Voodoos to open up after preseason schedule ends

Voodoos bench during pre-season action in Renfrew. Photo by Chris Dawson/BayToday.

The Powassan Voodoos are about to embark on their eighth tour through the NOJHL, and this year’s iteration will see some major changes on and off the ice.

Kortney Kenney – BAYTODAY.ca

When it comes to who will helm the bench, Peter Goulet will take over from Marc Lafleur who resigned in late June to take a job in the QMJHL.

After running his first training camp in the Sportsplex, Goulet says there were some surprises, especially when it came to the support off the ice.

Up front gone are the likes of Brett Richardson, Rodion Tatarenko, Justin Spurrell through trades while Alex Bradshaw, Chase MacQueen-Spence, and Mike Levin made the jump to the OHL.

In their place are newcomers like Tucker Shields, Rhys Smetham, Nathan MacDonald along with a handful of American players.

“What I love about it is its small-town hockey,” he explained.

“I can’t believe the fans we had in supporting the young men in our first preseason game, it was all rookies and I think it was tremendous and moving forward I am looking forward to it.” “I have enjoyed meeting a lot of people here, and I am looking forward to being in this community and it’s awesome, I can’t wait for this opportunity.”

The Voodoos have played to a 2-2-1 record during preseason action, including back-to-back overtime thrillers against the French River Rapids.

The three losses (one in OT) came at the hands of the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians, and Renfrew Wolves as the Voodoos participated in the Valley Cottage Cup in Renfrew over the Labour Day weekend.

“It was a young team out there and I thought there was a lot of emotion out there,” Goulet said after the preseason opening game.

“I didn’t like all the penalties, but I think it was good. I thought the goalies played great against them.”

Powassan will open the season on Thursday, September 8 on the road against the Sudbury Cubs. Game time from the Nickel City will be 7 p.m.

However, for Goulet, just because camp is over, it doesn’t mean that spots on the team are guaranteed.

“There are always surprises. I said it in my press release, these guys have to earn their spot every day, just like I do as well as my staff. There’s always surprises at camp and guys down the road let go from the OHL, USHL, guys go up for trades, so the guys need to go out and do their job. We’re here to represent the owners of this hockey team in the communities in the area and we have to represent them well every day.”

Powassan will be the place to be next Saturday as the home opener will take place on September 10, pregame ceremonies get started at 7 p.m.

You can watch the Frontline gameday broadcast live on HockeyTV or listen live on the Frontline YouTube channel. The broadcast will get underway at 6:50 pm.