NOJHL Notebook 08/29/2012


Release Date: Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012

NOJHL Notebook: Preseason game added as Soo to visit Elliot Lake Thursday

SUDBURY –- The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League has announced that one game has been added to the preseason schedule.

That contest will be played Thursday evening in Elliot Lake as the expansion Bobcats host the defending NOJHL and Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion Soo Thunderbirds at Centennial Arena. Action gets underway at 8 p.m.

The addition of that match-up brings the league’s preseason game total to eight with three of those games having already been played.

Here is a recap of those first three contests:

AUG. 24 – KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 8 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 2: The hometown Gold Miners scored three times in each of the first two periods in grabbing a 6-2 lead after 40 minutes before putting the game away in the final frame with two more tallies in the preseason opener for both clubs.

Tanner Lafrance opened the scoring for Kirkland Lake five minutes into the contest while teammates Jordan Turbide and Jordan Briand extended the cushion to 3-0 later in the stanza.

Kealy Cummings then put the Eskis on the board late in the opening frame.

After Abitibi captain Richard Therrien pulled his side to within one courtesy of an early power play marker, Kirkland Lake responded with Kyle Bishop, Gordie Sinclair and Anthony Duquette all scoring to put then up by four after two periods.

Joe Ftoma and Duquette’s second of the night rounded out the scoring in the third.

Mike Hynes started and played half the game in picking up the victory in net for the Gold Miners allowing two goals. Bryden Daoust was spotless in relief in his stint between the pipes.

Nick Heimer was tagged with the loss for the Eskimos allowing four goals in just over 22 minutes of work with Martin Bilodeau going the rest of the way for Abitibi.

AUG. 25 – KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS 4 ABITIBI ESKIMOS 1: The Miners completed the sweep of the home-and-home skating to the 4-1 triumph in a fog-filled Jus Jordan Arena caused by sweltering temperatures outside and chilled ice indoors.

After Turbide put the visitors on top 3:20 into the game, Abitibi’s Aaron Sullivan struck early in the middle session to level the proceedings.

Briand however notched his second consecutive game-winner near the midway point of the contest putting Kirkland Lake up for good. Duquette and Turbide then added insurance efforts in the third to wrap-up the scoring.

AUG. 27 – ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS 5 SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS 3: Elliot Lake made their unofficial NOJHL preseason debut Monday skating past Sudbury at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff.

Charlie Venedam’s goal midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner as the Bobcats earned the victory in the first of five exhibition games they have lined up.

Each side scored in the opening stanza on markers by Elliot Lake’s Steve Gaul and Sudbury’s Sebastien Leroux.

The lone tallies in the middle came off the sticks of John Waghorne and Gaul to put the Cats up 3-1 after 40 minutes.

After Venedam made it 4-1 9:28 into the final session the Nickel Barons made it interesting on strikes by Cory Vaillancourt and Martin Jolicoeur.

Jake Hainline iced it for Elliot Lake however scoring with 26 seconds to go.

Tanner Swift made 29 saves to register the victory for the Bobcats who fired 32 shots on Sudbury starter Michael Muzyka.


1  Aug. 24 Abitibi (2) Kirkland Lake (8) Final 
2  Aug. 25 Kirkland Lake (4) Abitibi (1) Final
3  Aug. 27 Elliot Lake (5) Sudbury (3) Final

4  Aug. 30 Soo @ Elliot Lake 8 p.m. Centennial
5  Aug. 31 Elliot Lake vs. Sudbury 7:30 p.m. @ Espanola
6  Aug. 31 Nepean (CCHL) @ North Bay 7 p.m. Memorial Gardens
7  Sept. 1 Elliot Lake @ Soo 7:30 p.m. John Rhodes
8  Sept. 2 Blind River @ Elliot Lake 2 p.m. Centennial

SEASON OPENER: The start of the NOJHL regular season is just a week away as the 2012-13 campaign commences Sept. 5 as the newly minted Sudbury Nickel Barons host the Blind River Beavers at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff.

Two nights later first-year Elliot Lake makes their official NOJHL debut as they entertain North Bay at Centennial Arena.

One other game on the docket that evening features the defending league and Dudley-Hewitt Cup title holders, the Soo Thunderbirds, hosting Blind River at Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.

As for the other two squads in the league, the Abitibi Eskimos welcome Sudbury to Jus Jordan Arena on Sept. 8 while the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners take to the ice the following evening against the same Eskimos.

NOJHL WEBSITE: The league website is presently undergoing a major facelift and is expected to be ready for launch in time for the start of the 2012-13 regular season.

The NOJHL has gone into partnership with both FASTHockey and TST Media to work towards the launch of a new-look website that will coincide with the live streaming of NOJHL games throughout the season.

Design and production work is nearing completion with archival news, information, data and statistics being migrated over.

The league will announce when the new league and team websites are up and operational.