Voodoo magic is no. 1

October 15, 2015

A franchise in only its second year of existence, the small-town Powassan Voodoos are a national sensation early this 2015-2016 season.

The only unbeaten team in the 12-member Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League with a record of 9-0, Powassan has achieved national recognition as the no. 1 ranked team in the latest, weekly Canadian Jr. Hockey League poll.

Jake Staples, the veteran Voodoos forward and team captain who hails from Callander, which like nearby Powassan is another small town with a population of under 4,000, is thrilled with the recognition.

“It’s really nice to see our team and our league recognized by the Canadian Jr. Hockey League,” Staples began. “The NOJHL has gotten a lot stronger and I hope it can continue to become a more competitive and respected league within the junior hockey ranks.

“As for us, to be the last of the undefeated teams in Canada is really a compliment to everyone involved in our organization…all the hard work everyone has put in, starting with the ownership all the way through to the management, coaching staff and finishing on the ice with the players,” Staples added.

Chris Dawson, the hard-working, low-key general manager of the Voodoos, is taking the early-season success in stride.

“Trophies aren’t handed out in October in any hockey league that I know of but certainly being the last unbeaten team in the CJHL is a nice feeling for our group. We knew we had brought together a good group but we certainly didn’t expect us to be rated no. 1 in the nation in mid-October. Nonetheless, we are truly flattered,” offered Dawson.

Dawson also acknowledged the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League.

“We definitely give credit to the Battalion, which has given us some tremendous prospects who have helped accelerate our program,” noted Dawson.

Meanwhile, rookie defenceman Christian Whitcomb, who hails from the Buffalo, NY area and who was a key free agent signing by the Voodoos during the off season, cautioned against over-confidence.

“I think it’s pretty awesome that we are ranked no. 1 let alone the only team to remain undefeated,” Whitcomb exclaimed. “However we can’t let it get to our heads this early in the season and we have to keep working hard to maintain that spot as a top-ranked team.”

And Voodoos defenceman Nicky Grose, who was acquired in a trade with the Iroquois Falls Eskis earlier this season, said his team can’t let up.

“It is a great feeling to be on a no. 1 team,” said Grose. “It also means that we need to play even harder, because we are the team that everyone else is going to want to beat.”

Powassan puts its 9-0, unbeaten record on the line this Saturday when it plays host to the Soo Eagles.


The Voodoos have moved first-line left winger Michael Silveri, who has signed with the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Jr. Hockey League.

Silveri joins former NOJHLer Dylan Callahan, who skated with the Sudbury Nickel Barons (now the Rayside-Balfour Canadians), in the QMJHL with Gatineau.

Silveri’s major junior rights have been transferred from the OHL Sudbury Wolves to Gatineau.

Losing Silveri comes with developing players for the next level, said Voodoos GM Chris Dawson.

“We weren’t expecting Michael to return to us from the Wolves, but when he did, he worked hard and that led to another major junior opportunity and as a team looking to develop players and people, Michael moving up is a good news story for the Voodoos organization and we wish him the best of luck in Gatineau,” said the affable Dawson.

What you think about “Voodoo magic is no. 1”

  1. Good article Randy. Chris is a great guy, with a lot of passion for the game, and the kids. Isn’t it kind of fitting that two players like Michael and Dylan, who have played against each other for several years, both Wolves draft picks, who for some reason couldn’t stick with the Wolves, are now playing on the same team in the Quebec league. Good luck to both, they are talented players that are fun to watch. Keep up the good work R.R. cheers!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *