NOJHL NOTEBOOK: Thunderbirds and Trappers remain among CJHL elite in winning percentage




Release Date: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012

NOJHL NOTEBOOK: Thunderbirds and Trappers remain among CJHL elite in winning percentage

SUDBURY — The top two clubs in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League standings continue to remain among the elite of all Jr. A teams across the country in terms of winning percentage.

Of the 10 leagues and 128 organizations that comprise the Canadian Junior Hockey League both the Soo Thunderbirds and North Bay Trappers currently sit in the top 10 in overall winning percentage.

The NOJHL-leading Thunderbirds sit tied for the fourth-best win mark in the CJHL at .844 with the Melville Millionaires of Saskatchewan.

Meanwhile the Trappers are knotted for eighth best across the CJHL at .800.

They are joined by Flin Flon Bombers and Summerside Western Capitals of the Saskatchewan Jr. and Maritime Hockey Leagues respectively.

Leading the CJHL in winning success at the moment are the Brooks Bandits of Alberta who have yet to taste defeat this season entering action this week with a perfect 16-0 record.

Rounding out the top three are the Truro Bearcats (MHL) at .964 and the Ste-Jerome Panthers in Quebec at .941.

CJHL Top 10: Winning Percentage

TEAM                                      LEAGUE   RECORD WIN%
Brooks Bandits                        AJHL         16-0-0-0  1.000
Truro Bearcats                         MHL          13-0-0-1  .964
Ste-Jerome Panthers               LHJAAAQ 16-1-0-0  .941
Soo Thunderbirds                  NOJHL     12-1-1-2  .844
Melville Millionaires                  SJHL         13-2-0-1  .844
Minnesota Wilderness              SIJHL        14-3-0-0  .824
Penticton Vees                         BCHL        13-2-0-2  .824
North Bay Trappers                NOJHL     10-1-2-2  .800
Flin Flon Bombers                    SJHL         12-3-0-0  .800
Summerside Western Capitals MHL          11-2-2-0  .800 

WEEK 8: Six games comprise week No. 8 in the NOJHL with action getting underway tonight in Copper Cliff as the Sudbury Nickel Barons host the Blind River Beavers in a 7:30 p.m. start at McClelland Arena.

The Archie Dillon Sportsplex in Timmins will be the venue Friday for a neutral site contest as the Abitibi Eskimos square off with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners at 7:30 p.m.

Friday’s other match-up features the Elliot Lake Bobcats hosting the North Bay Trappers at Centennial Arena with the opening face-off set for 7:30 p.m.

Saturday sees North Bay continuing a road swing as they pay a visit to Blind River at 7:30 p.m. while Abitibi returns home to entertain Sudbury at Jus Jordan Arena in a 7:30 p.m. start.

Rounding out the week will be a battle of the top two clubs in the league standings Sunday afternoon with the Trappers heading to Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie for a 3 p.m. matinee with the first place Thunderbirds.

CANADA EAST UPDATE: Bradley Bell made a positive impression in his first game at the Canada East Selection Camp taking place in Toronto.

Bell, a defenceman with the Sudbury Nickel Barons, had a goal and an assist for Team Gold in a 4-3 shootout setback to Team Black Monday evening.

Soo Thunderbirds D-man Fraser Turner drew an assist on Bell’s goal.

Sudbury’s Darcy Haines and Abitibi’s Peter Poulin-Roy were the other two NOJHLers who earned invites to the camp, which features 60 players vying for a berth on the Canada East roster that will compete at next week’s World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, N.S.

The Canada East selection camp wraps up tonight in Toronto.

LEADERBOARD: An impressive nine-game point streak has allowed Adam Ritchie of the Soo Thunderbirds to take over the
NOJHL scoring lead.

Racking up 21 points in those past nine outings Ritchie now tops all skaters in the league with 32 points in 16 overall games.

Darcy Haines of Sudbury slips down to No. 2 overall in the NOJHL with 29 points while Darcy Casola of the Thunderbirds is third with 28 points.

Casola has proven to be a mark of consistency having registered at least one point in 10 consecutive matches accumulating 22 points during that span.

The Sault Ste. Marie product also has points in 13 of his past 14 games.

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 Soo Thunderbirds continue to move up in the Canadian Junior Hockey League Top 20 rankings.

Perched atop the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League standings with an impressive 12-1-1-2 record while winning five straight and having gone 9-0-1 in their past 10 games, the Thunderbirds jumped two spots to 11th overall nationally in the latest CJHL weekly listings announced earlier this week.

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.

No change among the top three teams in the CJHL again this week with the Brooks Bandits (AJHL), Truro Bearcats (MHL) and the Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) coming in at one, two, three respectively.

The following are the CJHL Top 20 (As of Oct. 29, 2012) with the league they are members of in brackets.

1.Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
2.Truro Bearcats (MHL)
3.Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
4.Melville Millionaires (SJHL)
5.OCN Blizzard (MJHL)
6.Penticton Vees (BCHL)
7.Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
8.Yorkton Terriers (SJHL)
9.Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL)
10.Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
11.Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
12.Winnipeg Blues (MJHL)
13.Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL)
14.Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL)
15.Summerside Western Capitals (MHL)
16.Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL)
17.St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL)
18.Saint Jerome Pantheres (LHJAAAQ)
19.Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL)
20.Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL)

Honourable Mention: Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL), Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL), Swan Valley Stampeders (MJHL), Nepean Raiders (CCHL), Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (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


ABITIBI ESKIMOS – Abitibi will be the home team in both of their games this week. They open up with a neutral site contest with Kirkland Lake in Timmins while hosting Sudbury at Jus Jordan Arena in Iroquois Falls on Saturday. … The club sits tied for fifth in the NOJHL standings with Blind River at nine points apiece.  … Richard Therrien’s 14 goals ties him for most scored by any skater in the NOJHL. He is also tied for fifth in NOJHL scoring with 22 points.  Therrien also has a four-game point streak intact. … The club has scored the second fewest goals in the league at 46.

BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – Blind River will try and end a four-game winless drought tonight as they play Sudbury. … The Beavers host North Bay Saturday night. … Blind River has allowed the second most goals against in the league to date at 73. … Corey McEwen is tied for 11th in league scoring with 16 points in 13 outings. He has points in five straight outings and 10 of his past 11… Paul Muio has points in seven straight contests. … Samuel Wilbur has a six-game point streak on the go. … Six of the Beavers’ next eight games will be played on the road.

ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – Another light week for Elliot Lake as they once again only have one game scheduled. That contest goes Friday as they host North Bay at Centennial Arena. … The Bobcats remain seventh in the NOJHL standings with a 3-11 record. … The team has three in a row on the road coming up. … 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 78. They have also notched the fewest markers in the NOJHL at 34 … When scoring first in a game the Bobcats are 2-0, but 1-11 when the opposition strikes first.

KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – Despite a narrow loss to the Soo in their last outing the Gold Miners remain in third place in the NOJHL standings. … They have gone 4-1 in their last five games. … Connor McNally continues to lead the team in scoring with 16 points in as many games. That ties him for 11th in the NOJHL… Chris Komma is third in NOJHL goals-against average at .2.58 and in save percentage at .908 while playing the most minutes overall at 884. … The club’s lone game this week is a neutral site contest in Timmins Friday vs. Abitibi.

NORTH BAY TRAPPERS – North Bay hits the ice for three road games this weekend. They will be in Elliot Lake Friday, Blind River Saturday before wrapping up with a first place showdown match-up in Sault Ste. Marie Sunday afternoon… North Bay has allowed the least amount of goals in the NOJHL so far at 38. … Goalkeeper Greg Dodds is second in goals-against average in the league at 2.31. He leads all NOJHL puckstoppers in save percentage at .925. … Brandon Janke leads the team offensively with 22 points in 15 games. He has a four-game point streak on the go.  … Samuel Blanchet is riding a nine-game point streak. … North Bay is 6-0-1 when forward Graham Pickard registers at least one point in a game. … The Trappers sit tied for eighth in the entire 128-team CJHL in winning percentage at .800.

SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The Thunderbirds are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games picking up 19 of a possible 20 points to remain in top spot in the league standings. … The Soo’s success saw them move to 11th in the latest CJHL Top 20 rankings. … The T-Birds are in the final stages of a nine-game home stand having gone 6-0-1 in the first seven with two more contests at 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 2.07. He is second in save percentage at .915… Another first-year netminder in Steven Dombrowski has won his last five starts and sits fourth in GAA at 3.04. … Adam Ritchie leads all skaters offensively in the NOJHL with 32 points. Darcy Casola sits third overall with 28.

SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS – The Nickel Barons have 1-6 after starting the season 8-0. They will look to get back into the win column tonight as they host Blind River. … 18-year-old forward Darcy Haines is second in the league in points with 29. … Sebastien Leroux is fourth in league scoring with 24 points. … Haines and defenceman Bradley Bell are both presently representing the NOJHL at the Canada East selection camp in Toronto, which wraps up tonight. … Michael Muzyka sits fifth in the NOJHL in goals-against average at 3.62. Teammate Alex Laino is sixth overall in GAA at 3.93. The Nickel Barons duo is tied for sixth in save percentage at .886. … Sudbury will play at home in three of their next four games along with five of their next eight.