Vrbetic stellar in backstopping Voodoos to road win vs. Crunch

COCHRANE, Ont. – Powassan Voodoos goaltender Joe Vrbetic turned in a stellar 55-save performance to back stop his side to a late 3-2 road victory over the Cochrane Crunch in a contest featuring a pair of Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League East Division powers Friday at Tim Horton Events Centre.

The visiting Voodoos struck first in this one as Brett Shawana supplied his initial NOJHL tally 5:15 into the contest.

After outshooting Powassan 17-8 in the first period, Cochrane was eventually rewarded with their pressure in the middle stanza as Jacob Stos notched the equalizer at 12:54 in a frame that saw them pump 20 shots on Vrbetic.

Moving on to the third, the Crunch would take the lead with 8:59 to go as Ryan Mooney fed Nicolas Flanders for the go-ahead marker.

Battling back, the Voodoos drew level as Matthew Hardwick had the equalizer with 4:56 remaining in regulation.

Then with overtime looming, it was Powassan that struck late to pull out the win as Gabinen Kioki backhanded in the game-winner from the left of the crease as his close-range attempt beat Cochrane goaltender Shayne Battler.

While Vrbetic faced 57 attempts in the win, his efforts helped the Voodoos improve to a league-best 6-0 on the season.

Crunch netminder Battler saw 30 shots fired his way in defeat as his club fell to 2-3 on the campaign.