NOJHL by the numbers: Zero to 60

SUDBURY, Ont. – As the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League gears up to commence the 2024 portion of its regular season, as well as the upcoming playoffs, here’s a look at some numbers, as part of NOJHL – Zero to 60.

0: Blind River and Espanola are the only two teams in the league who have zero losses in overtime, or in a shootout, so far this season.

In fact, the Beavers have yet to go to extra time to date, and the Paper Kings have only gone once, which they won.

1: At No. 1, the Greater Sudbury Cubs hold down top spot in the overall NOJHL standings, with 55 points.

The Cubs are also first in league penalty killing percentage at 87.1%, while the Timmins Rock lead the way in power play proficiency at 32.7%.

2: Well-disciplined Soo Eagles rookie forward Lucas Caulfield only has two penalty minutes, in 29 games played, for the best ratio in the league in that department.

Caulfield has also contributed to the Eagles cause offensively with 18 points, on nine goals, and as many assists.

The Eagles are also 6-0-0-0 when he has registered two, or more, points in a game.

3: This is the number of five-point games Owen Fergusson of Espanola had already racked up so far this season.

That is the most of any skater in league play during the campaign.

4: The French River Rapids are a league-best 4-0 in games that have gone to a shootout, on the year.

French River has scored six times on 10 extra attempts, while their goaltenders have stopped 10 of the 11 shootout chances they have faced.

5: The five shorthanded markers Jakob Kovacs of the Blind River Beavers are the most in the league so far this season.

Also the league-high for goals in a game this season, is also five.

The Rock’s Harry Clark accomplished the feat in a road win November 18 at Iroquois Falls.

A veteran of 153 games in league play, Kovacs is just two points shy of 160 in his career.

6: This is the number of game-winning goals Kaeden McArthur has provided for the Timmins Rock so far this season.

His half-dozen deciders also lead the league in that category.

7: The seven victories collected by the Iroquois Falls Storm following regulation play is the most in the league.

Iroquois Falls’ five overtime triumphs also tops all teams.

8: Cameron Walker of the Greater Sudbury Cubs is just eight games shy of reaching the 200 plateau in his NOJHL career.

The 20-year-old from Sudbury is also on pace to join the league’s Top 10 in league contests appeared in. He’ll need to dress in 11 more outings to join that group.

Matt Neault holds the NOJHL record in this category at 268.

9: Nine-game point streaks are currently on the go for Owen Fergusson (Paper Kings); Jakob Kovacs (Beavers); Spencer Horgan (Paper Kings) and Declan Gallivan (Thunderbirds).

The foursome will look to extend their runs to double digits when they return to the ice in January.

Over the past decade, the longest point streak in league play was recorded by Steve Harland of the Powassan Voodoos during the 2014-15 season, when he went on a 31-game heater, piling up 71 points in the process.

10: Espanola and the Soo Eagles share the mark for most goals in a game this season at 10 each.

11: No. 11 Owen Cassidy of the Iroquois Falls Storm sits second in NOJHL rookie scoring, among defencemen, with 18 points.

He also paces the first-year Storm in offensive production.

12: The Timmins Rock tandem of Mason Svarich and Liam Wells presently top the NOJHL in power play goals, with a dozen each.

13: This is the number of consecutive victories the Blind River Beavers have reeled off, heading into the New Year, pulling to within one point of the league-leading Greater Sudbury Cubs in the overall standings.

14: Both Daniel Vasic of Blind River and the Soo Thunderbirds’ Jackson Truchan have collected at least one point in each of their past 14 appearances, which are current league highs.

Vasic has banged in 15 goals during his heater, to go along with nine assists, while Truchan has notched nine tallies and set-up 18 others as part of his run.

15: French River goaltender Elijah Grant has faced 25, or more, shots in net 15 times this season.

This includes seven appearances where he was peppered with 50-plus attempts, including making a league season-high 67 stops, plus three more in the shootout, in a win versus Powassan on October 28.

16: Should Greater Sudbury’s Oliver Smith collect 16 points in the back-half of the season, it will move him over the 200-mark for his time in the league.

The 20-year-old from Lively, Ont., presently sits with 185 points, on 82 tallies and 103 helpers through his first 154 matchups.

17: Veteran Greater Sudbury Cubs goaltender Noah Metivier leads all league netminders in victories so far this season with 17.

Through his first 75 NOJHL appearances, Metivier is just four wins shy of 60 in his career.

18: It’s the number worn by Spencer Horgan of Espanola.

Horgan leads all league defencemen in goals (19); assists (43); points (62); point-per-game average (1.94); power play markers (6); man advantage assists (43) and game-winning tallies (4).

Also, the 18 shutouts posted by Tyler Masternak during his time in the league with the Timmins Rock, are the most in NOJHL history.

19: With 19 goals so far this season, Blind River’s Michael Gallagher sits it the Top 10 in the league in tallies.

Four of his markers have been game-winners, which puts him in a share for fifth in that department.

20: Wearing No. 20 for the Powassan Voodoos, Cameron Lemcke needs just one more point to reach the 100 mark in his tenure in the NOJHL.

The 20-year-old from Callander, Ont., has already set a single-season high in points with 38, on 11 goals and 27 assists.

21: Surging Blind River, triumphant in 13 straight, has some work to do to reach, or surpass, the most-recent league-best winning streak of 21 games set by Powassan back during the 2019-20 campaign.

Of note, the Voodoos also won 25 in a row in 2016-17, while the Soo Thunderbirds did likewise in 2013-14.

This is the number worn by Soo Thunderbirds rookie defenceman Condon O’Neill, who earlier this season committed to attend Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on NCAA Division I scholarship.

Skating for his hometown Thunderbirds, O’Neill has 18 points to his credit in his first 24 NOJHL games, on three goals and 15 assists.

23: When leading after two periods of play to date, Greater Sudbury has yet to lose, going 23-0-0-0 along the way.

24: Powassan Voodoos forward Tucker Shields needs 24 more points to surpass the 100-plateau in his time with the club.

Earlier this month, he committed to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia and play for the Flames program who compete out of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Sheilds paces Powassan in scoring since joining the club, with 83 points in his first 95 games.

He also tops all league skaters in shootout goals, in 2023-24, with three.

25: So far this season there have been 25 hat tricks scored, paced by Harry Clark’s five-goal night on Nov. 18 at Iroquois Falls.

Among the teams, Greater Sudbury and the Soo Eagles lead the league with five of the feats each.

Jakob Kovacs (Beavers); Lucas Signoretti (Paper Kings); Oliver Smith (Cubs) and Benjamin Pouliot (Eagles) have had two hat tricks apiece to date.

26: The player that has played the most games for French River since the start of the 2021-22 season is defenceman Abram Snider.

Donning the No. 26 jersey for the Rapids, the 20-year-old blueliner from North Bay has appeared in 121 regular season contests.

27: Oliver Smith of the Greater Sudbury Cubs currently shares the NOJHL lead in goals with 27.

Joining him is Lucas Signoretti of the Espanola Paper Kings, who has spent December up with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.

Meanwhile, Blind River has scored the opening goal in a game 27 times so far this season, which is the most of any team in the league.

They’ve gone 24-3-0-0 in that span.

28: The 28 points picked up by Soo Eagles defenceman Coby Fox so far this season represents a career single-season high for the third-year blueliner.

29: Greater Sudbury Cubs goaltender Noah Beaulne has 29 wins to his credit in his one and a half seasons in the NOJHL, against just six losses.

30: Of the current Top 30 point producers among league rookies so far this season, six of them are defencemen.

Leading that group is first-year rookie rearguard Hudson Martin, who has 23 points to his credit, for Greater Sudbury.

Meanwhile, his Cubs’ teammate, forward Hudson Chitaroni paces all rookies in offensive production with 40 points, including 18 tallies.

31: Timmins’ Harry Clark leads all NOJHL skaters in man advantage points with 31.

Meanwhile, Elliot Lake captain Noah Aboflan tops the Vikings in total points, with the same number, as does Kirkland Lake Gold Miners forward Noah Woodard.

Aboflan enters 2024 with at least one point in nine of his past 11 outings.

32: In their first 32 games on the campaign, the Soo Eagles duo of Jack Paweski and Kenny Belanger Jr., are pacing the club offensively.

Paweski has a team-high 46 points while Belanger Jr. has 42, with each player sporting seven-game point streaks entering 2024.

33: Over the past two and a half seasons, the Greater Sudbury Cubs have been a model of consistency, collecting 100 wins along the way, for an average of 33.3 victories per campaign.

34: With 34 points already this season, the Rapids’ Matthew Shulist has set personal best in that category, as have his 17 assists on the campaign.

35: Both wearing No. 35, the netminding duo of Noah Tegelaar (Beavers) and Kolton Bourret, sit one-two respectively in goals-against average.

Tegelaar sports a league-best 2.11 GAA while Bourret sits second at 2.48.

36: During his NOJHL playing career, current Hearst Lumberjacks coach Marc-Alain Bégin averaged a little more than 36 goals a season while with the Abitibi Eskimos, racking up 110 in 162 outings.

Of the 37 active skaters in the league, who have played 100, or more, games in the NOJHL, Timmins captain Felix Cadieux-Fredette has appeared in the most, having made 149 appearances.

Close by are Tyler Patterson of Hearst with 147 games played, along with Blind River’s Jesse Dupuis (143) and Evan Fraccaro (140).

38: Having only given up 38 goals-against so far this season, on 523 shots faced, has helped Blind River’s Noah Tegelaar boast the best save percentage in the league at .927.

39: This is the number of consecutive games that Timmins has defeated Kirkland Lake in regular season play.

The last time the Gold Miners defeated the Rock was back on November 29, 2018, when Joshua Maine picked up the deciding marker, with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, to secure a 4-3 come from behind triumph.

40: It’s coming up on 40 years since Denis Castonguay of the then Rayside-Balfour Canadians set two NOJHL records that may never be matched.

During the 1983-84 campaign, the standout forward established the mark for most goals and points in a season with 95 and 196 respectively.

41: In NOJHL history only 10 teams have had more than 41 wins in a season.

The last to accomplish the feat was Timmins in 2022-23 with 45.

42: With 42 points to date, Tyler Patterson leads the Hearst Lumberjacks in offensive production on the year.

Having appeared in 147 NOJHL contests, the 19-year-old from Newcastle, Ont., needs just 21 points to reach the 150 mark in his time in the league.

43: The Soo Eagles currently lead the league in average shots on goal so far this season at 43.53 per game.

44: This is the number of points Blind River defenceman Andrey Manov has registered so far this season.

That also leads the Beavers in scoring and places him second in points by league defencemen.

45: Pacing the NOJHL in assists so far this season is Owen Fergusson of the Espanola Paper Kings.

His 45 helpers, along with 25 tallies, sees him also lead the league in overall points with 70.

46: Veteran Kirkland Lake forward Luca Maiuri has picked up 46 points in his league career.

The 20-year-old Caledon, Ont., product has scored 21 times in his time and has helped set-up 25 others.

47: Over the past two seasons, Gold Miners’ forward Benjamin Armatage has the most points for the team, at 47.

Meanwhile, with 47 tallies in his time in the league, Beavers’ forward Jesse Dupuis is just three shy of the 50-goal plateau in his career.

Dupuis also has 115 points in 143 contests.

48: This constitutes the NOJHL record for most wins in a single season.

That mark of 48 victories was established by the 2013-14 Soo Thunderbirds.

49: On average, French River Rapids netminders have faced just over 49 shots against per-game, the highest total in the league.

50: Espanola has scored 50 times on the power play to date, which leads all NOJHL sides.

51: There have been 51 players in league play so far this season who have amassed 25-plus points on the campaign.

Of that group, 45 are forwards, while six are defencemen.

52: Back 52 years ago the Sudbury Wolves won the NOJHL championship.

This marked the third time, out of 20 occasions overall a team from the Greater Sudbury area went on to capture the league title.

Of note, the last time was in 2007-08 when the then Sudbury Jr. Wolves accomplished the feat.

53: With 53 tallies in his first NOJHL 80 games, Mason Svarich has been a goal-scoring model of consistency in the league.

Notching 30 markers while with Hearst last season, and being a goal-a-game contributor in Timmins since his arrival in mid-October, the 20-year-old from Stony Plain, Alta., has collected 23 in as many outings for the Rock.

54: To date, 54 NOJHL officials have worked at least seven games this season, either as a referee or linesperson.

55: Brothers Hudson and Mason Chitaroni of Greater Sudbury have combined for 55 points so far this season.

Rookie forward Hudson has 40 in 32 outings while D-man Mason has 15 in 21 appearances.

56: The 56 first period goals Blind River have notched so far this season, is the most in the league.

57: Averaging 57 games played per-year in his four campaigns with the Soo Thunderbirds, in both regular season and playoff action, defenceman Kaden Dundas has appeared in a team-high 170 contests.

Skating for his hometown Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., side, Dundas has a combined 118 points from the back-end for the T-Birds in 170 overall appearances.

58: Hearst Lumberjacks forward Mathieu Comeau has collected at least one point in 58 of his past 100 games.

Still only 18, the Hearst product has already made 138 overall appearances in a Lumberjacks jersey in his career, collecting 122 points on 44 tallies and 78 assists.

Comeau is only six points shy of moving into sole possession of third place in all-time franchise history in terms of offensive production.

Only Max Griffioen (180); Zachary Demers (159) and Jake Desando (127) are presently ahead of him in the Hearst career points leader board.

59: Greater Sudbury has supplied 59 tallies in second period play, which tops all teams.

As does the 59 markers Blind River has scored in third period action.

It was 60 years ago that the Espanola Eagles won the initial NOJHL championship, after sweeping the North Bay Trappers in a best-of-seven affair that went the minimum.

The Eagles were coached by Mirl (Red) McCarthy, who the league’s coach of the year award is named after.