COCHRANE, Ont. – Beginning a three-game road trip, the Powassan Voodoos built up a three-goal lead, then had to withstand a strong comeback bid by the Cochrane Crunch before eventually prevailing 5-3 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League action Thursday evening at Tim Horton Events Centre.
Things looked promising for Cochrane early on as Nicholas Grandy scored before the first period was four minutes old as he notched his 11th of the campaign.
However, Parker Bowman buried goals No. 24 and 25 on the season, just 23 seconds apart, to put the visitors in front.
Not down there, Powassan tacked on two more in rapid succession when Dylan Gajewski, at even strength, and Sam Ellwood, via the power play, connected less than a minute apart to make it 4-1 with the Crunch opting to pull starting netminder Zach Wickson, in favour of backup Tomi Gagnon, who went the rest of the way.
Battling back, the Crunch moved to within two at 12:20 of the middle session as Maxwell Tucker notched his fifth of the year.
It stayed that way into the final stanza where Cochrane added another 4:43 in with Matthew Minichiello scoring on the power play to make it a one-goal game with plenty of time still left on the clock.
In the late going though, Powassan picked up a man advantage with a minute and a half to go and used that to get some insurance off the stick of Cade Herd, as his seventh of the season helped secure the road win.
Gregory Trudeau-Paquet and Jacob Peterson-Galema chipped in with two assists apiece for the winning side while Minichiello had a pair of helpers to go with his goal for the Crunch.
With Voodoo’s No. 1 netminder Owen Say away with Team Canada East for the World Junior A Challenge in British Columbia, Luke Greenwood got the start for the Voodoos and picked up the win making 28 stops in the triumph.
Wickson suffered the setback for Cochrane, allowing the four against on 11 shots, while Gagnon was solid in relief handling 22 of the 23 attempts fired his way.