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NOJHL NoteBook – February 8, 2012

WEEKLY NEWS & INFORMATION ON THE NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE

Release Date: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012

 

NOJHL contact: Robert Mazzuca, Commissioner
705-670-8627 (Phone) – rjm@persona.ca (Email) – http://www.nojhl.com/ (Website)

High offensive output featured in NOJHL

SUDBURY, Ont. –One thing the shooters in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League have had little difficulty in so far this season is scoring goals.

Heading into action this week the top four clubs in the NOJHL standings have combined to amass 927 tallies between them and should have little difficulty surpassing the 1,000-goal plateau before seasons end.

While the Soo Eagles have netted the most markers overall in the league at 250, the Sudbury Cubs are close behind at 248 and also hold a game in hand.

The Soo Thunderbirds and Abitibi Eskimos have also scored over 200 goals this season with 223 and 206 respectively.

On a goal-per-game basis all four of these NOJHL clubs rank in the top 10 in the 133-team Canadian Jr. Hockey League.

Sudbury sits second nationally with a 5.90 goals-per-game average while the Soo Eagles are third at 5.81.

The NOJHL-leading Soo Thunderbirds are seventh at 5.07 and Abitibi holds down the No. 7 slot at 4.91.

The leading GPG squad in the CJHL is College Français de Longueuil of the Quebec Jr. AAA Hockey League.

Listed below you will find the top 10 goals-per-game average teams in the CJHL along with the league they compete in.

RK

Team

League

GP

Goals

GPG

1

Coll. Francais de Longueuil

QJRA

45

278

6.18

2

SUDBURY CUBS

NOJHL

42

248

5.90

3

SOO EAGLES

NOJHL

43

250

5.81

4

PentictonVees

BCHL

47

263

5.60

5

SOO THUNDERBIRDS

NOJHL

44

223

5.07

6

WoodstockSlammers

MHL

45

224

4.98

7

ABITIBI ESKIMOS

NOJHL

42

206

4.91

8

Cobourg Cougars

OJHL

46

219

4.76

9

WisconsinWilderness

SIJHL

47

217

4.62

10

Carleton PlaceCanadians

CCHL

51

230

4.51

GAME TIME: Another week in the NOJHL gets underway this evening in Sudbury as the Cubs welcome divisional rival Abitibi to McClelland Arena. Face-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Sudbury will be right back at it Thursday against another division foe as they travel to North Bay to take on the Trappers at 7 p.m.

Friday’s action features the top two clubs in the league standings squaring off as the Soo Eagles host the Soo Thunderbirds at Pullar Stadium.

Meanwhile the Blind River Beavers will look to extend their modest winning streak to two games when they pay a visit Kirkland Lake as the Gold Miners go in search of their first victory in their brief franchise history.

Weekly action will then conclude Saturday with three games as Abitibi hosts Blind River, Kirkland Lake heads to North Bay while the Soo Eagles are at home to Sudbury.

WEEK-IN-REVIEW: The week that was in the NOJHL saw seven games contested.

Feb. 1: Kirkland Lake 1 @ Sudbury 6—Nick Esposto notched a hat-trick and added an assist to pace Sudbury past Kirkland Lake…Darcy Haines chipped in by tallying twice while Jordan Carroll dished out three assists…Jeremy Pominville made 35 saves to record the victory…Shayne Jackson had the marker for the Gold Miners…Ken Appleby faced 42 shots in the loss.

Feb. 3: Soo Eagles 3 @ Kirkland Lake 2—The visiting Eagles jumped out to 3-1 lead after one period and netminder Chris Truehl stood tall between the pipes for the Soo making 32 saves to pick up the win…Brian Depp, Johnny Dora and Dallas McLaughlin all scored for the Eagles while Travis Jones tallied twice for the Gold Miners.

Feb. 3: Blind River 3 @ Soo Thunderbirds 6—Friday night in Sault Ste. Marie saw the home side jump out to a 3-0 lead and never trail as they doubled up Blind River…Nick Romano had a pair of goals for the Soo and Brett Campbell dished out three assists…John Kleinhans was the winning goaltender…Shane Snow had a goal and assist for the Beavers.

Feb. 4: Soo Eagles 9 @ Abitibi 5—The Soo broke open a 5-5 game with four goals in the late stages to skate away with the road victory…Brian Depp, Derek Diaz, Tyler Jones and Hunter Long had three points apiece for the winners…Luis Puig turned aside 39 of 44 shots to register the win in net…Marc-Alain Begin picked up an assist for the Eskis as he became the third player in the NOJHL this season to reach the 100-point plateau. He accomplished the feat in just 31 games.

Feb. 4: Sudbury 1 @ Soo Thunderbirds 2 (Shootout)—A tight-checking affair required a shootout to determine a winner with the home town Thunderbirds coming out on top thanks to a Kevin Michelcavage effort in extra shots…Brett Campbell had the lone tally in regulation for the Soo and John Kleinhans stopped 28 of 29 pucks he faced and was also perfect in the shootout…Jason Lacroix notched the lone goal for Sudbury in the setback…Jordan Carroll assisted on Lacroix’s marker as the NOJHL’s leading scorer extended a lengthy consecutive game point streak to 33 straight.

Feb. 5: Soo Thunderbirds 2 @ Blind River 3 (Shootout)—It took longer than they had hoped, but Blind River finally recorded their first win of 2012 in dramatic fashion thanks to the shootout triumph over the front-running T-Birds…Brandon Currie kicked out 27 shots in regulation and overtime and stopped all three attempts he faced in the shootout to help the Beavers put an end to a lengthy losing streak at 11 games…Paul Muio and Dan Pyymaki scored in regular time for Blind River while Tyler Brown buried the winner in extra shots…Brad Pascall and Kevin Michelcavage had the Soo markers.

Feb. 5: Soo Eagles 3 @ North Bay 5—Home ice was kind to North Bay in the final game of the week as they defeated the visiting Eagles…Corbin Bean tallied twice, including the game-winner, while Brad Gehl had a goal and an assist and Danny Desrochers dished out three helpers to aid the Trappers offensive cause…Mitchell Knight made 19 stops to register the win…Aaron Leach had a marker and set-up two others for the Eagles…Hunter Long picked up three assists for the Soo.

DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP: At the conclusion of the league playoffs, the NOJHL champion will advance to represent the league at the 2012 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship, April 17-21 in Thunder Bay. The Thunder Bay North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League will host the five-day tournament at the Fort William Gardens.

Joining the NOJHL and the North Stars in the Lakehead will be champions of the OJHL and SIJHL.

In the OJHL, their 2011-12 regular season comes to an end this weekend and it is going right down to the wire to see who will finish first overall in the 27-team loop.

The St. Michael’s Buzzers have the most points in the OJHL with 76, but they only have one game to go before they hit the postseason.

Four other clubs also have a chance at capturing the regular crown.

The Trenton Golden Hawks, Newmarket Hurricanes and Georgetown Raiders are all just one point in arrears of the Buzzers with all three of those squads having two games left apiece.

Coming on strong and peaking at the right time of the year, the Raiders have joined the fray for top spot. They have won eight in a row and have gone 19-1 in their past 20 games.

Also with an outside opportunity to finish first are the Cobourg Cougars. The have 73 points, but still have three games left on their slate. They’ll face-off against Trenton, Wellington and Toronto Lakeshore to round out play.

OJHL playoff action will commence next week.

Meanwhile the Wisconsin Wilderness continues to lead the way in the SIJHL with an impressive 41-5-1 record. They are one of six clubs in the 133-team CJHL with 40 or more victories so far this season. They also boast the second best winning percentage in the CJHL at .883.

The DHC host North Stars of Thunder Bay sit in third spot in the SIJHL at 23-18-5 as they play their final 10 regular season games on the road heading towards the postseason.

Looking back you’ll find that the OJHL has won the last five Dudley-Hewitt Cups and eight of the previous 10. The last time the DHC was held in Thunder Bay, the North Stars were victorious.

The Dudley-Hewitt Cup winner will move on to represent the central region at the Royal Bank Cup Canadian Jr. A championship in Humboldt, Sask., this May.

Now up and running is the 2012 Dudley-Hewitt Cup website, which can be found online at http://www.thedudleyhewittcup.com/.

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS: The NOJHL-leading Soo Thunderbirds continue their march up the Canadian Jr. Hockey League rankings.

Moving up one notch from a week ago the Thunderbirds were ranked sixth nationally in tabulations that are compiled each week in consultation with NHL Central Scouting and presented by PlayingUpHockey.com.

Earning honourable mention status were the high-scoring Sudbury Cubs who lead the NOJHL in goals-per-game average at just over 5.9.

The Penticton Vees, who just set a BCHL record with their 30th consecutive victory Tuesday, maintained their position as the top ranked club in the CJHL for yet another week.

The 2012 Royal Bank Cup host Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Jr. Hockey League remain No. 2 overall as the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints stayed in third. The Wisconsin Wilderness (SIJHL) and the Woodstock Slammers (MHL) round out the top five rated fourth and fifth respectively.

Last week’s rankings and the leagues in which the teams belong to are in parenthesis.

CJHL Top 20 (As of Feb. 6/12)
1. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (1)
2. Humboldt Broncos (SJHL) (2)
3. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (3)
4. Wisconsin Wilderness (SIJHL) (4)
5. Woodstock Slammers (MHL) (5)
6. SOO THUNDERBIRDS (NOJHL) (7)
7. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (6)
8. Nepean Raiders (CCHL) (8)
9. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (10)
10. Lloydminster Bobcats (AJHL) (11)
11. Dauphin Kings (MJHL) (13)
12. Newmarket Hurricanes (OJHL) (9)
13. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (15)
14. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (12)
15. Powell River Kings (BCHL) (16)
16. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (17)
17. Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (HM)
18. Les Cougars du College Champlain – Sherbrooke (LHJAAAQ) (20)
19. Cornwall Colts (CCHL) (HM)
20. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (NR)

Honourable Mention: SUDBURY CUBS (NOJHL), Okotoks Oilers (AJHL), Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL), Wellington Dukes (OJHL), Carleton Place Canadians (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 comprised of the 10 junior A hockey leagues across Canada.

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NOJHL TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES

ABITIBI ESKIMOS: Abitibi has two games of the docket this week starting tonight in Sudbury before heading home to take on Blind River on Saturday…100-point man Marc-Alain Begin has a nine-game point streak picking up six goals and 27 assists during his run. He remains third in NOJHL scoring with 10 points in just 31 games…His 13 power play markers are the third most in the league…Richard Therrien sits sixth in NOJHL scoring on 79 points. He has points in 10 of his past 11 games and is fifth in power play goals with 10…The15 home wins share the second best total in the NOJHL…The club is 6-4 in their past 10 games and have season games left in the regular season.

BLIND RIVER BEAVERS: The Beavers will look to extend their modest one-game winning streak Friday in Kirkland Lake…Blind River remains in the cellar of the NOJHL western division with a 6-36-2 record…Tyler Brown’s 26 points lead the team. He has a four-game point streak on the go…Paul Muio is next with 24 points…The squad has scored only 99 times so far this season while allowing a league-high 253.

KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS: Kirkland Lake hopes to secure win No. 1 in the newly-minted franchise as they host Blind River Friday at The Joe…Jordan Turbide has five points in as many games to lead the Gold Miners offensively. He shares the team goal scoring lead with Travis Jones as both skaters have netted three pucks each…After Friday’s contest the squad heads to North Bay Saturday in the first of three meetings this month.

NORTH BAY TRAPPERS: North Bay continues a four-game home stand with match-ups vs. Sudbury and Kirkland Lake…Team leading scorer Matt Salituro (22g-21a-43pts) is riding a six-game point streak…Brandon Janke also has points in six straight…Brad Gehl has 20 points in 15 games since being acquired by the club…Goaltender Mitchell Knight is second among NOJHL netminders in goals-against average at 2.84. His four shutouts are also second best in the league…The Traps have eight games in 21 days to wrap-up the regular season.

SOO EAGLES: The Eagles kick off a four-game home stand Friday vs. the rival Thunderbirds…Six of their last seven games will be on Pullar Stadium ice while their lone remaining road game is just across the International Bridge against the T-Birds…NOJHL leading scorers ranked eighth through 12th all wear Eagles’ jerseys. Brian Depp (72pts) is eighth, Shane Totten (62pts) sits ninth, Dallas McLaughlin (57pts) holds down 10th while Travis Payne (53pts) is 11th and Gavin Burbach (51pts) is 12th…Chris Truehl has the second best save percentage among NOJHL netminders at .912. He is third in goals-against average at 3.13. Truehl has a 11 victories in just 16 appearances.

SOO THUNDERBIRDS: Ranked sixth overall in the latest CJHL rankings the Thunderbirds lead the NOJHL standings with a 35-8-1 record and a .807 winning percentage….The Soo is the hottest team in the league at the moment having gone 8-1-1 in their past 10 games…The team’s offensive production has been well spread out this season as they have 10 skaters with 30 or more points…Team leading scorer Micky Sartoretto has points in 27 of his past 31 contests. He is fifth in NOJHL scoring with 85 points. Teammate Matt Amadio sits seventh in the league in offensive production with 73 points. He has points in 10 of his past 13 games…John Kleinhans continues to impress between the pipes for the T-Birds. He leads all NOJHL goalkeepers in wins (24), goals-against average (2.78), save percentage (.913), shutouts (5), and minutes played (1,919)…on the six remaining games the club has, four will be on the road as they look to secure their second consecutive NOJHL regular season crown…Four more victories will guarantee first overall.

SUDBURY CUBS: Sudbury is 6-2-2 in their past 10 and have gone 22-6-1 in their past 29 outings…Jordan Carroll and Jamie Haines remain one-two respectively in NOJHL scoring…Carroll has the second highest point total in the entire CJHL at 116. He currently paces the CJHL in goals with 59…He is also riding an impressive 33-game point streak and leads the league in shorthanded goals with six…Haines leads the league in game-winning goals with nine…Nick Esposto has 13 points during a four-game point streak and has moved up to fourth overall in the NOJHL in offensive production with 86 points. He has 26 multiple-point games so far this season…Goaltender Jeremy Pominville is 11-1-1 in his last 13 decisions…Netminder Alex Laino is 10-3-1 in his last 14 outings…The Cubs have 15 wins on home ice so far this season and 12 on the road. They are one of three NOJHL clubs with a winning record at home and as the visiting team…Sudbury has eight games remaining in the regular season, including four on home ice.