Eric Mondoux’s second goal of the game, 28 seconds into overtime, lifted the Powassan Voodoos to a 3-2 victory over the Timmins Rock at the McIntyre Arena Friday night.
With the victory, the Voodoos (42-8-1-0) all but lock up top spot in the NOJHL’s overall standings.
Despite the overtime loss, the Rock (40-10-2-1) are still mathematically alive, but the Voodoos have a two-point lead and a pair of games in hand as the NOJHL’s 56-game regular season winds down.
Even though his team came out on the losing end of the equation, Rock coach Corey Beer was pleased with the effort he saw from his squad Friday night.
“I thought we showed great resiliency in the third period and the second period was complete domination,” he said.
“We had a little bit of breakdown there on their second goal, but we were all over them and had some good chances. We were just a little snake bitten early on in the game, but I loved our battle back.”
Mondoux got the Voodoos on the scoreboard first Friday night, as he scored a power-play marker, his eighth goal of the season, at the 4:18 mark of the opening period.
The Voodoos carried that one-goal advantage into the second period and it appeared the middle frame would end the same way it started, but a goal in the final two minutes doubled the Powassan lead to 2-0.
Ryan Mills’ 17th goal of the season put the Voodoos up by a pair of goals even though they were outshot 16-8 in the period.
Even though they enjoyed a pair of lengthy two-man advantages in the frame, the Rock were unable to find the back of the net.
The Rock finally got on the scoreboard 3:06 into the third period when Tyler Schwindt deflected a Brendan Boyce point shot past Voodoos goalie Owen Say for his 15th goal of the season.
Then, on a similar play, Riley Brousseau scored his ninth goal of the season to tie things up at 2-2.
The Rock were forced to kill off a penalty late in the third period, with goalie Vance Meyer coming up with a number of seemingly impossible stops to keep the game tied and force overtime.
Prior to Mondoux’s game-winning overtime goal, the blue-liner’s ninth tally of the season, the Rock had a glorious opportunity of their own, but Tyler Gilberds drilled a shot just wide of the Voodoos net.
The puck bounced out to Mondoux and he and a teammate broke in on a two-on-none before he lifted a shot over Meyer.
“In OT, there it is,” Beer said.
“You have the swing of the pendulum. We make that play in front of their net and Gibby just misses it.
“We turn over the puck and it goes the other way. That’s the way it goes, but it was a great hockey game for us. It was awesome.”
The Rock coach agreed Meyer came up big when he had to in order to give his team a chance to come back and earn a point.
“That one on the penalty kill, diving across, I think he had everyone in this arena jumping,” Beer said.
“That was incredible. He was great tonight, a 17 year old kid facing one of the league’s top offences. He made big, key saves and key times to keep us in the game and make sure it didn’t get away from us.
“That allowed us to get the momentum in the third period and tie the game up.”
There was no shortage of other players catching their coach’s eye during the contest.
“A lot of guys, (Derek) Seguin, (Josh) Dickson, those two both played more than 20 minutes,” Beer said.
“They were lights out and we got good games from Ty Gilberds, Stewie Parnell, honestly, you can go up and down the list. We got contributions from everybody tonight.
“Our forth line with (Cameron) Kosurko, Schwindt and (Landon) Deforge got that first goal to give us a spark and a little bit of energy.”
Say turned aside 33 of the 35 shots the Rock directed his way to pick up his 29th victory of the season.
Meyer, who stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced, was tagged with the loss.
NOJHL NOTES — The Daily Press three stars of the game were Mondoux, Say and Meyer … The Rock did not dress forwards Riley Robitaille (serving the sixth game of a six-game suspension) and David Laroche (upper-body injury), as well as blue-liners Quinn Schneidmiller (upper-body injury) and Evan Beaudry (upper-body injury). In addition, they lost blue-liner Aidan Milne (upper-body injury) part way through the contest … Voodoos forward Gregory Trudeau-Paquette was assessed a gross misconduct at the conclusion of overtime for making a travesty of the game … The Rock went 0-6 on the power play, while the Voodoos were 1-7 with the man advantage … Official attendance at the McIntyre Arena was 1,232 … Friday’s other action saw the Crunch dump the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 4-1 in Cochrane, the French River Rapids get past the Express 5-3 in Espanola and the Soo Eagles double up the Wildcats 4-2 in Elliot Lake … The Rock will return to action Saturday night when they travel to Hearst for a game against the Lumberjacks.