THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

NOJHL team previews: Cochrane Crunch

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

NOJHL NETWORK MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015

NOJHL team previews: Cochrane Crunch

SUDBURY – Last season was a tremendous first year in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League for the Cochrane Crunch.

Under the guidance of president, general manager and head coach Ryan Leonard, the hard work put forth by the entire organization paid off as the Crunch made it all the way to the NOJHL finals before eventually falling to a strong Soo Thunderbirds side.

The Crunch enters the season with some new faces and old with only five returnees back from last year’s line-up.

Cochrane will look to prove their accomplishments last season were no fluke and here’s a look at some of the names that Cochrane has to guide them in 2015-16.

TEAM: Cochrane Crunch

GM/HEAD COACH: Ryan Leonard

NOTABLE RETURNEES

DUSTIN CORDEIRO, FORWARD: Returning player Dustin Cordeiro is expected to be the league’s top players this year after scoring 62 goals last year in total while also notching a few key markers for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

“We are expecting a bigger year from him this year,” states Leonard on the NOJHL second team all-star in 2014-15.

This will be Dustin’s fourth season in the league and with our program and if anything that stands out and doesn’t happen often in the NOJHL and Jr. A hockey is the dedication he continues to provide, coming back to our league despite many opportunities to explore other options as he’s from Southern Ontario,” added the Cochrane coach and GM. “He just keeps getting better each year.”

JOEY MAVRIN, DEFENCE: Back for another campaign is veteran D-man Mavrin.

“Joey has returned and his physical shape and his off-ice attitude is what we would love to build our program around,” offered Leonard.

“Joey is as smooth as you can get in our league as he skates well, is in top shape and is dedicated to getting better. He will play big minutes for us once again here this year.”

BRETT YOUNG, GOALTENDER: One of the key cogs in Cochrane’s success last season was goaltender Brett Young.

“The biggest piece to any puzzle is goaltending and if anything I think we have one of the best goalies in the NOJHL,” says Leonard.

“Brett has come back eager and will play with a bit of a chip on his shoulder after leading the Crunch to the NOJHL finals last year,” offered Leonard.

“Brett had the opportunity to sign elsewhere if he wanted, but he felt that this league would allow him the same options and as a 20-year-old, provided the Crunch bench boss. “He is comfortable knowing that he has a great home and league to excel in and will be a big factor in our quest to try and reach the finals again this season.”

NOTABLE NEWCOMERS

SEAMUS MAGUIRE, FORWARD: The 19-year-old from Victoria, B.C. had a strong preseason for Cochrane and will look to build on that.

“Seamus has played junior the last three years, two of which were in Flin Flon in the SJHL,” provided Leonard on the forward.

“He always has been a player that plays with an edge and can score goals. I can see Seamus putting up big numbers for us this season as he scored five in exhibition play. Seamus came to us highly recommended by his old coach in Flin Flon.”

HUNTER ATCHISON, FORWARD: Another new face that has shown complete promise to the program is the play and energy of Hunter Atchison, who like Maguire is a forward from Victoria.

“Hunter is a big boy with a good offensive upside who has also scored a lot in preseason and put up two points-per-game during exhibition season. He is strong and has a good set of hands and knows how to use his team mates,” said Leonard.

JOE THIELEN, DEFENCE: Arriving in Cochrane, the 18-year-old Huntington Beach, California product joins the Crunch after three years playing on defence for the L.A. Jr. Kings AAA program.

“Joe fit right in to the NOJHL right from his first shift,” states Leonard.

“He is a smooth skater, who reads the play well and knows when and when not to attack. After our exhibition season, he proved to be what I would say to be our top D. He came into camp in tip-top shape, doesn’t try to do too much and he has a great attitude both on and off the ice. The players love him and the staff cannot say enough about him.”

CRUNCH COMMENTS: The Crunch will look to improve their record from the regular season last year and also hope to get another shot at a title. There have been a lot of miles put on this summer recruiting, right across the country and the U.S.

Coach Leonard works overtime each day to make sure that his team is right there with the best in hopes to again be able to send many of his players off to college at the end of the season.

That effort and success has seen six players from last season on college rosters in both the NCAA and CIS.