Playoffs still a possibility to Voodoos

·2 min read

There is still a chance the Powassan Voodoos could see some NOJHL playoff action this season, confirms NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca.

As was reported last week, the Voodoos were left off the regular season schedule because of COVID-19 restrictions at the Powassan Sportsplex.

At the time, Powassan Mayor Peter McIsaac indicated the arena restrictions could be re-visited in January. But, he admitted, given that Ontario is seeing a rise in COVID cases, it is difficult to say what January may bring.

“In the event the arena restrictions are removed, absolutely there is a pathway for the Powassan Voodoos to be part of the season,” Mazzuca stated via email.

The restrictions would need to come down within a reasonable time, according to the commissioner, but “there are various definitions for a reasonable time.

“We will evaluate and be as flexible as possible” to accommodate the Voodoos.

Mazzuca said it also could be possible for the Voodoos to make the playoffs even after playing fewer fames than the eight teams which started the regular season.

This could be done, he explained, by ranking the teams based on “winning percentage or some other formula.

“What everyone needs to keep in mind is this is not a traditional hockey season and flexibility is critical going forward.”

Mazzuca said the rules currently in place at the Powassan Sportsplex “are more stringent than at other facilities,” but the league is working with all public health units and municipalities to “ensure all protocols are followed.”

Meanwhile, he said, the players themselves continue to belong to the Voodoos unless they are released by the club.

The Nugget contacted Voodoos general manager Chris Dawson for comment but did not receive a response.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget