Statistics point to Rock getting past Voodoos in East final

Powassan Voodoos goalie Daniel Dirracolo, shown making a save on a shot off the stick of Timmins Rock forward Brant Romaniuk during an NOJHL game at the McIntyre Arena on Feb. 23, played every minute of every game during his squad’s East Division semifinal series victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks. Fans can expect him to be between the pipes when the Rock host the Voodoos in Game 1 of the East Division final at the McIntyre Arena on Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS jpg, TD, apsmc

The Timmins Rock will battle the Powassan Voodoos for the NOJHL’s East Division championship, beginning on Thursday.

Thomas Perry
The Daily Press/Postmedia Network

After sweeping the Iroquois Falls Storm in four-straight games in one division semifinal series, the Rock will take on the Voodoos, fresh off their 4-1 victory over the Hearst Lumberjacks in the other.

Even though both squads were part of the East Division, their paths crossed just four times during the regular season, with the Rock winning all four encounters — 5-4 in overtime on home ice Feb. 23, 4-1 in Powassan on Feb. 7, 5-3 in Powassan on Dec.16 and 4-1 on home ice Oct. 20.

The Rock (41-15-2-0) finished in first place in the division, while the Voodoos (36-19-1-2) settled for third place, nine points behind the Rock and three in arears of the Lumberjacks.

Offensively, the Rock enjoyed the third-best production in the NOJHL during the regular season, with 272 goals, tops in the East Division, while Voodoos ranked sixth in the league, with 253 tallies, second best in the division.

Two members of the Rock, linemates Harry Clark (56, 36-65-101, 38), fourth, and Mason Svarich (44, 40-35-75, 6), seventh, finished in the Top 10 in the NOJHL scoring race, while Mathieu MacMillan (52, 25-48-73, 20), eighth, was the only member of the Voodoos in that group

The Rock produced one 40-goal scorer, Svarich (40), two skaters who hit or surpassed the 30-goal standard, Clark (36) and Liam Wells (30), and two others who broke the 20-goal barrier, 16-year-old Brant Romaniuk (23) and Kaeden McArthur (22).

And another five Rock skaters, Lucas Lowe (17), Thomas Beard (16), Nolan Ring (15), Hayden Rynard (13) and Jack Anderson (10), hit double figures on the season.

The Voodoos didn’t have any skaters hit either the 40-goal or 30-goal standard during the regular season, but they did have four marksmen — Reyth Smith (27), MacMillan (25), Chase Thompson (24) and Zach Turner (21) — check in with 20-plus goals on the campaign.

In addition, nine other Voodoos — Ryan Patrick (18), Cameron Lemcke (16), Rhys Smetham (16), Tucker Shields (14), Caden Dubreuil (13), blue-liner Alexander Case (10), blue-liner Alex Little (10), Darby McCarthy (10), Caleb Dawson (10) — hit double figures on the year, although McCarthy is no longer with the team.

In the playoffs, however, the Voodoos have scored an NOJHL-best 25 goals, while the Rock have found the back of the net 20 times, fourth best in the league, although they have played one game fewer than their Round 2 opponents and two fewer than the other teams ahead of them.

Powassan has seven players — Smith (5, 6-4-10, 0), MacMillan (5, 5-3-8, 4), Dylan McElhinny (5, 4-2-6, 0), Ryan Patrick (5, 2-4-6, 5), Lemcke (5, 1-5-6, 0), Shields (5, 2-3-5, 0) and Carson Ricci (5, 1-4-5, 0) — who have cracked the five-point plateau to this point in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Rock have just three players —Clark (4, 5-2-7, 2), Romaniuk (4, 3-3-6, 2) and Svarich (4, 3-2-5, 0) — who have hit that mark, although three others — Jack Kelly (4, 3-1-4, 0), Kaeden McArthur (4, 2-2-4, 0) and Beard (4, 0-4-4, 2) — who are just off that pace.

Defensively, the Rock allowed the fourth-fewest goals during the regular season, 177, best in the East Division, while the Voodoos were one spot behind, in fifth place, with 182 goals allowed.

Patrick Boivin (1,920:00, 20-11-1-0, 1, 3.38, .897), who led the Rock to an NOJHL championship and impressive Centennial Cup run last season, teamed up with 16-year-old rookie sensation Dryden Riley (1,574:00, 21-4-1-0, 2, 2.55, .913) to give the Rock solid goaltending in the regular season.

Meanwhile, Daniel Dirracolo (2,069:00, 19-14-0-2, 2, 2.84, .924) earned the lion’s share of starts in net for the Voodoos during the regular season. Miles Gordon (458:00, 5-3-0-0, 0, 3.54, .888), Tyson Wilcox (423:00, 6-1-0-0, 1, 2.41, .937) and Patrick Charette (445:00, 5-1-1-0, 0, 2.83, .920) are the other Powassan goalies who saw action during the regular season who are currently listed on their playoff roster.

During the playoffs, the Rock have allowed the fewest goals in the NOJHL, with six, while the Voodoos have surrendered 19, fourth-best in the league and second-best in the division.

Timmins Rock goalie Patrick Boivin won both of his starts during his squad’s sweep of the Iroquois Falls Storm during the NOJHL East Division semifinal series. In addition, Boivin has posted an NOJHL-best goals against average of 1.44 and save percentage of .949 to this point in the playoffs. His creasemate, Dryden Riley ranks No. 2 in both categories, at 1.50 and .940. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS jpg, TD, apsmc

Boivin (125:00, 2-0-0, 0, 1.44, .949) and Riley (120:00, 2-0-0, 1, 1.50, .940) are first and second among all NOJHL goalies in both goals against average and save percentage.

Meanwhile, Dirracolo (334:00, 4-1-0, 0, 3.42, .902), who has played every minute of every Voodoos playoff game to this point, is sixth among qualified NOJHL goalies in goals against average and eighth in save percentage.

In terms of special teams, the Rock had the top power play during the regular season, operating at an efficiency rating of 32.7 per cent, while the Voodoos were the seventh-most efficient squad, at 22.9 per cent.

On the penalty kill, the Voodoos ranked No. 8, with an efficiency rating of 74.4 per cent, while the Rock had the 10th-best efficiency rating, at 72.6 per cent.

The Rock’s nine shorthanded goals were the fourth-most in the NOJHL, while seven scored by the Voodoos had them tied for No. 8. On the other side of the puck, the two shorthanded goals the Rock allowed were the fewest in the NOJHL, while the five surrendered by the Voodoos had them tied for the third-fewest.

So far during the playoff, the Rock power play is operating at a 30.0 per cent efficiency rating, just off its regular-season rate, and tied for second-best in the NOJHL, .3 per cent behind the league-leading Espanola Paper Kings, who were eliminated in Round 1 by the Blind River Beavers, while the Voodoos’ 26.7 per cent is a big jump from their regular-season output and has them at No. 5 in the league.

One of the Rock’s few weakness during the regular season, their penalty kill to this point in the playoffs ranks No. 1 in the NOJHL, at 90.0 per cent, while the Voodoos are tied at No. 6, with a 70.0 per cent efficiency rating.

The Rock and the Voodoos are among six teams that have yet to score a shorthanded goal during the playoffs, but neither has allowed a goal to this point while playing shorthanded, either.