KIRKLAND LAKE, ON – The Voodoos and Gold Miners were separated by 40 points in the regular season standings but the playoffs are a new season.
The Voodoos built up a 4-3 lead after 2 periods and added two more insurance markers in the third to defeat the defending NOJHL champions 6-3 in game 1 of the best-of-seven NOJHL Eastern Division semi-final series Saturday night.
“It was a big win, coming into their barn, it’s a difficult place to play,” stated Voodoos forward Steven Harland.
“But some key players such as Matt Young and David Sherman came up clutch and helped us pick up a W, and it was a great overall team win.”
Special teams allowed the Voodoos to strike first as Jake Staples connected on the power play 6:21 into the contest.
The Gold Miners drew level however before the opening stanza was complete as Chris Pearson picked up his first of the playoffs at 17:37.
Tallies 75 seconds apart saw Powassan go up by two in the middle session on efforts supplied by David Sherman and Aaron Dart.
Countering, Kirkland Lake added two of their own to tie it once again as Jeremy Dumont and Ethan Strong scored to level the proceedings at 3-3.
Sherman then notched the eventual difference make with 1:20 left in the frame.
In the third, the visitors put the game away getting goals from league MVP and rookie of the year Steve Harland along with another high-scoring Voodoos forward in Kyle Moore to cap off the opening night upset.
Matt Young turned aside 31 of 34 shots fired his way to pick up the win as he improved to 3-0 in the postseason after Powassan took two two straight from the Mattawa Blackhawks in the first round.
Josh Erickson started for the Gold Miners and allowed three against on 13 attempts while Devon Debastos gave up three more on 14 shots and suffered the loss in nearly 31 minutes of relief.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven affair goes Sunday back in Kirkland Lake at 7:30 p.m. at The Joe.