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Dudley-Hewitt Cup team preview: Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP CENTRAL CANADA JR. A CHAMPIONSHIP

DHC NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Monday, May 2, 2016

Kirkland Lake team photo credit: Jean-Rene Daoust, capturingthemoment.ca

Dudley-Hewitt Cup team preview: Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

KIRKLAND LAKE, Ont. – The 2016 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship in Kirkland Lake, Ont., begins Tuesday in Kirkland Lake, Ont. at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex and features the defending champion Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL), the Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL), the Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) and the host Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) as the four competing teams.

The following is a DHC preview of the host team, the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.

THE NOJHL: As the host club for the 2016 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Kirkland Lake will look to use home ice advantage in their quest to win the title.

This marks the second time in three years the Gold Miners will be competing in the DHC as they were also the NOJHL representative back in 2014 after winning the NOJHL championship.

NOJHL Commissioner: Robert Mazzuca

THE GOLD MINERS

Head Coach/General Manager: Marc Lafleur

HOW THEY ADVANCED: As the host team for the 2016 Dudley-Hewitt Cup, the Gold Miners earned an automatic berth to this year’s event.

They did however advance all the way to the NOJHL final where they were upended by the Soo Thunderbirds in four straight games.

Kirkland Lake began the postseason by disposing of the Powassan Voodoos in six games in quarter-final action.

From there they defeated the NOJHL East Division title holders, the Cochrane Crunch, in just five contests before going on to fall to the Soo in the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy final.

REGULAR SEASON: The Gold Miners finished third in the NOJHL East and had the fourth best record overall in the 12-team league going 39-12-2-1 under head coach and general manager Marc Lafleur.

The Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in Kirkland Lake was good to the club as they went 23-3-0-1 in 27 home games this season.

On the road they went 16-9-1-1.

GOALTENDERS: Joining the club late in the regular season was netminder Joe Marcoullier.

Seeing the bulk of the action in the playoffs, Marcoullier went 7-7 with a 2.69 goals-against average along with a respectable .920 save percentage.

Victor-Oliver Courchesne got into two postseason contests and had a 1-0 record along with a 2.63 average and a .933 save mark.

Kirkland Lake product Tyler Mazzocato is the third goalkeeper on the squad.

The rookie goaltender was 16-2-0-1 for the Gold Miners while Courchesne was 17-8 and Marcoullier 2-0.

DEFENCEMEN: Pacing the Gold Miners defensive corps was blueliner Blake Anderson.

He totalled 44 points in just 41 games on 11 goals and 33 assists.

Dylan Holt was next among D-men on the squad with 28 points in 35 outings, including four markers.

You also had Jesse Houlton picking up 20 points by scoring twice and dishing out 18 helpers.

FORWARDS: Leading Kirkland Lake up front is their dynamic duo of Brayden Stortz and Logan Fredericks.

Stortz reached the 100-point plateau and secured the league scoring title.

His 62 assists also paced all NOJHL skaters ending the regular season on a high note, capturing the NOJHL scoring title in Kirkland Lake’s final game of the campaign. He was also a second team CCM all-star at centre.

The 20-year-old, who calls Welland, Ont., home, led the league in points with 100 and assists with 62 while his 38 tallies tied for the fifth highest total in the league. He was also fifth in in the league in power play points with 26.

As for Fredericks, the 20-year-old standout from Millstone Township, N.J. paced all NOJHL skaters in goals this season with 51.

He also finished third overall in the league in total points with 89 and was the league’s Gongshow Gear player of the month for February. His 15 power play markers paced all league skaters and he supplied six game-winning goals in 2015-16.

For his overalls efforts Fredericks was named a CCM Hockey first team NOJHL all-star at left wing.

Kirkland Lake also got solid numbers from forwards Brett Ouderkirk, Marc-Antoine Arseneau and Brandon Wolfe as the trio accumulated 61, 52 and 44 points respectively.

Postseason play saw Stortz share the league-lead in playoff scoring with 17 points while Fredericks was knotted for fourth with 14 points.

Wolfe also finished in the top 10 in playoff offensive numbers ending up eighth with a dozen points to his credit.

NO STRANGER: Gold Miners head coach and general manager Marc Lafleur won a Dudley-Hewitt Cup as a member of the Thunder Bay Flyers back in 1995 before going on to play NCAA hockey at Bemidji State University.

Lafleur was a second team all-star behind the bench in 2013-14 and was a previous the NOJHL coach of the year recipient.

He guided Kirkland Lake to the NOJHL championship and a Dudley-Hewitt Cup appearance in 2014. Lafleur also served as an assistant coach for Canada East at the past two World Jr. A Challenge events.

GOLD MINERS NUGGETS: Kirkland Lake is hosting their first Dudley-Hewitt Cup. … They are making their second DHC appearance having also played in the 2014 event in Wellington, Ont. … In a combined 69 regular season and playoff contests in 2015-16 Brayden Stortz has registered 117 points on 47 goals and 70 assists. … Stortz also scored the game’s first goal eight times this season. … Logan Fredericks has tallied 58 times for the Gold Miners in 68 total contests so far this season. … He also notched 15 power play markers in the regular season, which led the league. … His six game-winners tied him for fifth overall. … Kirkland Lake athletic trainer Carla Vine is a multiple league CCM first team-star honouree having been recognized by the NOJHL for her outstanding efforts with the Gold Miners. … The club was fifth in the 12-team NOJHL in power play success at 22.5%. … Kirkland Lake finished second overall on the penalty kill, just behind the front-running Thunderbirds ay 87.3%.

For more information on the Dudley-Hewitt Cup visit the official CJHL – DHC website at centralcanadianchampionship.com.

All Dudley-Hewitt Cup games are available online at FASTHockey.com.