SUDBURY, Ont. – Over the lengthy tenure of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, multiple all-star games have been held, be it versus inter-league competition, or against collegiate squads, touring European sides and even Jr. A teams from elsewhere across the country.
Here’s a look at some of those contests via a NOJHL Flashback:
TOUGH TEST: Nearly 25 years ago, on January 19, 1997, the league selects took on the Cambrian College Golden Shield, out of Sudbury, at Noelville Arena.
That match-up saw the collegiate side skate to a 10-4 triumph in front of 500-plus fans who were on hand.
NOJHL alumnus, Andrew Bain, who played for the Timmins Golden Bears previously, paced the Cambrian attack with a hat trick.
Made up of representatives from the league’s five clubs, the squad was coached by Barry Tabodondung of the Parry Sound Shamrocks.
Marc Trottier from the Sturgeon Falls Lynx collected the squad’s most valuable player award in the contest.
Shawn Denomme (Sturgeon Falls), Sheldon Cappadocia (Sturgeon Falls), Tony Sanguiliano (Timmins) and Bruce Paris (Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats) were the goal scorers for the Jr. A side.
A skills competition saw Serge Dube (Rayside-Balfour) take the fastest skater race, while Lawrence Enosse (Elliot Lake Vikings) took the top shooter challenge and Darren Schmidt (Rayside-Balfour) was the winner of the hardest shot event.
OT VICTORY: Back in early January of 2006, the NOJHL All-Stars squared off against the West Siberian under-20 team and prevailed 6-5 in overtime in a game held at North Bay’s Memorial Gardens.
The OT hero was Brian McGarry (Sudbury Jr. Wolves) who bagged the game-winner with just 44 seconds remaining in the extra session.
An eventual first team all-star selection at centre later that season, McGarry also had one in regulation and went on to capture team Game MVP laurels.
Also scoring for the NOJHL were Mike MacMillan (Thunderbirds), Mark Thorburn (Thunderbirds), Rob Bonhomme (Jr. Wolves) and Shane Bailey (Blind River Beavers).
Mike LaLonde (North Bay Skyhawks) started in goal and allowed one against in just over 30 minutes of work.
Billy Stone (Manitoulin Islanders) then went the rest of the way and picked up the win in relief.
Coaching the NOJHLers to the win on that night were Kevin Kerr (Skyhawks) and ‘Toots’ Kovacs (Thunderbirds).
INTER-LEAGUE TRIUMPH: Meanwhile, back on February 6, 2001, a selected side dumped the British Columbia Hockey League All-Stars 6-2 in front of approximately 1,500 spectators at the Sault Memorial Gardens.
The Soo Thunderbirds duo of Ryan Corcoran (2G-2A) and Fred Coccimiglio (1G-2A) combined for seven points in the triumph.
Other tallies came from the Rayside-Balfour trio of Rico DiCarlantinio, Nevin Patterson and Dave Csumrik.
Josh Siembeda (Espanola Screaming Eagles) and Frank Novello (Thunderbirds) split duties in net in a winning cause.
Co-coaches in the victory were Jim Capy (Thunderbirds) and Ken MacKenzie (Sabrecats).
ICED IN IROQUOIS FALLS: A year before in 2000, the result wasn’t the outcome the league had hoped for as the all-stars fell 8-1 to the defending Russian Jr. A title-holders, Lada Togliatti, in a matinee match-up held at Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls.
Mike Breadmore of the Sturgeon Falls Lynx picked up the lone NOJHL goal.
21 TALLIES: A high-scoring all-star affair in 1999 saw the West prevail over their East counterparts by an 11-10 count in a game held in Elliot Lake.
Elliot Lake’s Mike Corneau led the West attack with four markers and a helper.
Leading the East was Morgan Kenty (Sturgeon Falls), who scored twice and set-up two others.
Both players picked up their respective team game MVP honours.
With files from NOJHL Historian David Harrison and the North Bay Nugget.
Photo credit: Paul Chivers/North Bay Nugget