NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Friday, April 14, 2017
Bowman scores twice as Powassan takes Game 1 of NOJHL Final vs. Blind River
POWASSAN, Ont. – The Powassan Voodoos picked up a pair of third period tallies from Parker Bowman to help them defeat the Blind River Beavers 4-1 Friday in a hotly-contested Game 1 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy championship series at the Powassan Sportsplex.
That sets the stages for Game 2 in the best-of-seven set that goes Saturday back in Powassan at 7 p.m.
In Friday’s match-up, the two teams traded quality chances in the early going only to see the two starting goaltenders in Powassan’s Nate McDonald and Blind River’s Aidan Doak supply a couple of point-blank stops each.
A fast-paced frame saw the Voodoos start to get the better chances outshooting the Beavers 14-4 overall, but remain scoreless.
Picking up the first man advantage opportunity of the series, early in the middle stanza, Doak and the Blind River penalty killers were equal to the task to keep the game at 0-0.
Continuing to press the pace, the Voodoos were rewarded with the night’s opening tally near the midway mark of the second session following a Beavers’ turnover that was forced by a strong fore-check courtesy of Gabriel Rheault that allowed Cade Herd to wire one top shelf on Doak from the left face-off dot.
Shots on goal after 40 minutes saw the home side hold a 30-15 edge.
Powassan added to their lead early in the final frame after breaking out of their own zone, as Tyler Gervais-Rolfe chipped it over to Bowman whose attempt from a very sharp angle near the left of the net found its way short side past Doak at 1:28.
Blind River came right back however to cut the deficit in half a minute and a half later when Yianni Liarakos neatly redirected an Andrew Trowbridge left point blast that eluded McDonald.
The visitors had a quality chance to tie things up later in the period with a four-minute power play, but they could not solve the NOJHL most valuable player in the Voodoos’ net.
Powassan’s Brett Hahkala picked up some insurance at 13:29 as his harmless looking, rising wrist shot from the blue line bounced off Doak’s catching glove and rolled into the open goal.
After pulling their netminder with over two minutes to remaining in favour of an extra attacker, Blind River allowed an empty netter from Bowman, with Gervais-Rolfe supplying his second assist of the night, to round out the scoring.
Final shots on goal in the contest were 46-29 in Powassan’s favour as the Voodoos skated to their ninth consecutive playoff victory to remain unbeaten in the postseason.
The NOJHL winner will advance to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship, May 2-6 in Trenton, Ont.
All games in the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy final will be streamed live online at HockeyTV.com.
NOJHL Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy League Championship Series schedule
Powassan Voodoos vs. Blind River Beavers
Powassan leads best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Powassan 4 Blind River 1
Game 2: Saturday, April 15 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Sportsplex)
Game 3: Thursday, April 20 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 4: Friday, April 21 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 5*: Sunday, April 23 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Sportsplex)
Game 6*: Tuesday, April 25 @ Blind River 7 p.m. (Community Centre)
Game 7*: Thursday, April 27 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Sportsplex)