A Joe Whittet goal with under three minutes remaining in regulation broke a scoreless game and lifted the Powassan Voodoos to a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over the visiting Timmins Rock Saturday in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action at the Powassan Sportsplex.
To no one’s surprise, this match-up between two of the elite programs in the NOJHL was as close as expected.
First period play was scoreless with the Rock holding a slim 14-13 edge in shots on goal.
It was more of the same in the middle stanza as it remained without a goal through 40 minutes of play, despite a 22-6 edge in saves made as Timmins peppered Powassan starter Owen Say from many angles, while ever-steady Tyler Masternak was flawless between the pipes for the visitors.
Then with time winding down in the third, and overtime looming, the Rock looked to break out of their own zone, but a clearing attempt was picked off by the Voodoos’ Ryan Mills, who cut into Timmins territory before making a perfect pass to Whittet in the high slot as he promptly picked the bottom right corner, much to the delight of the hometown faithful with 2:41 to go.
Pulling Masternak in the late going for an extra attacker to try and force overtime, Powassan’s Say stood tall to post the impressive shutout, his second of the campaign.
In all, Say saved all 44 shots he faced while Masternak stopped all but one of the 26 chances he saw on the night.
With the outcome, the Voodoos improve to 34-7-0-0 and move back into first place overall in the league standings, two points clear of the now 32-7-1-1 Rock.