NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
NOJHL NOTEBOOK: The NOJHL to send four to Canada East WJAC camp
SUDBURY — The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League will be sending four skaters to attend the Canada East selection camp in preparation for the upcoming 2012 World Junior A Challenge.
Defencemen Bradley Bell of the Sudbury Nickel Barons, Fraser Turner of the Soo Thunderbirds along with forwards Darcy Haines of the Nickel Barons and Peter Poulin-Roy of the Abitibi Eskimos will be among the 60 players invited to take part in the four-day camp, which will be held at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto.
The 60 players will be divided into three teams – Black, Gold and Green – and will play three intrasquad games, in addition to daily practices.
Players named to the Canada East selection camp roster were selected from the CJHL’s five eastern Junior A leagues: the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ) and Maritime Hockey League (MHL).
The selection camp roster was selected by Canada East head coach Greg Walters (Toronto, Ont./Georgetown, OJHL), along with assistant coaches Laurie Barron (Yarmouth, N.S./Yarmouth, MHL) and Sheldon Keefe (Brampton, Ont./Pembroke, CCHL).
“Canada’s five eastern Junior A leagues have some tremendous talent, and we’re very excited about the 60 players we have invited to selection camp,” said Walters. “We’re expecting these players to battle hard for the 22 spots on the Canada East roster, and we think this group gives us the best chance to improve on last year’s silver medal.”
“These players represent some of the best prospects in the entire game, not just Junior A,” said CJHL president Kirk Lamb. “Canada East has enjoyed tremendous success at the World Junior A Challenge and we are very confident these selections will allow Canada East to be very competitive in Yarmouth.”
The 2012 World Junior A Challenge will be held Nov. 5-11 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, N.S. Canada East will play in Group B, joined by Switzerland and the United States, while Canada West, the Czech Republic and Russia will comprise Group A.
WEEK 7: After a relatively light week in the NOJHL last week a total of eight games will be on the league docket this time around with action getting underway this evening at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff as Sudbury tries to put an end to a four-game losing drought when they host the Abitibi Eskimos in a 7:30 p.m. start.
The lone NOJHL match-up Friday features the surging Kirkland Lake Gold Miners heading to Elliot Lake to tangle with the Bobcats at Centennial Arena. Game time there is set for 7:30 p.m.
A trio of tilts are on the slate Saturday with Kirkland Lake visiting Blind River, North Bay heading to Abitibi and Sudbury travelling to the Soo. All three contests get underway at 7:30 p.m.
Rounding out week No. 8 in the NOJHL will be two contests Sunday as the Soo welcomes the Gold Miners to Essar Centre for a 3 p.m. matinee at Essar Centre followed by Trappers taking on the Nickel Barons in North Bay at 7 p.m.
NOJHL THREE STARS: It was only a four-game week in the NOJHL, likely the quietest of the early season, but thankfully, goals were in abundance in the encounters that were played.
The offensive outburst provided a number of worthy candidates for this week’s presentation of the NOJHL Three Stars of the Week for the period concluding Oct. 22.
ROYCE KING – KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS: The Kirkland Lake crew continue to work their way up the standings, in part due to the recent offensive contribution of Royce King. The 19-year-old Thunder Bay product enjoyed his best week within the NOJHL, chalking up five points in leading the Miners to a pair of wins.
Included among his three-goal, two-assist output was an overtime game-winner on Friday night at home as Kirkland Lake slipped past Blind River 4-3.
After chalking up just five points in 29 games last year with the team, King currently trails only Connor McNally in team scoring, recording 12 points in 13 games.
ADAM RITCHIE SOO THUNDERBIRDS: Ritchie is enjoying his return to the north after having grown up playing most of his minor hockey in either Walden or Sudbury, the 20-year-old was acquired by the Soo from the Wellington Dukes of the OJHL.
The forward is paying dividends and then some in his new home, picking up four points in his only game last week and moving into a first place tie atop the league scoring race with Sudbury’s Darcy Haines. Both players have 25 points, with Darcy Casola (23) and Sebastien Leroux (22) in hot pursuit.
DUSTIN JESSEAU – ABITIBI ESKIMOS: With 31 goals in 11 games, the Abitibi Eskimos knew they needed to generate more offense. A 9-8 win over Blind River provided signs of optimism for coach Paul Gagne, with the recent acquisition of Dustin Jesseau helping to spark the attack.
In just his third game with the team since moving over from the Weeks Crushers (MJAHL), Jesseau registered four points in the wild shootout win, giving the 20-year-old Aurora native seven points in his time in Iroquois Falls.
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 will feature 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.
CJHL TOP 20: The defending Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion Soo Thunderbirds have moved up a notch in the latest Canadian Junior Hockey League Top 20 rankings.
The Thunderbirds, who sit atop the NOJHL standings with a 10-1-1-2 overall record were rated 13th overall nationally in the rankings, which are comprised each week in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting, and are based upon a variety of factors including the league in which the teams belong to as well as regular season results.
Boasting an impressive .821 winning percentage the Soo has won three straight games and have also gone 7-0-1 in their past eight outings.
For a third consecutive week the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League were tabbed as the No. 1 team overall The Truro Bearcats of the Maritime Hockey League come in at No. 2 while the OJHL’s Trenton Golden Hawks sit third.
The following are the CJHL Top 20 (As of Oct. 22) with the league they are members of in brackets.
1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
2. Truro Bearcats (MHL)
3. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
4. OCN Blizzard (MJHL)
5. Penticton Vees (BCHL)
6. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL)
7. Melville Millionaires (SJHL)
8. Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL)
9. Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL)
10. Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
11. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
12. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
13. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
14. Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL)
15. Winnipeg Blues (MJHL)
16. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL)
17. Saint Jerome Pantheres (LHJAAAQ)
18. Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL)
19. St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL)
20. Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
Honourable Mention: West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL), Humboldt Broncos (SJHL), Dauphin Kings (MJHL), Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL), Summerside Western Capitals (MHL).
The CJHL is an amalgamation of 10 Jr. A hockey leagues from across Canada. More information on the CJHL can be found by clicking on the league website www.cjhlhockey.com.
ONE IN REGULATION: The Soo Thunderbirds and North Bay Trappers are among of a handful of all the teams that comprise the Canadian Jr. Hockey League with one or fewer losses in regulation time so far this season.
Both the Soo and North Bay only have one regulation defeat to date joining the Ste-Jerome Panthers in Quebec as the only three one regulation loss clubs in the CJHL. The Brooks Bandits, AJHL, (14-0-0) and the Truro Bearcats, MHL, (10-0-1) have yet to suffer at setback in 60 minutes so far this season.
ABITIBI ESKIMOS – Winners of two straight the Eskimos look to extend their streak in Sudbury tonight. … The club has scored 15 goals in those two wins. … After Wednesday’s contest in Sudbury Abitibi has four straight as the home team, including a Nov. 2 date with Kirkland Lake in Timmins. … Richard Therrien has moved to fifth in NOJHL scoring with 19 points. He had a season high four assists in Saturday’s home win vs. Blind River. … Newcomer Dustin Jesseau has points in all three games in an Abitibi uniform, including a one goal; three assist performance Saturday against the Beavers. … Peter Poulin-Roy will represent the Eskimos and NOJHL at the Canada East selection camp.
BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – Blind River’s lone game of the week is at home and goes Saturday vs. Kirkland Lake… Goal scoring continues to be a positive for the Beavers as they have 53 in 14 games. They have tallied the fourth most of any club in the NOJHL. Corey McEwen leads the team offensively with 15 points. He is tied for ninth in league scoring. He has points in four straight outings and nine of his past 10… Paul Muio has points in six straight contests and continues to average a point-per-game on the campaign with 13 in as many games.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – Elliot Lake once again has only one game scheduled this week and it goes Friday at home against Kirkland Lake. … The Bobcats remain seventh in the NOJHL standings with a 3-10 record. … The team has two consecutive home games before playing three in a row on the road. … Nicholas Tassone leads Elliot Lake in offensive production with 10 points overall on five goals and as many assists. … Elliot Lake has allowed the most goals in the league overall so far this season at 74. They have also notched the fewest markers in the NOJHL at 34 … When scoring first in a game the Bobcats are 2-0, but 1-10 when the opposition strikes first.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – The surging Gold Miners have moved into third in the league standings with an 8-5-0-1 overall record. The club has gone 4-1 in their last five games … Road games in Elliot Lake, Blind River and Sault Ste. Marie are in store this week… Royce King has reeled off points in four straight games, including five in his past two contests, while moving into second in team scoring with 12 points in 13 matches. … Connor McNally continues to lead the team in scoring with 15 points. That ties him for ninth in the NOJHL… Chris Komma is third in NOJHL goals-against average at .2.59 and tied for fourth in save percentage at .909 while playing the most minutes overall at 764.
NORTH BAY TRAPPERS – North Bay return to action after a bye week when they head to Iroquois Falls to meet Abitibi on Saturday before returning home to host Sudbury Sunday evening. … North Bay has allowed the fewest amount of goals in the NOJHL so far at 33. … Goalkeeper Greg Dodds remains a big reason for the club’s defensive play. The 20-year-old netminder has registered a solid 8-2-2 record. … Dodds leads the NOJHL in save percentage at .925 while playing the most minutes of any netminder at just under 738. He is second in goals-against average at 2.28. … Samuel Blanchet is riding a seven-game point streak. … North Bay is 5-0-1 when forward Graham Pickard registers at least one point in a game. … The Trappers are one of three CJHL teams with just one regulation loss to date.
SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The Thunderbirds are 7-0-1 in their last eight games picking up 15 of a possible 16 points to move into top spot in the league standings. … The Soo’s success saw them listed 13th in the latest CJHL Top 20 rankings. … The T-Birds are in the middle of a nine-game home stand having gone 4-0-1 in the first five with four more contests set for the Essar Centre before their next road outing Nov. 16 at Kirkland Lake. …Rookie netminder Joel Horodziejczyk continues to pace all NOJHL puck stoppers in goals-against average at 2.10. He is tied for second in save percentage at .913… Another first-year netminder in Steven Dombrowski has won his last five starts and sits fourth in GAA at 3.04. … Adam Ritchie has moved into a share of the NOJHL point lead with 25 while Darcy Casola sits third with 23.
SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS – The Nickel Barons have lost four straight after starting the season 8-0. They will look to get back into the win column tonight as they host Abitibi. … 18-year-old forward Darcy Haines is knotted for lead the NOJHL in goals with 13. He is also tied for first in points with 25. … Sebastien Leroux is fourth in league scoring with 22 points. … Haines and Leroux had 11 and 10-game point streaks respectively snapped last week… 15 different skaters have scored at least one goal so far this season for the Nickel Barons. … Goaltenders Alex Laino is fifth respectively in league goals-against average at 3.09 while Michael Muzyka is sixth at 3.10. After tonight’s home tilt with the Eskimos the Nickel Barons hit the road this weekend with stops in Sault Ste. Marie Saturday and North Bay Sunday.