By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
TIMMINS – Timmins Rock blue-liner Spencer Segui has been recognized as the Gongshow Gear Defenceman of the Month in the NOJHL for November.
A 20-year-old North Haven, Conn., native, Segui was solid at both ends of the ice to help the Rock go 6-2-1-0 during November.
In his second season with the Rock, Segui (26, 3-18-21, 24) leads all Rock defenders in scoring this season and is fifth in the league at his position.
During November, he scored one goal and added eight helpers
“When Spencer is playing well out there, he just does everything simple,” said Rock assistant coach James Daschuk, who works with the team’s blue-liners.
“I guess you could consider him an offensive defenceman. He gets a lot of power-play time and he likes to jump into the rush. He seems to be one of those defenceman who can put the puck in the net. You give him the puck in the slot and he can pick a corner.
“He is really effective when he keeps things simple and sticks to the program, but he definitely has some flash to his game. He is a pretty good skate and he has pretty good vision out there on the ice.”
Even under pressure, Segui remains calm at all times.
“He doesn’t get stressed out all all,” Daschuk said.
“He is not going to die of a heart attack. Most offensive defencemen are pretty calm out there.”
At 5-10 and 176 pounds, Segui is far from the biggest blue-liner in the NOJHL, or even on the Rock roster, but that doesn’t prevent him from playing with a little bit of grit.
“He is a 20 year old and he has been around for quite a few years now, so he knows what it is all about,” Daschuk said.
“He is a tough kid. He doesn’t necessarily go looking for the big hits, but when he sees an opportunity he takes it. He definitely doesn’t get pushed around. He plays his role well as a 20 year old and that’s what we expect from him.”
Segui joined the Rock for the last six games of the 2015-16 regular season, before suiting up for a half dozen playoff games.
“You could tell he wasn’t used to our program, but he has it figured out now and he is a lot more confident,” Daschuk said.
“I think that has helped his game quite a bit.”
Before joining the Rock, Segui spent time with the Campbellton Tigers (8, 0-0-0, 2), of the MJAHL, and the Northern Cyclones (13, 1-1-2, 8), of the EHL, during the 2015-16 campaign.
The blue-liner is honoured to be recognized as the Gongshow Gear Defenceman of the Month in the NOJHL for November.
“It means a lot, obviously,” he said.
“I worked hard over the summer and I have been working hard during the year, but without my teammates it wouldn’t have been possible to win an award line this. I am lucky to have good teammates and to play for a good coaching staff that has given me great opportunities.”
For the most part, Segui has been paired with Jared Hester (28, 8-10-18, 36) on the Rock blue-line.
“Every now and then, they will mix things up, but I have mainly played with Jared this season,” Segui said.
He credits his teammates for helping him become a more consistent contributor on offence this season.
“My teammates have been setting me up and I have tried to play good positionally, so when I get the puck I can create offence,” Segui said.
The Rock program can take some time to grasp, but when everybody is on the same page the team has demonstrated just how successful it can be this season.
“It is a pretty strict system, but if you fit into the system well, success will come,” Segui said.
“If somebody tries to do their own thing, the system kind of falls apart. So, that’s the key, listening to what the coaches have to say and doing things right by executing. If we do that, we will have success.”
Despite some recent struggles, Segui is confident that if the Rocks stick to the program they will have a deep playoff run this season.
Honourable Mention for November went to Iroquois Falls Eskis blue-liner Josh Dejulio (29, 7-18-25, 18) and Soo Eagles defender Nick Trecroce (28, 0-17-17, 42).
Previous winners have included Dayton Murray (29, 8-17-25, 34), of the Powassan Voodoos, in September, and Phil Caron (30, 6-21-27, 8), of the Eskis, in November.
The Gongshow Gear Play of the Month for November is Voodoos forward Tyson Gilmour (29, 14-19-33, 20).
In 10 November games, Gilmour helped the surging Voodoos win all of them aiding in the club’s current 20-game winning streak.
The 18-year-old East York product tallied eight times and doled out seven assists for 15 points during that span, which included one game-winning goal.
Honourable mention went to Blind River Beavers forward Yianni Liarakos (29, 20-24-44, 30) and Voodoos forward Andy Baker (30, 29-15-44, 4).
Voodoos puck stopper Nate McDonald has been named the Gongshow Gear Goaltender of the Month for November.
In six appearances in November, McDonald (1,156:00, 17-2-1-0, 3, 1.97, .929) came away with victories in all of them.
During the month he registered a stingy 1.66 goals-against average to go along with a solid .939 save percentage.
The 17-year-old North Bay leads all NOJHL netminders in goals against average, shutouts and wins.
Honourable mention went to Brandon Gordon (1,240:00, 15-6-0-0, 2, 2.56, .897), of the Soo Thunderbirds, and Myles Hektor (1367:00, 15-8-0-0, 2, 2.90, .911), of the Blind River Beavers.
In addition to being Player of the Month, Gilmour was also named Gongshow Gear Rookie of the Month for November.
Honourable mention went to Eskis forward Shadow Reuben (30, 18-26-44, 10) and Rayside-Balfour Canadians forward Kyle Liinamaa (31, 5-16-21, 18).