GALLERY: Powassan eliminates Hearst

Photos: Northern Lights Photography

HEARST, Ont. – The Powassan Voodoos broke open a one-goal game with four third period tallies to defeat the Hearst Lumberjacks 7-3 Friday in Game 5 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East semifinal at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.

With the outcome, the Voodoos take the best-of-seven series 4-1 and will now meet the Timmins Rock in the East Division final beginning next week.

Notching the night’s initial marker at 11:39 of the first frame, Powassan’s Michael MacLean led a rush up ice and dished a pass off to Reyth Smith who picked the short-side corner on Hearst netminder Russ Decoste, for his team-leading sixth goal of the playoffs.

Banging in the equalizer just over three minutes later, the Lumberjacks’ Alex McDonald banked in a rebound off a Cooper Moore attempt from the slot that went in off of Voodoos’ starter Daniel Dirracolo.

Moving to the second stanza, the Voodoos went back in front when Carson Ricci took a play wide and sent a low shot from a sharp angle that leaked through Decoste as trickled across the goal line at 8:36.

That resulted in Hearst opting to make a goaltending change, with back-up Tristan Boileau entering in relief.

Going ahead by two, Powassan’s Ryan Patrick pressured a turnover and found an open Dylan McElhinny in front who went to his right and tucked in a low backhand.

Battling back to within one, Hearst’s Mathieu Comeau worked his way along the side boards and sent a crisp feed in front that was snapped in by Moore at 15:40.

Answering that three minutes into the third, the Voodoos’ Mathieu MacMillan was gifted a giveaway at the Lumberjacks’ line and skated in alone before sizzling a shot by Boileau.

Pulling one back while up a skater, Comeau slammed one home from the left of Dirracolo.

However, the visitors countered at 8:24 courtesy of Zach Turner, who chose to shoot in finishing off a two-on-one.

The Voodoos then supplied some insurance with McElhinny banging in his second of the evening.

They then secured the series with MacLean scoring into an empty net from centre ice.

NOJHL East Division semifinal
Hearst Lumberjacks vs. Powassan Voodoos
Powassan wins best-of-seven series 4-1

Game 1: Voodoos 5 Lumberjacks 4 (OT)
Game 2: Lumberjacks 6 Voodoos 5
Game 3: Voodoos 4 Lumberjacks 3 (OT)
Game 4: Voodoos 4 Lumberjacks 3 (OT)
Game 5: Voodoos 7 Lumberjacks 3