NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Saturday, March 5, 2016
Voodoos victorious in regular season finale
POWASSAN, Ont. – Francois Lemelin’s deflection off an Aaron Dart shot was the game-winning goal with 4:32 remaining as the Powassan Voodoos skated to a 5-4 victory over the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Saturday evening at the Powassan Sportsplex.
In the Voodoos final game of the regular season, Tyler Peters staked the home side to the lead 11:17 into the contest as he notched his 42nd marker in 2015-16.
A flurry of tallies less than three minutes apart saw each team strike twice later in the session with Bradley Chenier and Kendall Huckins scoring for Rayside-Balfour while Tyler Gervais-Rolfe and Alexi Rivet countered for Powassan to send the clubs into the second stanza with the Voodoos up 3-2.
After Nicholas Siracuse put Powassan up by two 3:29 into the middle frame, Ryan Erickson reached the 25-goal plateau for the Canadians at 8:21 as he converted during a man advantage opportunity.
Brett Whitehead tied it at 4-4 before the third period was two minutes old as he collected his fifth marker of the campaign, also via the power play.
That set the stage for Lemelin to tip in the difference maker in the latter stages of the contest as the Voodoos held on from there for the victory.
Dart chipped in with three assists for Powassan while Makenzie MacMillan had a pair of helpers for Rayside-Balfour.
Garrett Forrest was called upon to make 45 saves in earning the win for the Voodoos.
Jesse Morin started for the Canadians, but was replaced by MacKenzie Savard after the third Powassan goal making 10 stops on 13 attempts.
Savard stopped 23 of 25 in relief and suffered the loss.
With the result, the Voodoos wrapped up the regular season with a record of 40-10-3-1 to finish tied with the Cochrane Crunch with 84 points.
Cochrane however captures the NOJHL East division title by virtue of earning one more point than Powassan in head-to-head action between the two sides. Each team won twice in four meetings, but the Crunch picked up the extra point with an overtime defeat.
It also means the Voodoos will meet the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners to begin the playoffs while Cochrane will take on the winner of the Timmins – Iroquois Falls play-in series.
Rayside-Balfour meanwhile wraps up their regular season slate Sunday at home vs. French River at 6 p.m.
Their opponent in West division quarter-final action will be the Elliot Lake Wildcats.