The Powassan Voodoos tallied twice in the early going, which proved to be enough offensively, as they went on to defeat the French River Rapids 3-1 in a tightly-contested Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League affair Sunday at Noelville Arena.
Recently acquired forward Jack Kelly needed less than two minutes to help the Voodoos take flight as he notched his first NOJHL goal by beating Rapids’ starter Brady Dyer.
On the play he started a rush up ice then moved it over to Liam Serviss who skated into the zone and took it right before sending a feed back across that Kelly slid into the open side.
Coming right back off the draw, Powassan tacked on another just 16 seconds later as they saw Tucker Shields provide his team-leading fifth marker of the campaign when he snagged a loose puck in close and went right in on top of Brady and snapped it in.
That also proved to be his second game-winner this season, which also tops his team.
Another quick goal came at 4:01 of the first, but it was French River that scored it with 16-year-old rookie Matthew Campanella collecting it by joining a three-on-one and proceeding to wire one into the top right-hand corner over the glove of Voodoos’ goaltender Daniel Dirracolo.
Despite Powassan being credited with a big edge in shots on goal through 40 minutes, neither side would convert offensively through a scoreless middle session as the clubs hit the second intermission with the guests still holding a 2-1 lead.
While Dyer continued to make some solid stops to keep French River in it, the Voodoos finally solved him for a third time, with 5:25 remaining in regulation, off an odd-man rush that saw Rhys Smetham chip one over his pad from the right of the crease.
Already having their goalkeeper out for an extra attacker, the Rapids also benefitted from a late power play to go on a six-on-four in the late going, however the guests held firm defensively to secure the road triumph.
Dirracolo picked up the win for Powassan to help them improve to 5-2-0-0 overall, while Dyer’s efforts were not enough in defeat as French River dropped to 0-6-0-0 to commence the campaign.
The Voodoos are back in action Friday, September 30 when they host the Timmins Rock.