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Eskimos Therrien tops 128

SUDBURY — Scoring goals in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League is nothing new for Abitibi Eskimos captain Richard Therrien.

Currently with 83 career NOJHL tallies to his credit, including a NOJHL-best 20 so far this season, the Abitibi forward is just one of seven skaters from across the entire 128-team Canadian Junior Hockey League with 20 or more goals to date on the 2012-13 campaign.

Therrien, who turned 20 on Sunday, has notched his 20 markers in just 17 games, which in turn gives the Eskimos forward a 1.18 goals per game average and the best GPG total across the CJHL.

He is tied for fifth nationally in total tallies, but has played in fewer games than any other player in the CJHL 20-goal club.

Finishing second in the NOJHL last season with 44 goals the Abitibi standout is on pace to top that total this season.

Combined with 12 assists Therrien presently sits in second spot in the NOJHL in overall points with 32 trailing league-leader Adam Ritchie of the Soo Thunderbirds by just one point.

The following is a current list of the CJHL goals per game leaders involving those who have scored a minimum of 20 times so far this season. The information includes the player, his team, league, goal totals and GPG avg.

PLAYER                        TEAM           LEAGUE  GP G GPG
Richard Therrien          Abitibi         NOJHL       17 20 1.18
Sebastien Bergeron       Ste-Agathe   LHJAAAQ  22 25 1.14
Anthony Courcelles        Lachine       LHJAAAQ   21 22 1.05
Jerome Raymond           Whitecourt  AJHL           24 21 0.88
Joakim Arsenault            Ste-Agathe  LHJAAAQ  23 20 0.87
Jannick Asselin               Sherbrooke LHJAAAQ  23 20 0.87
Tyler Gjurich                   Buffalo         OJHL         27 22 0.81

WEEK 10: Six games are on the week-10 slate in the NOJHL with action getting underway tonight at 7:30 p.m. as the Sudbury Nickel Barons host the Elliot Lake Bobcats at McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff.

Two more tilts go Friday including Elliot Lake at home to Blind River and the Soo Thunderbirds playing the first of three straight on the road as they pay a visit to Kirkland Lake. Both of those contests feature a 7:30 p.m. face-off.

Saturday sees the T-Birds on the road again as they travel to Iroquois Falls to take on Abitibi while the Beavers host the Nickel Barons in Blind River in a pair of 7:30 p.m. starts.

Wrapping up week 10 will be a 2 p.m. matinee in North Bay Sunday as the Trappers welcome Sault Ste. Marie in a battle between the two clubs that are currently tied for first place in the league standings.

CJHL PROSPECTS: Defenceman Fraser Turner of the Soo Thunderbirds and forward Tait Seguin of the North Bay Trappers have returned from competing in the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Prospects games staged in Nova Scotia over the weekend.

Both players suited up for Team East in a two-game, total goal series against their counterparts comprising the five Western leagues of the CJHL.

Team East was blanked 5-0 in the opener, but rebounded for a 6-3 triumph in the finale to drop the total-goal series 8-6.

Turner did register an assist in the game 2 win, but Seguin was held off the score sheet in the contest.

Player selection for the prospects games was a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.

NOJHL THREE STARS: Only three teams in the NOJHL played more than one game last week, so it comes as little surprise that top-end individual game performances are featured, front and center, in this latest edition of the “NOJHL Three Stars of the Week” for the week ending Nov. 11.

RYAN WILDMAN – ABITIBI ESKIMOS: Taking full advantage of the opportunity to skate alongside the Eskies number one trio with captain Richard Therrien and Peter Poulin-Roy, Timmins native Ryan Wildman has responded with three straight multi-point games.

The 19 year-old forward, acquired from the Fort Frances Lakers in early October, has already accumulated 15 points in just nine games, vaulting all the way up to third place in team scoring, behind only his two new linemates.

ANDRE COMTOIS – SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS: A late round pick of the Sudbury Wolves in 2009, feisty forward Andre Comtois is showing signs of adding a significant offensive component to his game. After compiling just four points in his first dozen games with the Nickel Barons this year, the 19 year-old winger has amassed five points in his past two games, including a hat-trick against North Bay, accounting for all of the Sudbury scoring in regulation time.

Racking up 19 and 23 points with his hometown team in the past two years, Comtois is looking for a breakthrough campaign with a club that is definitely in need of a balanced contribution on the attack.

BRANDON JANKE – NORTH BAY TRAPPERS: For a second straight week, the North Bay Trappers have placed a repeat winner among the NOJHL Three Stars. Huntsville native Brandon Janke is back in the mix after enjoying a three-goal effort in a 5-3 win, at home, over the Abitibi Eskimos.

The outburst snapped a three-game stretch in which the 19-year-old returning sniper was held pointless. Despite the lapse, Janke continues to lead his team in scoring with 26 points in 20 games, good for sixth place in the NOJHL.

CJHL TOP 20: Both the Soo Thunderbirds and North Bay Trappers have held on to their positions from a week ago in the latest Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings.

The most recent listings comprised by the CJHL in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting saw the Thunderbirds maintain their ninth overall ranking while the Trappers earned Honourable Mention laurels for a second consecutive week.

Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay sit tied for top spot in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League standings at 31 points apiece with the T-Birds holding two games in hand on the Trappers.

The Soo remains one of the hottest organizations across the 128-team CJHL having won seven in a row while going 11-0-1 in their past 12 contests.

As for North Bay they too have posted a solid record of late registering a 7-1-1-2 mark in their last 11 outings.

Rolling along with an unblemished 20-0 run to start the Alberta Junior Hockey League campaign, the Brooks Bandits remain the No. 1 ranked team in the CJHL again this week.

The Truro Bearcats of the Maritime Hockey League suffered their first loss in regulation time over the weekend, but despite the setback hold on to their No. 2 overall rating nationally while the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League round out the top three.

The CJHL Top 20 (As of Nov. 12)
1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
2. Truro Bearcats (MHL)
3. Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL)
4. Winnipeg Blues (MJHL)
5. Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL)
6. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
7. Melville Millionaires (SJHL)
8. OCN Blizzard (MJHL)
9. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
10. Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
11. Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL)
12. Penticton Vees (BCHL)
13. Summerside Western Capitals (MHL)
14. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL)
15. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
16. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL)
17. Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL)
18. Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)
19. Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL)
20. Saint Jerome Pantheres (LHJAAAQ)

Honourable Mention: North Bay Trappers (NOJHL), Merritt Centennials (BCHL), Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL), Dauphin Kings (MJHL) and Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL).

The weekly rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including the league in which the teams play, winning percentage, win-loss record, total points accumulated, goals-for versus goals-against ratio, etc.

The CJHL is an amalgamation of 10 Jr. A hockey leagues from across Canada.

More information on the CJHL can be found by visiting the league website at www.cjhlhockey.com.

TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTEBOOK

ABITIBI ESKIMOS – The Eskimos have a stiff test in their lone-game of the week as they host the defending NOJHL champion Soo Thunderbirds at Jus Jordan Arena on Saturday … Abitibi is fifth in the league standings with a 6-10-0-1 overall record.  … Richard Therrien leads all skaters in the NOJHL in goals with 20, including six in his last three games. He is second in total points in the NOJHL with 32. … Therrien is one of seven skaters across the 128-team CJHL with 20 or more goals so far this season. … He tops the CJHL in goals per game average. … The club has gone 4-6 in their past 10 games. … Abitibi is the home side in their next three outings, including a Dec. 1 date in Cochrane vs. Sudbury.

BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – The Beavers take to the ice twice this weekend as they head to Elliot Lake Friday before returning home to host Sudbury at the Community Centre. After that the club’s final three games in November will all be played on the road … Blind River sits sixth in the league standings with a 4-10-1-3 mark. … Tyler Brown and Corey McEwen share the team scoring lead with 18 points apiece. … Brown has a modest three-game point streak on the go as well as picking up points in seven of his past eight outings. … The Beavers have scored the fourth most goals in the NOJHL so far this season at 67, but have also allowed the third most tallies overall at 86.

ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – The Bobcats will look to end a seven-game winless streak tonight as they visit Sudbury. … The club has gone 0-6-1 in their last seven and remain in the cellar in the NOJHL standings with a 3-13-0-1 record. … They have scored the fewest goals in the league so far this season with and have allowed the most markers against at 94. … Nicholas Tassone remains Elliot Lake’s scoring leader with 11 points on six tallies and five assists. Five of Tassone’s goals have come on the power play… When scoring first in a game the Bobcats are 2-0-1, but only 1-13 when the opposition strikes first.

KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – The Gold Miners remain one of the hottest teams in the NOJHL having gone 6-1 in their past seven games. … Kirkland Lake sits firmly entrenched in third place in the league standings with a 12-6-0-1 overall record. … Their lone game this week is Friday as they host the Soo at The Joe. … The club has allowed third fewest goals against to date at 55. … Connor McNally continues to lead the team in scoring with 17 points in as many outings. … Royce King and Jordan Briand are next on the club with 16 points apiece. … Chris Komma remains third in NOJHL goals-against average at .2.54 and in save percentage at .909 while playing the second most minutes overall at 944. … He has also registered the second most wins in the league to date with 10.

NORTH BAY TRAPPERS – The Trappers lone game this week goes Sunday as they host the Soo Thunderbirds in a first place showdown.  The club earned Honourable Mention in the CJHL rankings for a second straight week. … The Trappers have allowed the second fewest goals in the NOJHL this season at 54 and have scored the most at 92. … Goalkeeper Greg Dodds is second in goals-against average in the league at 2.38. He leads all NOJHL puckstoppers in save percentage at .921. … Brandon Janke is sixth in NOJHL scoring with 26 points. .… Brennen Dubchak is ninth overall while Samuel Blanchet is 10th with 21 and 20 points respectively. …Dubchak has a seven-game point streak on the go. … Cole Klippenstein leads all NOJHL D-men in points with 17. … North Bay is 7-0-1 when Graham Pickard picks up a point.

SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The Thunderbirds are 11-0-1 in their last 12 games picking up 23 of a possible 24 points. The Soo remains ninth in the CJHL Top 20 rankings. … After an 8-0-1 home stand the T-Birds hit the road for three this weekend. …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 six starts and sits fourth in GAA at 2.93. … Adam Ritchie leads all skaters offensively in the NOJHL with 33 points. Darcy Casola sits tied for third with 31. Derek Battagin (24pts) is seventh and Greg Sartoretto (22pts) is eighth in offensively.

SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS – Sudbury will look to extend a modest win streak to two tonight as they host Elliot Lake.  … The club’s only other game this week goes Saturday at Blind River… Darcy Haines is tied for third in the league in points with 31. … Sebastien Leroux is fifth in league scoring with 29 points. … Leroux has only been held of the score sheet once in 17 games so far this season… Michael Muzyka sits fifth in the NOJHL in goals-against average at 3.53. … Sudbury plays five of their next eight on home ice. …The Nickel Barons have gone 2-8 in their past 10 after starting the year 8-0.