NOJHL East semifinal previews

SUDBURY, Ont. – Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division semifinal play features the Timmins Rock taking on the Iroquois Falls Storm while the Hearst Lumberjacks will square off against the Powassan Voodoos.

The Hearst – Powassan match-up begins tonight, with Timmins and Iroquois Falls beginning Friday.

Here’s a look at each of the two best-of-seven series.

NOJHL East Division semifinal
Iroquois Falls Storm vs. Timmins Rock
Best-of-seven series


Rock: Brandon Perry
Storm: Tyler Pracek


Rock: 41-15-2-0 (1st NOJHL East/3rd overall)
Storm: 16-39-0-3 (4th NOJHL East/9th overall)

HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Rock dominated the season set versus the Storm, winning all 10 meetings. Nine of those triumphs came in regulation while another was decided in a shootout. Timmins outscored Iroquois Falls 63-26 along the way.


Oct. 6 @ Timmins: Rock 8 Storm 1
Nov. 2 @ Iroquois Falls: Rock 4 Storm 1
Nov. 17 @ Timmins: Rock 3 Storm 2
Nov. 18 @ Iroquois Falls: Rock 7 Storm 5
Dec. 15 @ Timmins: Rock 6 Storm 2
Jan. 12 @ Timmins: Rock 10 Storm 2
Jan. 20 @ Iroquois Falls: Rock 4 Storm 0
Jan. 26 @ Iroquois Falls: Rock 6 Storm 5 (SO)
March 8 @ Timmins: Rock 8 Storm 2
March 9 @ Iroquois Falls: Rock 8 Storm 6


Game 1: Friday, March 22 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 2: Sunday, March 24 @ Timmins 3 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 3: Tuesday, March 26 @ Iroquois Falls 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan Arena)
Game 4: Thursday, March 28 @ Iroquois Falls 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan Arena)
Game 5*: Friday, March 29 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 31 @ Iroquois Falls 3 p.m. (Jus Jordan Arena)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 2 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m. (McIntyre Arena)
*-if necessary

THE ROCK: The defending NOJHL champions enter the postseason having gone 8-2 in their past 10 outings. … 20-year-old Harry Clark was a key cog in the Rock’s overall success and was named the NOJHL’s Best Overall Team Player award winner. … He racked up 101 points, in 56 games played, collecting 36 markers and dishing out 65 assists to finish fourth in NOJHL scoring. … Clark, who will move on to play USPORTS hockey at York University in Toronto, led all league skaters in both power play assists (38) and man advantage points (52). … David Harrison Most Gentlemanly Player trophy recipient Mason Svarich is another big-time performer for the Rock. … Svarich was a 40-goal man for the Rock, with a league-best 17 of those on the power play. … He also chipped in with 35 assists to finish seventh in league scoring. … All-Rookie 2nd team member Brant Romaniuk was fourth in scoring among first-year players, competing at a point-per-game clip for the Rock with 57 points, in as many appearances, including notching 23 goals. … Six of the 22 goals Kaeden McArthur had this season were game-winners, which tied for the team lead with Svarich and knotted him for second in the NOJHL. … Timmins captain Felix Cadieux-Fredette was over a point-per-game performer with the squad, registering 61 in 57 games on five markers and 56 helpers. … That placed him third in scoring among NOJHL defencemen. … His 172 games played in his career are the most of any skater in the league, over the past four seasons. … The Timmins netminding tandem of Patrick Boivin (20) and Dryden Riley (21) combined for 41 wins this season. … Riley was named to the NOJHL 2nd All-Rookie Team in net, he finished in Top 10 in league play in goals-against average and save percentage. … His 2.55 GAA was fourth while his .913 save mark placed him seventh.
… The Rock were third in the league in goals scored at 272 and gave-up the fourth fewest at 177. … Timmins topped the NOJHL in power play proficiency during the season at 32.7%. … They were 10th however on the P.K. at 72.6%.

THE STORM: Coming into the series as underdogs, Tyler Pracek’s team will be looking for a big upset of the reigning NOJHL title holders. … Iroquois Falls finished 49 points behind the Rock in the East Division standings. … They were 10th in the league in goals-scored with 157 and were ninth in tallies given up at 273. … Max Jugnauth led the Storm offensively during the campaign. … The 19-year-old Calgary, Alta., product scored 13 times and dished out 28 assists for 41 points. … The next five on the team scoring list were all rookies. … Pacing that group was Patrice Lafontaine, who picked up 33 points on 16 goals and 17 helpers. … Andre Cho was next with 32 points, including a team-high 19 markers. … Four of Cho’s goals were shorthanded, which tied him for the third-most among all league skaters. … Another rookie in Lucas Peever provided 32 points in 49 appearances, finding the back of the net 18 times, which was just one off the team lead. … Another first-year player, Owen Cassidy, led all Storm defencemen in scoring with 29 points. … Next was Brayden Hindman, one of the most recent Eastlink TV 3 Stars of the Week. … Hindman averaged just over a point-per-game in his past eight contests heading into the playoffs. … Connor Hatfield led Iroquois Falls goaltenders in wins with 10, while Brodie Haylock had five. … Hatfield was ninth in the league in minutes played at 1,726. … Iroquois Falls was eighth overall in man advantage success at 18.7%. … On the penalty kill, they were seventh at 75.4%. … They tied for third in the NOJHL in shorthanded goals with 11. … After taking over behind the Iroquois Falls bench back on October 18, Pracek helped the Storm reverse their fortunes and qualify for the NOJHL playoffs in the club’s return to Iroquois Falls, and earned league Coach 3rd Team All-Star honours in the process.

NOJHL East Division semifinal
Hearst Lumberjacks vs. Powassan Voodoos
Best-of-seven series


Lumberjacks: Marc-Alain Bégin
Voodoos: Peter Goulet


Lumberjacks: 36-16-4-2 (2nd NOJHL East/5th overall)
Voodoos: 36-19-1-2 (3rd NOJHL East/6th overall)

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Meeting four times during the season, Powassan took the season-set 3-1, with their last get together, earlier this month, being decided in overtime. The Voodoos also held the edge in goals-scored by a margin of 16-8.


Oct. 21 @ Hearst: Voodoos 6 Lumberjacks 2
Nov. 24 @ Powassan: Lumberjacks 3 Voodoos 1
Feb. 24 @ Hearst: Voodoos 7 Lumberjacks 2
March 5 @ Powassan: Voodoos 2 Lumberjacks 1 (OT)


Game 1: Thursday, March 21 @ Hearst 7:30 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
Game 2: Friday, March 22 @ Hearst 7:30 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
Game 3: Tuesday, March 26 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 4: Wednesday, March 27 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 5*: Friday, March 29 @ Hearst 7:30 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
Game 6*: Sunday, March 31 @ Powassan 7 p.m. (Powassan Sportsplex)
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 2 @ Hearst 7:30 p.m. (Claude Larose Recreation Centre)
*-if necessary

THE LUMBERJACKS: Hearst was led offensively by 3rd Team NOJHL All-Star forward Tyler Patterson. … The 36 goals for the 19-year-old from Newcastle, Ont., were a career-high, as were his 65 points. … Since joining the NOJHL back in 2020, Patterson has played the second-most games at 170 and has the fourth-highest point total, with 162. … The Lumberjacks also have four other skaters who compiled 50, or more, points during the campaign. … They were Liam Boswell (21G-27A-58PTS); Aiden Kalen (24G-31A-55PTS); Jack Robinson (20G-35A-55) and Mathieu Comeau (20G-32A-55PTS). … Team captain Noah Janicki was selected a league second-team all-star on defence. … He finished fifth in offensive numbers by D-men. … In all, the Barrie, Ont., product established personal bests in goals (9); assists (36) and points (45) to lead the Lumberjacks defensive corps. … Adam Shillinglaw was also solid on the back-end for Hearst. … He picked up 38 points, including notching 11 goals, which paced all team blueliners. … Adam Boucher was third in offensive numbers by D-men with 35 as he scored five times and helped set-up 30 others. … Netminder Russ Decoste went 17-8-1-0 between the pipes with a 2.74 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. … He was fifth overall in both average and save mark. … His three shutouts tied him for second among NOJHL goalkeepers. … Tristan Boileau meanwhile was 19-8-3-2 with a 3.16 GAA and a .906 SV%. … The 244 goals scored by the Lumberjacks this season were the seventh-most in the league. … They were sixth in fewest given up at 184. … Hearst was fifth in the league on the power play at 24.7%. … They finished fourth on the penalty kill at an 83% success rate.

THE VOODOOS: Going 8-2 in their final 10 outings before the playoffs, a disciplined Powassan side had the second-lowest penalty minute total in the league. … Skilled second-year forward Mathieu MacMillan had a solid campaign for the Voodoos in leading them in offensive production. … Named a 3rd team NOJHL All-Star, the 19-year-old from Gloucester, Ont., tallied 25 times and doled out 48 assists along the way for Powassan. … His numbers placed him eighth in league scoring. … Like MacMillan, versatile forward Chase Thompson set personal single-season bests offensively this season. … Thompson was second on the squad, and 15th in the league, with 64 points in 56 appearances on 24 tallies and 40 helpers. … Cameron Lemcke too established new scoring marks while ending up third in team scoring. … He collected 56 points on 16 goals and 40 assists. … Second team NOJHL All-Rookie honouree Reyth Smith impressed in his initial regular season. … Scoring 27 times and assisting on 26 more, Smith played at close to a point-per-game pace for Powassan. … He was third in goals among rookies and ended up fifth in points, with his 53. … A strong defender at both ends of the ice, the Voodoos’ Alexander Case earned 2nd Team All-Star laurels on defence. … Solid throughout for Powassan, Case collected 41 points from the back-end for the Voodoos in 54 games. … Case scored 10 times and doled out 31 assists to pace all Powassan blueliners offensively and ending up sixth among all league rearguards, while providing steady play in his own zone. … Team captain Alex Little holds nearly every franchise record among defencemen. … Despite missing games with injury, Little still collected 27 points in 34 contests to surpass the 100-point plateau in his NOJHL career. … Goaltender Daniel Dirracolo was second among all league netminders in save percentage at .924. … He also won 19 times and played the second-most minutes overall at 2,069. … After being acquired by the club in January, goaltender Patrick Charette went 5-1-1-0 for the Voodoos with an average of 2.83, along with a save mark of .920. … His save percentage rate was seventh-best in the league. … Powassan scored 253 times this season, the sixth highest total in the league. … They gave up 182, which was the fifth fewest in the NOJHL. … The Voodoos were seventh in power play success at 22.9%. … On the P.K., they were eighth at 74.4%. … Powassan is taking on Hearst in the playoffs for a third-straight year, with each team winning once previously.

WHAT AWAITS: The two East semifinal winners will meet in best-of-seven division final, with a berth in the NOJHL championship series at stake.

WHERE TO WATCH: All NOJHL playoff games will be streamed live, and on demand, via, the league’s official online broadcaster.