NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
Former NOJHLer to represent Canada at WJHC
SUDBURY — An alumnus of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League has been named to the roster that will represent Canada at the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship in Russia.
Former Soo Eagles netminder Jake Paterson was one of three goalkeepers named to the Canadian squad late last week.
Paterson spent the majority of the 2010-11 campaign with the Eagles finishing the regular season with a solid 10-1-2 record with while posting a 2.95 goals-against average and a league-best .921 save percentage along with two shutouts.
He was also stellar in the postseason helping the Eagles win the playoff championship and went on to capture NOJHL playoff most valuable player laurels for his efforts.
In 15 NOJHL playoff games Paterson was 11-4 along with three shutouts, a 2.42 GAA and .931 save mark leading his club to a berth in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup.
The Mississauga native is now in his second full season with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League.
Paterson was a third round selection, 80th overall, of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2012 NHL Draft.
THIS WEEK: Only five games remain in the 2012 portion of the NOJHL schedule with play on the ice beginning this evening as the Sudbury Nickel Barons entertain the Abitibi Eskimos in a 7:30 p.m. start at McClelland Arena.
The following is a rundown of all five league contests this week:
Wednesday, Dec. 19: Abitibi @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland) – Tonight’s match-up features the top three point producers in the NOJHL with Sebastien Leroux and Darcy Haines of Sudbury in first and second respectively along with Abitibi’s Richard Therrien in third. …The sixth of eight meetings between the two sides this season. … Sudbury won the first three get togethers only to see Abitibi answer back by taking the next two. … Nickel Barons sniper Darcy Haines has had a hand in all three game-winners for his club netting one and setting up the other pair. … After scoring just five times in the trio of contests the Eskimos have responded by scoring 15 goals in the last games.
Friday, Dec. 21: Elliot Lake @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac) – Round five in the battle of the Lakes goes Friday at The Joe with the Gold Miners currently leading the season series 3-1. … Three of the first four meetings were scores of 4-1 of which Kirkland Lake won a pair. The other game saw the Miners win 3-2 in overtime back on Nov. 9. … Jean-Michel Naud has two game-winning tallies in the season series to date. Royce King has the other for Kirkland Lake while and assisted on another. … Henry Berger notched the lone winner for the Bobcats.
Friday, Dec. 21: Sudbury @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre) – Friday features the Thunderbirds and Nickel Barons facing off against each other for the fourth time this season. … The Soo leads the season set 2-1 winning by scores of 4-1 and 10-1 while Sudbury won the last meeting by a 2-1 margin earlier this month. … It was the T-Birds who handed the Barons their first loss of the season after they started out 8-0. … Eight of the 15 goals the Soo have scored have come on the power play.
Saturday, Dec. 22: Elliot Lake @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan) – The Bobcats and Eskimos will meet for the four time on the campaign in this one. … Abitibi leads the season series 2-1. … Aaron Kerr has notched the game-winner in both wins for the Eskimos. … The Bobcats have scored seven of the 13 goals in the series while on the power play.
Saturday, Dec. 22: Soo @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre) – The Thunderbirds and Beavers square off in their first meeting since Nov. 9. … Sault Ste. Marie has won two of the first three affairs by scores of 6-1 and 5-2. … Blind River’s victory came on Oct. 12 courtesy of Corey McEwen’s game-winner in overtime. … The Soo has outshot the Beavers 104-88.
Following the holiday break league resumes in on Jan. 4 2013 with Blind River at Kirkland Lake and Sudbury visiting Elliot Lake.
2013 DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP: The North Bay Trappers will serve as the host team for the 2013 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship tournament.
The five-day event will be held at North Bay Memorial Gardens April 30 through May 4. It features the Trappers along with the champions of the NOJHL, Ontario Junior Hockey League and Superior International Junior Hockey League taking part.
Should North Bay go on to capture the NOJHL championship, then the league finalist will round out the four-team field with a berth to the Royal Bank Cup national Jr. A championship in Summerside, P.E.I. in May on the line.
Looking at the NOJHL’s potential competition at the DHC you’ll find the Minnesota Wilderness of the Superior International Junior Hockey League are going all out to make their third straight Dudley-Hewitt appearance. Winners of 14 games in a row they currently pace the SIJHL standings with a 26-3 record.
Over in the Ontario Junior Hockey League, the Buffalo Jr. Sabres still lead the overall point’s race with 56 and sit second in winning percentage at .737. Skating in three less contests the Trenton Golden Hawks hold down the top win mark in the OJHL at .743 and are second in points with 52, two ahead of the surging Georgetown Raiders, who have won four straight.
NOJHL THREE STARS: It was a week for the stars to shine brightly as many of the league leaders displayed exactly why they rank among the NOJHL scoring elite.
Northern snipers are the focus as the league unveils the latest edition of the NOJHL Three Stars of the Week for the time frame concluding Dec. 16.
SEBASTIEN LEROUX – SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS: The Sudbury juniors enjoyed a three-win week for the first time since September and veteran forward Sebastien Leroux was front and centre in the action.
The Rayside-Balfour native amassed 11 points in three games, vaulting his way to top spot in the NOJHL scoring parade in the process.
Blowing away his offensive output in previous years with the Sudbury franchise, Leroux has racked up 57 points in 27 games, holding a three-point edge over linemate Darcy Haines with Abitibi captain Richard Therrien hot on their heels.
GREG SARTORETTO – SOO THUNDERBIRDS: After being blanked Friday night in Kirkland Lake, Greg Sartoretto and the remainder off the Soo Thunderbirds took out their frustrations on Abitibi and North Bay, averaging seven goals a game over the balance of the weekend.
Sartoretto, a 20-year-old who hails from Sault Ste. Marie, added another eight points to his season total, moving into sixth place in the NOJHL top ten as he leap-frogged both Sam Wilbur (Blind River) and Brandon Janke (North Bay).
JEAN-FRANCOIS SYLVESTRE – KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS: It was a big week in Kirkland Lake as Gold Miners both new and old contributed to wins over Sault Ste Marie and Abitibi. Recently acquired from the Metcalfe Jets, Cochrane native Jean-Francois Sylvestre picked up five points in a pair of games.
The 20-year-old forward returned north after spending some time in the “AAA” ranks within the Timmins Minor Hockey system before heading south to get his feet wet in the junior ranks.
With six points in just three games, Sylvestre is sure to provide some additional punch to a Kirkland Lake roster that sees the team battling tooth and nail with Sudbury for third place in league standings.
ABITIBI ESKIMOS – The club has dropped two straight after winning their previous four. … Eskimos captain Richard Therrien is riding seven-game point streak heading into tonight’s game at Sudbury. He has 19 points in that span, including six goals. He sits third in NOJHL offensive numbers with 53 points. 29 of those points have come in his 11 games. … Ryan Wildman has a modest three-game point streak on the go with four goals and three assists to his credit. He is second in team scoring with 28 points in just 17 games. …The club remains fifth in the league standings with a 10-15-0-1 overall record… After tonight’s contest in Sudbury Abitibi finishes up 2012 at home Saturday vs. Elliot Lake.
BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – Blind River’s final game of the first half goes Saturday at home against Sault Ste. Marie. The Beavers are winless in their last four games. The club is 5-17-2-4 overall and sit in sixth in the league standings. … Forward Samuel Wilbur has points in five straight and leads the team offensively with 32 points on 13 goals and 19 assists. That is good enough to put him seventh overall in NOJHL offensive production. …Corey McEwen is knotted for 11th in league scoring with 27 points. He has 10 tallies and 17 helpers to his credit.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – A two-game road trip is in store for the Bobcats this weekend before they hit the holiday break. They play in Kirkland Lake Friday before heading to Iroquois Falls to meet Abitibi on Saturday. … The team remains seventh in the NOJHL standings at 7-18-0-1. …Elliot Lake has scored the fewest goals in the league so far this season at 71 while their 132 against is the second most given up in the league. …Despite having a four-game point streak snapped in his last outing, Steve Gaul paces the Bobcats offensively with 19 points. … Henry Berger is next with 17. … When scoring first in a game the Bobcats are 6-1-1, but a mere 1-17 when their opposition strike first.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – Kirkland Lake has one final game in 2012 and that goes Friday vs. Elliot Lake. … The Gold Miners are 2-1-1 in their last four, but have slipped to fourth in the league standings, one point behind third place Sudbury. The club is 15-11-2-1 overall … Defensively the Miners have allowed third fewest goals against to date with 91. They are fifth in goals for, also at 91. …Captain Connor McNally presently paces the club offensively with 24 points. … Jordan Briand and Royce King are also both 20-point men. … Chris Komma is coming off his second shutout of the season, a 19-save effort vs. the Soo in his last start. He is fourth in goals-against average at 2.86 while playing the most minutes of any NOJHL netminder at 1,320:33. … Komma sits tied for second in wins with 12.
NORTH BAY TRAPPERS – The Trappers are off until the New Year, next seeing action Jan. 5 at Kirkland Lake. … They are 3-0-1 in their past four and sit one point behind Sault Ste. Marie in the race for first in the overall standings. … North Bay earned Honourable Mention in CJHL rankings for a third straight week. … The club has scored the most goals in the NOJHL this season at 125 while tied for the fewest against at 68. … Goalie Greg Dodds leads the league the NOJHL in wins with 14. He is second in goals-against average in the league at 2.36 and tied for the best save percentage at .924. … Brandon Janke is eighth in league scoring while leading the Trappers with 31 points. … Brennen Dubchak (11g-15a-26pts) and Samuel Blanchet (12g-13a-25pts) are second and third on the squad and rank in the top 15 overall. … Cole Klippenstein leads all NOJHL D-men in points with 24. … North Bay is 9-0-2 when Graham Pickard picks up at least one point in a game.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The T-Birds were rated 12th in the CJHL Top 20 rankings for a second straight week. … The club remains first place in the NOJHL standings with a 19-4-3-2 record. …They and North Bay have allowed the fewest goals against in the league at 68. The T-Birds have the second most goals at 134. … Rookie netminder Joel Horodziejczyk leads all NOJHL netminders in goals-against average at 2.16 and is tied for the league-lead in save percentage at .924. … Another first-year netminder in Steven Dombrowski has won his last seven starts and is third in GAA at 2.64 and save percentage at .912. … The Soo continues to have four players among the top 10 in NOJHL scoring. Darcy Casola (18g-25a-43pts) sits fourth, Adam Ritchie (18g-23a-41pts) is fifth, Greg Sartoretto (12g-21a-33pts) is sixth while Derek Battagin (8g-20a-28pts) is knotted for ninth. …The club is at home to Sudbury Friday and at Blind River Saturday.
SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS – Surging Sudbury has won four in a row and look to make it five tonight as they host Abitibi. … Sebastien Leroux and Darcy Haines are first and second in league scoring with 57 and 54 points respectively. … Leroux has points in four straight been held of the score sheet three times in 27 games. … Haines shares the league lead in goals with 26. He too has a four-game point streak on the go. … Michael Muzyka remains fifth in the NOJHL in goals-against average at 3.45. … The Nickel Barons have notched the third most goals in the NOJHL at 115.