Visiting Blackhawks battle back against Voodoos

The Powassan Voodoos were unable to hold multiple two-goal leads in the second period against a stingy Mattawa squad that eventually stormed back to win 6-5 on Monday night.

“It was nice to come back for once,” said Mattawa Head Coach Taurean White, whose team has won 4 of their last 5 games.

“We’ve been playing well here in the second half of the season and the guys are committed to getting better. We hope to take this kind of momentum into the playoffs against the Voodoos next week.”

Voodoos GM Chris Dawson was disappointed in the result.  

“First off, we have to give credit to the Blackhawks, who have improved tremendously under White,” stated Dawson.  

“We played 3 games in 4 nights with only 3 lines due to injuries so I think our guys ran out of gas.  I hope this is an eye opener that we need to play 60 minutes to beat this team.”  

Powassan got on the board early in this one as forward Kyle Moore notched his 24th of the season just over a minute into the game.

Mattawa’s fire-power awakened soon after, however, as the Blackhawks peppered the Voodoos with shots until Forward Marco Luciani finished off a nice tic-tac-toe passing play with line-mates Jimmy Philbin and Brett Ouderkirk to square the game at 1-1.

The Voodoos came on strong late in the opening period with North Bay Battalion prospect David Sherman scoring off a nice pass from Brendan D’Agostino for Sherman’s 12th goal in only his 16th game with Powassan.

D’Agostino wasn’t done there as he added to the Voodoos lead with a quick fivehole snipe past Blackhawks Goaltender Josh Horner for his 18th marker of the year.

The Blackhawks got a weak one back just a minute into the middle frame after Defenceman Nick Grose’s harmless-looking backhand was tipped in by Forward Tanner Bowditch.

D’Agostino managed to restore the two-goal lead for the Voodoos but it was short-lived as Philbin notched his 18th goal of the season in a crowd of bodies outside the Powassan goal. Mattawa would eventually tie things up late in the period with Luciani’s second of the night.

The Blackhawks would complete the comeback early in the third after a costly giveaway in front of Voodoos net-minder Matt Young resulted in a wide open Tyler Broderson, who made no mistake for his 20th goal of the year to give Mattawa a 5-4 lead.

Both teams added late markers including an empty netter by Blackhawks Forward Brett Ouderkirk to add to his 4 point night.

The win was Mattawa’s first victory at the Powassan Sportplex all season as the Voodoos finished off the season series with a 9-4 record in 13 games against the Blackhawks.

Powassan’s next game comes on Friday night at Kirkland Lake before returning home on Saturday for their regular season finale against Cochrane.

The Blackhawks and Voodoos will renew their rivalry in the opening round of the NOJHL playoffs as they will face each other in a best-of-three affair, with the winner to play the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in the NOJHL East semi-finals.  Game 1 of that series will take place Monday, March 9th at the Powassan Sportsplex.  Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.