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NOJHL Notebook: Preseason play begins tonight

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

NOJHL MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Thursday, August 21, 2014

NOJHL Notebook: Preseason play begins tonight

SUDBURY – Four Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League clubs will be in action this week as preseason play gets underway.

The opening exhibition contest is slated for tonight at the Tim Horton Event Centre in Cochrane as the hometown Crunch make their NOJHL preseason debut vs. the Mattawa Jr. A Blackhawks at 7:30 p.m.

This match-up marks the first of two tilts the two sides have scheduled as they will play again Friday night back in Cochrane at 7:30 p.m.

These will be the first-ever meetings between the newly formed clubs as last season Cochrane was based in Elliot Lake while Mattawa called North Bay home.

The league’s other two preseason affairs feature a home-and-home set between the defending NOJHL champion Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and the Abitibi Eskimos.

Game 1 goes Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in Kirkland Lake before shifting to Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls for the finale Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Gold Miners and Eskimos will also play in another home-and-home Aug. 27-28 with Abitibi serving as the home side in the first match-up.

NOJHL preseason schedule: (As of Aug. 21)

DATE  VISITOR HOME TIME ARENA
Thursday, Aug. 21 Mattawa Blackhawks Cochrane Crunch 7:30 p.m. Tim Horton Event Centre
Friday, Aug. 22 Mattawa Blackhawks Cochrane Crunch 7:30 p.m. Tim Horton Event Centre
Friday, Aug. 22 Abitibi Eskimos Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 7:30 p.m. Joe Mavrinac C.C.
Saturday, Aug. 23 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Abitibi Eskimos 7:30 p.m. Jus Jordan Arena
Wednesday, Aug. 27 Cochrane Crunch Powassan Voodoos 2:30 p.m. Powassan Sportsplex
Wednesday, Aug. 27 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners Abitibi Eskimos 7:30 p.m. Jus Jordan Arena
Thursday, Aug. 28 Abitibi Eskimos Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 7:30 p.m. Joe Mavrinac C.C.
Saturday, Aug. 30 Powassan Voodoos Cochrane Crunch 7:30 p.m. NEW LISKEARD
Saturday, Aug. 30 Soo Thunderbirds Elliot Lake Wildcats 7:30 p.m. Centennial Arena
Sunday, Aug. 31 Blind River Beavers Powassan Voodoos 5:30 p.m. Powassan Sportsplex
Friday, Sept. 5 Soo Thunderbirds Soo Eagles (NAHL) 7:30 p.m. Pullar Stadium (Rollie King Cup)
Saturday, Sept. 6 Soo Thunderbirds Soo Eagles (NAHL) 7 p.m. Pullar Stadium (Rollie King Cup)

REGULAR SEASON: The start of the NOJHL’s regular season action is two weeks away.

The 2014-15 season opener goes Wednesday, Sept. 3 as the Sudbury Nickel Barons will host Mattawa in a 7:30 p.m. start at McClelland Arena.

One night later Cochrane Crunch will make their regular season debut as they entertain Mattawa at the Tim Horton Event Centre at 7:30 p.m.

The first Friday action on the NOJHL schedule is Sept. 5 and will feature the defending champion Kirkland Lake Gold Miners hosting the Blackhawks at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in a 7:30 p.m. face-off.

That same night the Crunch will be back on home ice as they will welcome the Powassan Voodoos for their initial NOJHL match-up.

Opening week play will then conclude Sept. 6 as Powassan pays a visit to Iroquois Falls to square off with Abitibi at 7:30 p.m. at Jus Jordan Arena.

FASTHockey: Each and every NOJHL regular season and playoff game will be available online, on a pay-per-view basis, via the FASTHockey link on the league website at www.nojhl.com.

Games will also be scored live online throughout the season on the NOJHL website courtesy of the league’s statistical provider Sport Ngin.

PLAYOFFS: All nine NOJHL clubs will qualify for the postseason.

In the league’s western division the No. 1 seed there will take on the No. 4 team in one divisional semifinal while No. 2 will take on No. 3 in the other.

Meanwhile in the NOJHL east the fourth and fifth place sides meet in a best-of-three qualification series with the winner there meeting the No. 1 seed in the division semfinal.

Like the west, No. 2 squares off with No. 3 in the other divisional semifinal.

DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP: The NOJHL postseason will advance to represent the league at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship.

The 2015 DHC will be hosted by the Fort Frances Lakers of the Superior International Junior Hockey League, April 28 through May 2 at Ice for Kids Arena.

Joining the NOJHL winners and host Lakers will be the title holders of the SIJHL, or league finalist should Fort Frances, repeat as SIJHL champions, and the champion of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

RBC CUP: The Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion will then head to Portage la Prairie, Man., May 9-17 to compete in the 2015 RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A event.

Serving as host of the RBC will be the Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

They will be joined by the Dudley-Hewitt winner as well as the recipient of the Fred Page Cup eastern Canadian tournament as well as the winner and finalist of the Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup.