The Powassan Voodoos held off a resilient effort from the Espanola Express and prevailed 5-4 Tuesday in Day 1 action at Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury.
“This was our best game so far for putting pucks on net and possession in offensive zone,” noted Voodoos Head Coach Beau Moyer.
Moyer credited rookie forward Quintin Loon-Stewardson for his efforts as the Voodoos improved to 9-2 on the season.
“Loon had his best game of the season,” noted Moyer.
“He has the potential To be an elite player in this league.”
Tyler Masternak got his second win in goal for the Voodoos but allowed the four tallies on only 18 Express shots.
“We need our goaltenders to make saves when we are carrying the play like we did today,” stated Moyer.
“When we have the momentum we need that save.”
Defending league champion Powassan pressed the pace in the first period outshooting Espanola by a 15-4 count.
It began with North Bay native Payton Vescio notching his first NOJHL goal at 16:52 before Powassan defenceman Dayton Murray picked up his league-best 10th marker of the campaign with 29 seconds left in the session.
Battling back Espanola got on the board early in the middle frame as Josh Decoffe snared a loose puck at the top of the crease and snapped his attempt past Masternak 87 seconds into the stanza.
However, Voodoos got that back six minutes into the frame compliments of a highlight reel Quintin Loon-Stewardson goal.
Answering back the Express pulled to within once again thanks to Makenzie MacMillan who made it 3-2 after two.
It was a back and forth affair in the final frame starting with a Kobe Desmond power-play marker for Powassan at 7:55.
Logan Fennema matched that for the Express midway through the period before Rob McCollum picked up his first NOJHL goal and secured the eventual game-winner with 7:10 left in regulation.
Espanola did get one more on Connor Tessier’s initial effort of the season with five and a half minutes to go to round out the scoring.
Shane Beaulieu dished out two assists for the Voodoos while also extending a consecutive game point streak to six as well.
The Voodoos are back on the ice Wednesday for day two of the NOJHL Showcase as they face the Blind River Beavers. Puck drop is set for 3:30 p.m. at the Countryside arena in Sudbury.