POWASSAN, Ont. – A Rodion Tatarenko tally nearly three minutes into overtime was the difference as the Powassan Voodoos rallied late before prevailing 5-4 over the French River Rapids Wednesday in an entertaining Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League match-up at the Powassan Sportsplex.
French River opened the night’s scoring midway through the first period as Cooper Bowman notched his 10th of the season as he took a feed to the net and made a move to his left before lifting a backhand over top Powassan starter Owen Wray.
The Voodoos had a great chance to tie it in the latter stages of the frame but the Rapids’ Cole Sheffield came across his crease to make a tremendous pad save in robbing Mike Levin from point-blank range.
However, the home side kept pressing and were rewarded with an equalizer at 18:52 as Carson Ricci left it for Justin Spurrell who made a great rush up the ice and fed Owen Fergusson in the slot who slammed in his third tally of the campaign.
Moving to the middle stanza, the Rapids regained the lead after a lengthy stretch pass and a close play on the blueline that allowed Spencer Hughes to come in alone where he snapped in a quick shot to collect his sixth.
Heading to the third, Powassan came back to tie it once again as Tatarenko made a nice spinning pass from the right side that found the stick of Mike Levin who chipped it over the pad of Rapids goalkeeper Cole Sheffield at 3:44.
They then took their first lead of the night a couple minutes later with Fergusson collecting his second of the contest as Spurrell played set-up man again with a cross-crease pass that saw the Voodoos forward beat the defenceman to the net and convert from close range.
Coming back to tie it at 11:15 Chase Lefebvre knocked in a short feed from behind the net by Bowman that got under goaltender Wray’s glove.
Then after being stymied on a three-on-one, French River came right back off the draw went ahead courtesy of Chase Thompson, who buried his own rebound while right on top of the crease.
However, with their goalkeeper out for an extra attacker, Powassan put on big pressure and forced extra time with 9.8 seconds left in regulation on a tying tally that went to Alexander Bradshaw with bodies battling right in front of the net.
A back and forth OT saw Tatarenko end it as he picked up his own rebound off a chance from the slot and propel the game-winner over Sheffield’s glove to pull out the home ice victory.
Shots on goal finished 36-34 in the Rapids favour with Wray getting the victory while Sheffield’s efforts helped his club collect a point.
VIDEO “Highlight of the Night” – NOJHL YouTube Channel