NOJHL names its Eastlink TV 3 Stars of the week

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Monday that Timmins Rock goaltender Tyler Masternak, Rayside-Balfour Canadians forward Benjamin Hatanaka and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners’ defenceman Gabriel Leblanc have been named its Eastlink TV 3 Stars of the Week for the period ending Oct. 14.

TYLER MASTERNAK, (G) TIMMINS ROCK – Having won his past four starts, including three last week, Masternak’s contributions have played an integral part in the Rock’s current five-game winning streak.

Starting with a 29-save effort vs. Blind River at the NOJHL Showcase, followed by 28 stops in a triumph at Espanola and finishing with his NOJHL-leading third shutout in Elliot Lake, the 18-year-old Oshawa, Ont., product boasted a 1.33 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage for the week.

Masternak has also gone 6-1 in his past seven appearances between the pipes for Timmins while posting a pair of shutouts.

BENJAMIN HATANAKA, (F) RAYSIDE-BALFOUR CANADIANS – Taking to the ice five times last week, the 19-year-old from Burlington, Ont., produced eight points in helping his side collect four victories.

At the NOJHL Showcase in Sudbury Hatanaka scored three times and added two assists in Rayside-Balfour wins over Hearst and Powassan.

He had another marker and a helper as the Canadians rallied to defeat the Voodoos once more on Thursday and then set-up his club’s lone tally in a narrow 2-1 setback at Blind River Sunday.

In his first 17 league contests, Hatanaka has played near a point-per-game pace with 15 in 17 contests with a half dozen goals and nine assists to his credit.

GABRIEL LEBLANC, (D) KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – Efforts on both ends of the ice by LeBlanc aided surging Kirkland Lake move into top spot in the overall NOJHL standings.

The Gold Miners played four times during the time frame and won all of them to extend a winning streak to seven while LeBlanc saw himself etch his name on the score sheet in every outing.

At the league showcase, the 19-year-old blueliner from Coquitlam, B.C., had two assists as Kirkland Lake blanked Espanola and he then pumped in the game-winner in a triumph vs. Blind River.

He later tallied in a road victory at French River then capped off his run with an assist on the difference maker at Powassan Sunday afternoon.

Since joining the Gold Miners earlier this month his team has yet to taste defeat.


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Eastlink TV 3 Stars

Week 1
David Campbell, (F) Powassan Voodoos
Mihali See, (F) Soo Eagles
Shayne Battler, (G) Cochrane Crunch

Week 2
Cade Herd, (F) Powassan Voodoos
Gregory Brassard, (G) Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Brendan Young, (F) Blind River Beavers

Week 3
Joseph Benedeto, (G) Soo Eagles
Joe Vrbetic, (G) Powassan Voodoos
Steven Bellini, (D) Soo Thunderbirds

Week 4
Lucas Theriault, (F) Soo Thunderbirds
Tyler Masternak, (G) Timmins Rock
Gregory Trudeau-Paquet, (F) Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

Week 5
Thomson Phinney, (G) Blind River Beavers
Nick Smith, (F) Soo Thunderbirds
Christian Snyder, (F) Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

Week 6
Tyler Masternak, (G) Timmins Rock
Benjamin Hatanaka, (F) Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Gabriel LeBlanc, (D) Kirkland Lake Gold Miners