NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
NOJHL NOTEBOOK: Trappers or T-Birds to be crowned NOJHL champions tonight
SUDBURY – It has all come down to this – Game 7 as a champion in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League will be crowned tonight in North Bay as the hometown Trappers host the Soo Thunderbirds in a seventh and deciding game for the Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy.
The opening face-off for this evening’s pivotal contest is set for 7:30 p.m. at North Bay Memorial Gardens. Fans who cannot make the game can watch it live online, via pay-per-view, on FASTHockey at nojhl.fasthockey.com.
With the series tied at three wins apiece the NOJHL final has been tightly contested from the onset with each side winning once at home and twice on the road.
The first six games in this best-of-seven final have produced only 26 goals in total with all three netminders, who have seen action between the pipes, in Greg Dodds of North Bay along with Joel Horodziejczyk and Steven Dombrosky of the T-Birds all being solid.
Just in the finals alone, Dodds has a goals-against average of 1.71 to go along with a stingy save percentage of .941 and one shutout.
As for NOJHL rookie of the year and Canadian Junior Hockey League top rookie finalist Horodziejczyk has a solid 2.16 goals-against average along with a .925 save mark.
Dombrosky meanwhile sports a 1.78 GAA and .938 SP.
Offensively in the overall playoffs Brandon Warmington and Derek Battagin share the Thunderbirds’ team lead in scoring with 16 points apiece.
That knots them for the second best total in the NOJHL.
Warmington’s 10 tallies also tops all skaters in goals.
Leading the way in playoff production for the Trappers has been Brennen Dubchak.
The 19-year-old Kenora, Ont., product has scored six times and dished out three assists.
Stephen Langord and Samuel Blanchet are next on the squad with eight point each. Langford’s five goals in the final include a game 4 winner.
NOJHL Playoffs: Round 3
Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy Final
No. 1 North Bay Trappers vs. No. 2 Soo Thunderbirds
Best-of-seven series tied 3-3
Game 1: Soo 3 North Bay 2
Game 2: North Bay 2 Soo 1 (OT)
Game 3: North Bay 5 Soo 2
Game 4: North Bay 2 Soo 0
Game 5: Soo 3 North Bay 1
Game 6: Soo 3 North Bay 2 (OT)
Game 7: TONIGHT @ North Bay 7:30 p.m. (Memorial Gardens)
GOING THE DISTANCE: Looking back, according to files provided by NOJHL Historian David Harrison, tonight’s game 7 between North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie marks the eighth time in league history that the league final has gone the distance.
Five of those have included clubs from the Sault with T-Birds/Greyhounds going a combined 1-4 overall.
This evening’s affair will mark the third time a North Bay franchise has gone seven games in the league championship series.
The last time it happened was all the way back in 1965 when the Trappers were edged by the Garson-Falconbridge Native Sons. North Bay did however defeat the Soo Greyhounds a year earlier in 1964.
All-time NOJHL series that went seven games:
YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP
2013 T.B.D. T.B.D.
2010 Abitibi Eskimos Soo Thunderbirds
2001 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Soo Thunderbirds
1986 Onaping Falls Huskies Sudbury Cubs
1970 Soo Greyhounds Sudbury Wolves
1969 Sudbury Wolves Soo Greyhounds
1965 Garson-Falconbridge Native Sons North Bay Trappers
1964 North Bay Trappers Soo Greyhounds
FINAL FACTS: This is the second consecutive year that North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie have met in the NOJHL final. The Thunderbirds won last season’s final in five games before also going on to capture the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central region title in Thunder Bay.
As North Bay is also the host of this year’s Dudley-Hewitt Cup tournament, then the Soo has automatically qualified to be the second NOJHL team at the event regardless of who wins tonight’s finale.
DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP: The 2013 Dudley-Hewitt Cup begins this Tuesday in North Bay with tickets for all eight games remaining on sale at the Trapper’s Box Office daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Adult packages are $95 while students and seniors go $75 and children just $50 and you can reserve your seat by calling 705-474-3770.
The four-team field for the five-day event has also been finalized as joining the host Trappers along with the other NOJHL representative, the Soo Thunderbirds, will be the St. Michael’s, champions of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, along the title holders of the Superior International Junior Hockey League, the Minnesota Wilderness.
The Buzzers advanced to the DHC following a thrilling game 7 victory over the Newmarket Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon in front of a jam-packed crowd at St. Michael’s College School Arena in Toronto.
As for the Wilderness, they too punched their ticket to North Bay after a dramatic game 6 triumph in double overtime over the Fort Frances Lakers.
2013 Dudley-Hewitt Cup schedule
St. Michael’s vs. Soo 2:30 p.m.
Minnesota vs. North Bay 7 p.m.
Soo vs. Minnesota 2:30 p.m.
St. Michael’s vs. North Bay 7 p.m.
Minnesota vs. St. Michael’s 2:30 p.m.
North Bay vs. Soo 7 p.m.
3rd Round Robin vs. 2nd Round Robin 7 p.m.
Semifinal winner vs. 1st round robin 7 p.m.