NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Sunday, August 27, 2017
NOJHL team preseason preview: Soo Eagles
SUDBURY, Ont. – Featuring a young squad that will embark on the upcoming campaign, the Soo Eagles will look to replicate a solid finish to their 2016-17 season in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Boasting only two returning players, the veteran leadership, guidance and hockey knowledge brought by head coach Jim Capy along with associate coach and general manager Bruno Bragagnolo will certainly be called upon for the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., side.
After a slow start last season where the club began with a 4-11-2 record, the Eagles turned the corner from Oct. 26 on going 23-15-1 throughout the rest of the regular season.
They built on thhe momentum gained there and went on a solid playoff run advancing all the way to the West Division Final before falling to the upstart Blind River Beavers, who advanced to their first-ever league championship series in franchise history.
Here’s an early look at the NOJHL’s lone U.S.-based club, the Soo Eagles, in this the second of the 12 league-member club preseason previews.
Head Coach – Jim Capy
General Manager/Associate Coach – Bruno Bragagnolo
NOJHL: What are your expectations for the club heading into the 2017-18 season?
JIM CAPY: Our expectations are the same as every year and that is to win. That being said, we are an organization that takes tremendous pride in helping players reach the next level.
NOJHL: Give us your thoughts on what you’ve seen from your team heading into September.
JC: Based on our main camp, I think we will be a bit younger than we were last season. Our skill level and team speed would appear to be assets for us moving forward.
NOJHL: What are you looking for in your two returning players, forwards Jake Saxton and Jacob Palmerio?
JC: We will only have two returning players and they were a big part of our leadership group last season. Jake Saxton was our captain and Jacob Palmerio wore an ‘A’ for us. They were the heart and soul of our team and I expect they will be this year also. Already two of the better 200-foot players in the league, we expect their offensive numbers to continue to improve. Saxton was third in team scoring last season with 53 points in 56 games, including 22 goals. Palmerio was fourth with 21 goals and 25 assists. Both easily surpassed their goal, assist and point totals from the year before.
NOJHL: You’ll have plenty of new players in your line-up this season. Are there any of those newcomers you’ve signed that you’ve been impressed with early on?
JC: It would be unfair to single out any individual players this early. Overall we are pleased with everyone coming into training camp.
NOJHL: The Eagles were once again among the attendance leaders in the NOJHL last season. Give us some of your thoughts on the terrific fan base and loyal support of the Pullar Stadium faithful.
JC: I believe having the fan base that we have at the Pullar is like having an extra player. Regardless of the outcome they always support the players.
NOJHL: What are you looking to build upon from last season?
JC: A bad early start to season really hurt us last year. After our first 17 games (4-11-2) we were in a deep hole. From that point on I thought we were on par with top teams in the league (23-15-1). It is imperative that we get off to a good start and build off the second half of last season.
NOJHL: What goals do you have heading into your exhibition schedule and the start of the regular season?
JC: I think it is important not get too far ahead of yourself. If we can continually get better every day, results will take care of themselves.
NOJHL: Any final thoughts heading into the season.
JC: Excited for the season. As always there is lots of optimism amongst all the teams and their fans.
Sept. 1 vs. Soo Thunderbirds 7:30 p.m. (Pullar Stadium)
Sept. 2 vs. Soo Thunderbirds 7 p.m. (Pullar Stadium)
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