start.
Here’s a look at the best-of-seven match-up:
HOW THEY ARRIVED: The league-leading Rock knocked off the French River Rapids in five games to book their place in the series, while the Voodoos took care of the Hearst Lumberjacks, in a match-up that need six outings before being finalized.
Rock: Brandon Perry
Voodoos: Peter Goulet
Timmins: Playoffs: 4-1 – Regular season: 45-8-3-2 (1st NOJHL East/1st Overall)
Powassan: Playoffs: 4-2 – Regular season: 37-20-1-0 (3rd NOJHL East/6th Overall)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Timmins won the season series versus Powassan by a 3-1 count.
The Rock outscored the Voodoos 21-15 along the way while taking both contests at the Powassan Sportsplex and splitting the two match-ups at McIntyre Arena.
Sept. 30: @ Powassan (5-3 Rock)
Oct. 30: @ Timmins (4-2 Voodoos)
Feb. 18: @ Powassan (7-4 Rock)
Feb. 26: @ Timmins (7-4 Rock)
Game 1: Thursday, April 6 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 2: Friday, April 7 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 3: Sunday, April 9 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 4: Tuesday, April 11 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 5*: Wednesday, April 12 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 6*: Saturday, April 15 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 18 @ Timmins 7 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
1ST ROUND: Brady Harroun, the league’s leading goal-getter during the course of the regular season, leads all playoff skaters in tallies with six. … He’s also tied with teammate Nicolas Pigeon for fourth in postseason scoring with eight points apiece. … Right behind them are Justin Charette and Nolan Ring, who have seven points each. … Timmins has also received quality production from the back-end as defenceman Felix Cadieux-Fredette has six points, while Kenyon Nyman and Christophe Petit both have five. … Cadieux-Fredette enters the series riding a five-game point streak. … Jacob Brown, who is 3-0 in the playoffs, leads all NOJHL netminders in playoff goals-against average and save percentage at 1.33 and .947 respectively. … Brown also had the lone shutout among all teams who took part in the first round. … Evan Grigor and Petit are knotted for fourth in rookie scoring with five points each. … The Rock are 3-0 on home ice so far in the playoffs and 1-1 on the road. … They are 2-0 when scoring first in a game. … Timmins sits third in power play success at 23.5%, having eight goals in a league-high 34 opportunities. … The Rock are a perfect 15-15 on the P.K. in the postseason to lead the league at 100% in that department. … They are 3-0 when leading after two periods of play. … Timmins currently tops the NOJHL in playoff attendance, averaging 811 spectators through three home games.
REGULAR SEASON: A banner campaign for Timmins saw them win both the league’s East Division title and the NOJHL’s overall regular season crown by going 45-8-3-2 and registering 95 points. … The Rock were led offensively by the tandem of NOJHL MVP Nicolas Pigeon and fellow 1st Team All-Star forward Brady Harroun. … Pigeon paced all league skaters in offensive numbers with 107 points. … He also led all players in assists with 81, while his 44 points on the power play topped all players. … As for Harroun, he became the first NOJHLer since 2016 to notch 50 goals in season. … His 50 tallies were the most in league play, as were his nine game-winning markers and 20-man advantage efforts. … Harroun’s 96 points trailed only Pigeon as he finished second overall in scoring. … Pigeon wrapped up the regular season with points in 21 straight contests while Harroun had a 20-game run to conclude play. … Nicholas Frederick’s three shorthanded markers tied him for second-highest in the league. … Kenyon Nyman, who also earned 1st Team NOJHL All-Star status, paced all league defencemen in assists and points with 49 and 60 respectively. … He was also tops in power play points among blueliners with 30. … Brandon Rossetti’s four game-winners tied for the league lead among defencemen. … Goaltenders Jacob Brown (1.49) and Patrick Boivin (1.98) both had solid seasons for Timmins, finishing one-two in the league in terms of goals-against average. … Brown was second in save percentage (.925), while Boivin (.920) sat sixth. … Brown’s seven shutouts led the NOJHL and Boivin, who led the league in wins (27) shared second with six shutouts to his credit. … The Rock scored the second-most goals on the season with 273 and allowed the fewest with just 111 against. … Timmins went 36-3-1-1 when scoring first in a game this season. … Special teams played a big part in the Rock’s success during the campaign as they led the NOJHL in power play success at 27.5% and were second on the P.K. at 84.5%. … The Rock were 40-1-0-2 when leading after two periods of play.
1ST ROUND: Powassan picked up big numbers from both captain Alex Little and Chase Strychaluk in their first round triumph over the Lumberjacks. … Little scored five times and dished out four assists, with his nine points leading all NOJHL defencemen. … As for Strychaluk, he doled out nine helpers, which tops all league skaters. … Their totals tie them for second in playoff scoring. … Mitch Wilkie sits second in offensive production among D-men with seven points, all of which are assists. … Little paces all rearguards in markers while Wilkie does likewise in helpers. … Wilkie is also second in power play assists, with four and is riding a league-best six-game point streak. … Little has the lone penalty shot goal in the playoffs to date. … Kannon Flageolle started all six games for the Voodoos against Hearst and shares the league playoff lead in victories with four. … The disciplined Voodoos had the fewest penalty minutes in opening round, as they also did in the regular season. … Powassan has gone 3-1 when scoring first. … The club sits fourth overall on the power play at 22.7%. … They are eighth however on the penalty kill at just 53.8%, allowing six-man advantage markers in the 13 times they’ve been shorthanded. … 10 of their 23 goals scored against Hearst came in the first period of games. … Powassan is unbeaten when leading after two periods of play, so far in the playoffs, at 4-0.
REGULAR SEASON: Powassan’s Alex Little, who was named the league’s top defenceman and a 1st Team NOJHL All-Star, topped all league defensemen in goals with 21 and point-per-game average at 1.07. … The Voodoos’ captain also finished second in points among rearguards with 58, in 54 games played, marking a 30-point improvement over last season, while establishing personal single-season bests in goals, assists and points. … Little’s totals placed him in a tie for 15th among all players. … Second team all-star Tucker Shields was next on the squad with 55 points in 57 games. … Of his 26 tallies, eight of Shields’ goals were game-winners, which was just one off the overall league lead. … Ryan Patrick’s 41 points put him 10th among first-year junior players. … Jack Kelly’s 17 goals were the ninth-most among rookies. … Second team all-star on defence, Mitch Wilkie, contributed 42 points from the back end for Powassan, which was the sixth-highest total among league blueliners. … Nicholas Liotino’s six power play goals led all NOJHL D-men. … Netminder Kannon Flageolle tied for third in wins this season with 22. … His 2.71 average was eighth in the league and sat 10th in save percentage at .913. … Daniel Dirracolo added 14 victories of his own while sporting a 2.71 GAA. … His .921 save mark was fifth in the NOJHL. … Powassan was sixth in league play in both goals-for and goals-against at 225 and 171 respectively. … The Voodoos went 27-6-0-0 when scoring first in a game. … The club was sixth overall on the power play at 21.1% and ninth on the P.K. at 79.1%. … Their eight shorthanded markers tied them for fourth in the league. … Very good at holding a lead when ahead after two periods of play, NOJHL Coach of the Year Peter Goulet’s squad were a solid 25-1-0-0. … The Voodoos had 10 players provide two, or more, game-winning goals on the campaign.
UP NEXT: The East Division title holder will move on to meet either the Greater Sudbury Cubs or Soo Thunderbirds for the NOJHL championship.
The league winner will then move on to represent the NOJHL at the Centennial Cup, May 11-21, in Portage la Prairie, Man.
WHERE TO WATCH: All NOJHL playoff games can be streamed live, and on demand, via HockeyTV.com.
Photo credit: Thomas Perry / Timmins Daily Press