POWASSAN, Ont. – A Cade Herd goal early in the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Powassan Voodoos went on to defeat the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 3-1 Thursday evening in Game 4 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal at the Powassan Sportsplex.
With the outcome, the Voodoos now lead this best-of-seven series 3-1 with Game 5 going Saturday in Kirkland Lake at 7 p.m. with the Gold Miners needing a victory there to keep their season alive.
A tight-checking first frame Thursday saw neither side connect offensively through a scoreless period.
Powassan meanwhile picked up the lone marker of the second session near the midway mark as Samuel Bourdages collected his first NOJHL playoff goal helping the Voodoos carry a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
The home side then went up by a pair thanks to Herd at 2:10 of the third as he finished off a Henry Scott feed with the eventual difference maker.
However, Kirkland Lake countered 72 seconds later to cut into the deficit as Sam Ellwood helped set-up Aiden Wagner to make it 2-1 with over 16 and a half minutes remaining in regulation.
It stayed that way until into the final minute when the Voodoos’ Tomas Yachmenev fired one into an empty net at 19:06 to secure the decision.
Joe Vrbetic made 34 saves to record the win while Gregory Brassard finished with 30 stops in suffering a narrow defeat.
East Division semifinal
No. 2 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners vs. No. 3 Powassan Voodoos
Powassan leads best-of-seven series 3-1
Game 1: Powassan 2 Kirkland Lake 0
Game 2: Powassan 8 Kirkland Lake 3
Game 3: Kirkland Lake 2 Powassan 1
Game 4: Powassan 3 Kirkland Lake 1
Game 5: Saturday, March 23 @ Kirkland Lake 7 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 24 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, March 26 @ Kirkland Lake 7 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)