GALLERY / GAME 2: Déjà vu as Timmins fans watch Rock fall in overtime

Members of the Powassan Voodoos, from left Reyth Smith, Dylan McElhinny, Mathieu MacMillan and Alex Little celebrate MacMillan’s second-period goal during the second period of Game 2 of the NOJHL’s East Division final at the McIntyre Arena Friday night. MacMillan’s eighth goal of the playoffs and third of the series started a Powassan rally that produced a second-straight 3-2 overtime victory. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS jpg, TD, apsmc

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

It was a nasty case of déjà vu for Timmins Rock fans who watched their favourite NOJHL squad drop a 3-2 overtime decision to the Powassan Voodoos for the second-straight night at the McIntyre Arena Friday.

As a result, the Rock find themselves trailing the best-of-seven East Division final series 2-0, as it switches to the Powassan Sportsplex for Game 3 Sunday night.

Justin Rousseau emerged as the overtime hero for the Voodoos Friday night, as he drifted a shot through a screen and past Rock goalie Dryden Riley for his second goal of the playoffs, 2:24 into the extra period.

Just like Thursday night, the Voodoos had to overcome a 2-0 deficit in order to secure their victory in Game 2 of the series.

Mason Svarich staked the Rock to a 1-0 lead 5:02 into the opening period when he scored his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Eight minutes later, Brant Romaniuk added a power-play marker, also his fourth goal of the playoffs, to double the Rock advantage.

Unlike Game 1 of the series, it didn’t take the Voodoos 57-and-a-half minutes to take flight, however.

Mathieu MacMillan, who was the overtime hero in that contest, got the puck rolling for Powassan 6:30 into the middle frame, as he netted a power-play marker of his own, his eighth goal of the playoffs.

And seven-and-a-half minutes later linemate Reyth Smith added his seventh goal of the playoffs to tie things up, at 2-2.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the third period, setting the stage for Rousseau’s overtime heroics.

Rock coach and general manager Brandon Perry was not pleased with what he saw from his squad Friday night.

“We didn’t play as well as we did Thursday night,” he said.

“There were some (positive) moments, obviously, but we just weren’t as sharp, we weren’t as good, we weren’t as detail oriented.

“We blew another two-goal lead, just gave them too many good looks. It’s frustrating, but it is what it is, we are two shots away from being two games up (instead of two games down). We have got to move onto the next one.

“They have a really good hockey team over there, but we have to find a way to get one (win).”

The coach didn’t see a lot of positives from his Rock during Friday night’s contest.

“I thought Dryden Riley gave us a really good effort tonight between the pipes,” Perry said.

“He is a 16-year-old kid who was coming into a high-pressure situation and he was great. Other than that, we looked like a slow, tired bunch.”

Perhaps the only positive to come out of Game 2 for the Rock is there were no new additions to their injury list.

As one might expect, Voodoos coach Peter Goulet was pleased with the outcome of Friday night’s contest, although he hopes his squad doesn’t make a habit out of falling behind 2-0.

“Any time you are behind and you have to come back to win and you do it, you believe,” he said, conceding Thursday’s rally gave his players a little extra confidence.

“We did it in Game 4, against Hearst (in the East Division semifinals), we were down late and tied it with about nine minutes left and won it in overtime. When that stuff happens, you start believing.”

The Voodoos feature a combination of size, speed and skill that has proven to be quite effective during the playoffs.

“We are a very well rounded team,” Goulet said.

“The boys are playing hard, they are coachable and they are listening.”

Nine times out of 10, good goaltending wins playoff series and the Voodoos once again got a solid effort from Daniel Dirracolo, who has played every minute of every playoff game to this point in the post season.

“He knows when he lets two (goals) in, he can’t let the next one in,” Goulet said.

“He did a great job in both games and he just has to keep going.”

Once again, the Voodoos top line of MacMillan, Smith and Chase Thompson was dominant Friday night.

“They have been great all year for us,” Goulet said.

“They work hard and they create a lot of chances. They can all skate, they have good size, it’s a good line.”

On the back end, all six Powassan defenders excelled in the contest, but Michael MacLean and Voodoos captain Alex Little led the charge.

“All those guys played well back there tonight, Jackson Smith took part in the warm-up but he wasn’t able to play and we ended up moving (Cameron) Lemcke back there in the second and third periods,” Goulet said.

“Everyone did a great job and it was a team win, from start to finish. We just have to keep believing in each other.”

With the series shifting back to Powassan for Game 3 and Game 4, the Voodoos coach knows there is still plenty of hockey to be played before either team is crowned East Division champions.

“There won’t be any let down, but Timmins is going to come (at us) hard,” Goulet said.

“They have a great team, great coach. We are going to have to be ready to match their energy.”

Dirracolo, who turned aside 33 of the 35 shots the Rock directed his way, earned his sixth win of the playoffs.

Riley, who stopped 26 of the 29 shots he faced, was tagged with the loss for the Rock.

NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Rousseau, Romaniuk and Smith … The Rock went 1-4 on the power play, while the Voodoos were 1-3 with the man advantage … Rock forward Jaden Lyons was ejected from the game in the second period after he was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena was 1,245.