NOJHL 2nd round playoff preview: Powassan Voodoos vs. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners



Release Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NOJHL 2nd round playoff preview: Powassan Voodoos vs. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

SUDBURY, Ont. – Round 2 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoffs is set to begin with four divisional semifinal series on tap.

Here’s a look at the East Division best-of-seven affair between the regular season champion and No. 1 overall seeded Powassan Voodoos, who are ready to take on the No. 4 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Friday in their opener at 7 p.m. at the Powassan Sportsplex.

The Voodoos wrapped up the 2016-17 campaign with a league-best 95 points and a 45-7-2-1 record while the Gold Miners, who finished strong to conclude the regular season, were fourth in the East with 66 points on 28-21-4-3 mark.

In terms of goals scored, Powassan tied for first overall at 271 and Kirkland Lake was knotted for fourth at 232. The Voodoos paced the league in fewest markers given up at 121 and Kirkland Lake sat fifth with 190 against.

The Voodoos were also tabbed ninth among 132 teams in the final Canadian Junior Hockey League national rankings.

Powassan had a bye in the opening round of the postseason with Kirkland Lake staving off the Iroquois Falls Eskis in an exciting three-game quarter-final set that went the distance.

This will be the third year in a row the two clubs will meet in the playoffs with each team winning a series previously.

They met a total of nine times during the course of the regular season with the Voodoos boasting six victories against just two losses and a tie. In all, six of the match-ups were decided by two goals or less.

Andy Baker, the NOJHL’s leading goal scorer and a CCM first team all-star, along with fellow Powassan rookie Tyson Gilmour notched two game-winning tallies apiece for their side. Gilmour also assisted on a pair of winning markers.

Pacing Powassan offensively in games vs. Kirkland Lake was another CCM first team NOJHL all-star in Gary Mantz.

Mantz scored four times and set-up nine others along the way.

Next was teammate Baker. Seven of his league-leading 45 goals were scored against the Gold Miners. He also chipped in with four helpers.

Gilmour was third on the squad in offensive numbers as he contributed 10 points, including three tallies.

Tyler Fyfe topped Kirkland Lake in points in contests vs. the Voodoos with six as he scored three times and helped set-up three more.

Kevin Ford and William Mizuik were right behind Fyfe with five points each. Ford picked up three tallies and Mizuik one.

League most valuable player and first team all-star Nate McDonald was 4-0-0-1 against Kirkland Lake in five starts against them.

Ridge Gerads had a 0-2-0-1 record in three appearances vs. the Voodoos while Allan Menary picked up the triumph in his lone appearance against Powassan.

The winner of this series will move on to the division final where they will take on either the Cochrane Crunch or Timmins Rock.

East Division semifinal (Series C)
No. 1 Powassan Voodoos vs. No. 4 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Best-of-seven series
Game 1: Friday, March 17 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 2: Sunday, March 19 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 3: Tuesday, March 21 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)
Game 4: Thursday, March 23 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)
Game 5*: Friday, March 24 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 26 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)
Game 7*: Monday, March 27 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
*- if necessary

With files from NOJHL statistician and historian David Harrison