Powassan fell behind early in Game 6 but ultimately came storming back against Kirkland Lake to win 6-3 at the Sportsplex on Sunday night to eliminate the Gold Miners and advance to the East Division Finals.
“This game was a nail-biter for the coaching staff,” said Voodoos Head Coach Scott Wray.
“I am so proud of these boys and I can’t say enough good things about them. As a player, you prepare for these games differently than coaches. You kind of want to press the fast-forward button and just get through it. My hats off to Kirkland for the way they played in the series and for their great season.”
The Voodoos didn’t get the start they wanted at home as the Gold Miners struck just 45 seconds in with Forward Connor Thie quickly putting away a rebound from Powassan Goaltender Matt Young to open the scoring.
After getting into some penalty trouble early, the Voodoos were able to kill off the infractions and eventually reply on the scoreboard with post-season leading scorer Jake Staples notching his 1st of the night to square the game up midway through the period.
The Voodoos took the lead just a couple shifts later as Forward Aaron Dart scored his 3rd tally of the post-season off a nifty pass from line-mate Nathan McLeod.
Staples was back at it for Powassan with a quick wrist shot that beat Kirkland Lake net-minder Josh Erickson late in the first for a 3-1 Voodoos lead with both Dart and McLeod drawing helpers on the play.
The Gold Miners and Voodoos traded goals in the middle frame as Battalion prospect Kyle Moore gave Powassan a 3-goal lead with his 6th goal of the playoffs off a nice 2 on 1 dish from line-mate Steve Harland. Kirkland Lake cut back into the lead with
Thie’s 2nd of the game off a fortunate bounce deflection behind Young with less than 5 minutes remaining to set up a suspenseful third period.
The Voodoos McLeod let a crowd of 433 breathe a little easier in the final period as he beat Erickson with a turn-around slap shot just 2 minutes in to restore the 3-goal lead. That lead was shot-lived, however, as Gold Miners Forward Joel Fortin scored his 1st goal of the series off a Luc Soares rebound shot to make it 5-3.
The last few minutes brought a tension and nervousness to everyone in the Powassan Sportsplex as the Voodoos held on tight to eke out the victory as Forward Michael Silveri hit the empty-netter to seal the deal for Powassan.
With the series win the Voodoos advance to play the Cochrane Crunch in the East Division Finals which are expected to begin next weekend for games 1 and 2 in Cochrane.