Hat trick for Gratton as Crunch edge Voodoos in 2OT

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POWASSAN – Cody Gratton’s third goal of the game, coming 43 seconds into the second overtime, was the difference as the Cochrane withstood a Powassan Voodoos rally to win 6-5 in Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League contest held Monday evening at the Powassan Sportsplex.

From the outset it appeared Cochrane would win going away as they jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before the 12-minute mark of the opening stanza.

After Gratton opened the scoring on the power play at 3:52, he added another while his side was shorthanded at 10:41.

Daniel Stagg then extended the lead 61 seconds later to put the visitors in front by three.

A Dante Juris man advantage effort at 13:27 put the Voodoos on the board only to see Josh Racek make it 4-1 four minutes later.

Powassan got that back in the final minute of the first as he beat Crunch starter Troy Paquette.

Continuing to comeback the home side tallied twice in the middle session to tie it at 4-4 thanks to Aaron Dart, via the power play, and Steve Harland even strength marker midway through the contest.

Special teams allowed Cochrane to go back out in front before the period was complete however as he connected with his team up a man at 14:25.

Undaunted, the Voodoos forced extra time with 9:47 left in regulation as Harland buried his second of the night and team-leading 10th of the season to level the affair at 5-5.

In the end however the Crunch would prevail early in the second OT as Gratton finished off his hat trick, tapping in a loose puck from in close, to give Cochrane the extra point on the night.

With an assist as well in the match-up, Gratton’s four-point night moves him into the league scoring lead with 35 points. He is also tied for the overall goal lead with teammate Dustin Cordeiro at 22.

Shots on goal were 48-40 for the winning side with Paquette picking up the win and Matt Young helping the Voodoos salvage a point in the OT setback.

Next up in the NOJHL has the Soo Thunderbirds, winners of 12 in succession, heading to Greater Sudbury to take on the hometown Nickel Barons in a 7:30 p.m. start at McClelland Arena.