With both Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League junior ‘A’ franchises making history and appearing in their first ever Copeland McNamara Cup championships, the fifth place Blind River Beavers headed into Powassan on April 15th to meet the first place Powassan Voodoos in post – season action.
Powassan’s Brett Hahkala sinks his fourth of the post – season 2:51 into the opening period to give the Voodoos a 1 – 0 lead with Eric Nagy and Tyson Gilmour had the helpers on Hahkala’s goal. 48 seconds before the halfway mark of the period, Andy Baker scores the Voodoos second of the contest to bring the lead to 2 – 0. Gary Mantz and Parker Bowman added the contributors on Baker’s power play goal at the 9:12 mark of the first. Beaver Max Khull closes the gap to one for Blind River at 17:08 of the period to send the game into the first intermission 2 – 1. Zac Lambrecht and Yianni Liarakos drew the assists on Khull’s power play goal.
43 seconds into the final period, Lambrecht fires the tying goal for the Beavers to even the game at 2 – 2 with defensemen Cole Peck and Noah Medalsy registering the helpers on Lambrecht’s sixth of the play – offs. At 13:53 of the final period, Voodoo Ryan Theriault finds the back of Beaver goaltender Myles Hektor’s net to give Powassan a 3 – 2 win. Gilmour and Hahakala had the assists on Theriault’s winning goal for Powassan. Netminder Nate McDonald stopped 28 of 30 shots for Powassan while Beaver goaltender Myles Hektor turned away 29 of 32 shots in the 3 – 2 loss.
Blind River coach Kyle Brick told the Junior Hockey Network that “we want to change for game 3 is that guys get some rest and can return to the line up, I’m am very happy with our effort and compete level this evening. I thought we took it to them. In the third they had a hard time handling us, our boys deserved a better fate tonight, but hey that’s hockey.”
“The Voodoos are a hell of a hockey team and make you pay for your mistakes and that’s what happened. We’re excited to get back to the ‘DAM’ where the best fans in the league will be at their loudest” said Brick.
“Tonight’s win was not easy. Each team traded chances all night long. There bench is short and they are still working very hard and making us work for everything. Heading into blind river we are going to try and play a simple road game. We are looking for a split that is our mentality” said Powassan coach Scott Wray.
The series will now head to Blind River for game three on April 20th when the Beavers and Voodoos take to the ice for a 7:00 p.m puck drop.