PHOTO BY VOODOOSHOCKEY.COM
The Powassan Voodoos are back at it in their NOJHL opener tonight at 7 pm at the Sportsplex. They boast 11 returnees from last years squad.
The Powassan Voodoos hope Mr. Little will be big for them in the coming Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League which opens at the Sportsplex on Friday night as French River visits.
Team captain Alex Little is set to lead the Powassan blueline as he closes in on a franchise record for most points among defencemen.
NOJHL Coach of the Year Peter Goulet is back trying to take the Voodoos back to the league finals.
Last year the Voodoos upset Hearst in round one but were run over by league champion Timmins in round two.
Powassan General Manager Chris Dawson thinks that series was tilted against his team by some early series injuries.
“Losing two key players in a matter of ten minutes in Kaedyn Long and Chase Thompson, both hurt in that first game really put us back. It was not so much that we did not have the skill (to match up with Timmins), it was the issue that our depth took a big hit when we lost those two players,” says the long-time Voodoo General Manager.
Powassan has 11 returning players, which is a high number, and one the Voodoos can use to make a push for top spot in the league.
“It is an older team with only two 17-year-olds and two 16-year-olds, and the rest are 18 to 20. We will have a more veteran-laden lineup since that we ever had with the Voodoos,” says Dawson.
A number of the newer Powassan players got some valuable ice time with spot appearances during last season. Something very helpful in Dawson’s eyes.
“A lot of the new guys got a taste of what it is like to play for the Voodoos, and it has been a smooth transition (for them) this year,” says Dawson. “We also added a couple of American players in Darby McCarthy and Zack Turner, and they really have fit right in,” remarked Dawson.
The Voodoos will also carry four North Bay Battalion draftees in their lineup. Forward Reyth Smith, forward Caleb Dawson, forward Chase Thompson and defenceman Carson Ricci.
It was a busy preseason for the Voodoos as they took part in six exhibition contests. At the Valley Cottage Cup in Renfrew, Reyth Smith and Jackson Cullin topped the team offensively with three points each.
The Voodoos have a light schedule to start the regular season.
The open Friday night at home versus French River, then have a week off before Blind River and the Greater Sudbury Cubs visit.