Photos: Marc Johnson
HEARST, Ont. – A Ben White power play goal nine minutes into the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Powassan Voodoos rallied for a 4-3 come from behind victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks Friday in Game 2 of their Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal at Claude Larose Recreation Centre.
The best-of-seven set is now tied 1-1 with Game 3 going Sunday night at the Powassan Sportsplex at 7 p.m.
Hearst needed just 41 seconds to open the scoring as Lumberjacks’ defenceman Jaden Raad picked off a clearing attempt and moved into the high slot where he whipped a shot through Powassan starter Alex Bugeja.
Going to the man advantage moments later, the Voodoos Mike Levin levelled the proceedings at 2:05 with a nice individual rush into the zone where he drove into the left circle and snapped one short side on netminder Liam Oxner.
Coming right back, Hearst regained the lead less than a minute later of a solid forecheck by his linemates helped Tyler Patterson bury one through a partial screen with a low wrist shot from the left of Bugeja.
Settling down from there, the score remained 2-1 for the home side through the rest of the period and into the first intermission.
In the middle stanza, Hearst went up by a pair midway through when Brayden Palfi knocked in a second chance, while going down, after being initially foiled on a nice save by Bugeja.
Pulling back to within one with three minutes left in the session, Brett Richardson capped off a nice three-way passing play while parked at the top of the crease to make it 3-2.
The Voodoos then tied it before the frame came to a close as Chase MacQueen-Spence set-up, Levin who ripped a shot over the blocker of Oxner from the left face off dot to knot the score at 3-3 after two.
In the third, Powassan took their first lead on the night at 9:05 when White slammed in a rebound off a one-timer from the slot by MacQueen-Spence, late into a man advantage opportunity.
Getting Oxner out for an extra attacker with over two minutes to play, to try and tie it and force overtime, Hearst had a number of quality chances to do so, but were denied by Bugeja and also had a shot from the slot ring off the post and stay out before time expired to send it back to Powassan even for Game 3 Sunday.
NOJHL East Division semifinal
Hearst Lumberjacks vs. Powassan Voodoos
Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
Game 1: Lumberjacks 4 Voodoos 1
Game 2: Voodoos 4 Lumberjacks 3
Game 3: Sunday, April 10 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 4: Monday, April 11 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 5: Wednesday, April 13 @ Hearst 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
Game 6*: Friday, April 15 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Sunday, April 17 @ Hearst 7 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)