NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Photo credit: Denis Dubois, www.corecomputers.ca
North Bay Trappers crowned NOJHL champions
NORTH BAY – The North Bay Trappers jumped out to a two-goal first period lead and never trailed en route to a 3-1 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds to win the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy, emblematic of NOJHL playoff champions Wednesday at Memorial Gardens in a thrilling series that required the full seven games to decide a winner.
North Bay got off to the start they were hoping for in the finale getting tallies from Brennen Dubchak, who wired one from the slot past Joel Horodziejczyk in the Sault Ste. Marie net at 2:53, and Duane Wainman, on the power play, five minutes later with Beau Orser and Trevor Hunt both picking up assists on each marker.
In the middle frame Dallas McLaughlin gave the Thunderbirds some life in the late stages of a North Bay penalty as he went end-to-end from deep in his own zone wheeling around four Trappers’ defenders before driving hard to his right and firing the puck high back to his left into the top corner over Greg Dodds to get the visitors on the board.
The first half of the third period was tight checking with Horodziejczyk stoning Dubchak on a two-on-one, which could have given the Trappers some breathing room.
With the Soo pressing for the equalizer it was North Bay who countered and got the insurance they were looking for as Hunt sent Brandon Janke in alone on a breakaway from centre ice and he made no mistake snapping one over the blocker of Horodziejczyk with 3:57 remaining.
Hunt’s three-assist night in the finale helped earn him NOJHL most valuable player laurels for the 2013 playoffs.
The Trappers then ran out the clock from there to win the title in an evenly contested series that saw the final shots on goal in the game finish as 40-40.
Both teams will now switch their focus on the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship April 30-May 4 back in North Bay.
They will be joined by the St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL) and Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL) in the five-day event to see who will represent the region at the Royal Bank Cup May 11-19 in Summerside, P.E.I.
NOJHL Playoffs: Finals
Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy
Trappers win best-of-seven final 4-3
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: North Bay 3 Soo 1