TIMMINS, Ont. – A trio of tallies in the second stanza helped the Timmins Rock skate to a 4-3 victory over the Powassan Voodoos Thursday in Game No. 1 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s East Division final, in front of over 1,100 fans at McIntyre Arena.
Timmins came out strong, carrying the play in the opening period, with the Rock holding a big edge in shots on goal, but were unable to beat Voodoos’ starter Kannon Flageolle.
However, it was Powassan who capitalized with an late opportunity down low that saw Chase Strychaluk find an open Kaedyn Long, who buried his point-blank chance on goalkeeper Jacob Brown, with just over a minute remaining in the session.
Heading to the middle frame, Timmins roared out to a quick beginning by striking twice in the first three minutes to take the lead.
Ethan Pool tied it for the home side at 1:54 as he powered his way down the left side before cutting in and lifting his chance over Flageolle.
The hosts then tacked on another on the next shift with Lucas Lowe snagging a loose puck before darting around the net and stuffing in a wrap around effort for his third of the playoffs.
Adding another, Yan Bessette split the Voodoos defence and went in on a partial break where he outwaited Flageolle then cut left and slid one into the open corner at 10:41.
Getting one back moments into a man advantage, Mitch Wilkie moved in from the right point and put a rising attempt into the top left corner past a screened Brown.
Staying 3-2 Rock until late in regulation, they saw Brady Harroun send a shot from his own zone into an empty net to put them up by two.
That marker would prove to be the game-winner as the Voodoos clicked on the power play just before the final buzzer sounded as Cameron Lemcke redirected in an Alex Little attempt from inside the blueline to close out the scoring.
The clubs are right back at it Friday in Timmins for Game 2 with a 7 p.m. start and on HockeyTV.com.
NOJHL East Division Final
Game 1: Rock 4 Voodoos 3
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)
Timmins leads best-of-seven series 1-0
Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network