POWASSAN, Ont. – The Powassan Voodoos built-up a three-goal lead then had to withstand a comeback bid by the French River Rapids, before eventually prevailing 4-3 Friday in a Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League encounter at the Powassan Sportsplex.
Some crisp puck movement on a man advantage helped the Voodoos get on the board in the latter stages of the first frame, that resulted in Cameron Lemcke putting a feed in front from behind the goal line that was quickly hammered in by Ryan Patrick, who went short side on the Rapids’ Brady Dyer.
Up a skater themselves prior to the intermission, French River countered with an equalizer off the stick of Nolan Masson, who fired a low shot from a sharp angle that cleanly beat Powassan goalkeeper Tyson Wilcox at 18:34.
Moving to the middle stanza, the home side retook the lead six and a half minutes in thanks to Chase Thompson converting as he took a pass from newcomer Braeden Vis and ripped it past Dyer from the left wing.
It was more from Voodoos in the back-half of the session as they saw Rhys Smetham bank one in from along the goal line, then had Caleb Dawson convert as he was left with a tap-in off a Justin Rousseau set-up to make it 4-1.
Battling back in the third, French River made a game of it once more, beginning with a Matthew Shulist tally at 6:33 as he chipped one in on Wilcox.
The guests then notched another a couple of minutes after that thanks to Kai Clayton jamming one in off a goal-mouth scramble.
Getting Dyer out late for an extra attacker, the Rapids pressed to tie it and send it to overtime, but Powassan held on for the home ice triumph.
The victory helps them raise their record to 19-11-0-2 while the narrow setback sees French River dip to 8-25-1-0.