CHRISTIAN BENDER/OJHL IMAGES Team NOJHL East captain Derek Seguin battles for position with Matthew Hobbs, of Team OJHL Coffey, during a Eastern Canada Cup Challenge game at the Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens on Wednesday. Seguin, who is also captain of the Timmins Rock, had one of the two Team NOJHL East goals in the contest, but it was not enough as the squad dropped its third-straight contest, by a 3-2 score.
TRENTON — Team NOJHL East’s run at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge officially came to an end on Wednesday with a 3-2 shootout loss to Team OJHL Coffey at Duncan McDonald Memorial Gardens.
It was the third-straight setback for Team NOJHL East, as they wrapped up the tournament.
Three members of the Timmins Rock — captain Derek Seguin, linemate Riley Robitaille and blue-liner Josh Anderson — were part of Team NOJHL East, that also included players from the Powassan Voodoos, the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, the Cochrane Crunch, the Hearst Lumberjack and the French River Rapids.
On Wednesday, the first two Team OJHL Coffey shooters, Ryan Nicholson and Riley McCutcheon, both found the back of the net, while Team NOJHL East snipers Cade Herd (Powassan Voodoos) and Gregory Trudeau-Paquet (Kirkland Lake Gold Miners) were foiled by winning goalie Will Barber.
Nicholson and McCutcheon scored for Team OJHL Coffey in regulaton.
Seguin netted one of the two Team NOJHL East regulation goals, with the other coming off the stick of Kirkland Lake Gold Miners forward Sam Elwood.
Barber stopped 10 of the 12 shots he faced in regulation to secure the win for Team OJHL Coffey.
Joe Vrbetic, of the Voodoos, started in net for Team NOJHL East, but he was not involved in the decision after blocking 20 of the 21 shots directed his way in the first period.
Gold Miners goalie Gregory Brassard, who came on after the first period, was tagged with the loss.
Even though Team NOJHL East finished the tournament 0-3-0, Seguin enjoyed the experience.
“It was interesting, for sure,” he said prior to Thursday’s Rock practice at the McIntyre Arena.
“Any time you get a bunch of guys from around the league, put them on a team for a week and try to build friendships and create chemistry, it is interesting.”
Seguin, who is in his first year as captain of the Rock, was honoured to be chosen to wear the C with Team NOJHL East, as well.
“Overall, even though we didn’t win any games, we did pretty good,” he said.
“It was kind of cool to talk with the other guys on the team and learn how things are going on their teams.
“It was a really cool experience and I thank the NOJHL and everyone who was partnered with them for it.”
Seguin and his Rock teammates didn’t have much of an opportunity to get ready for the tournament prior to its start.
“We got in a practice on Saturday night (in Orillia),” he said.
“We had kind of a long drive, so it was just a matter of getting our legs under us and kind of get a feel for the puck.
“Then we had a practice Sunday morning, working more on systematic stuff and kind of building chemistry with your linemates.”
Seguin, who plays with Robitaille on his wing when they are on the ice with the Rock, got to work with a wide variety of wingers during the event.
“It was kind of an odd situation because we were rolling three centres,” Seguin said.
“I didn’t exactly have a line per se, but I did play with Riley quite a bit throughout the week and obviously Anderson was on the back end and I was out there with him, too.
“The majority of the time I played with Vinny DeSanctis (Gold Miners), Zach Hayes, Riley and David Campbell (Powassan Voodoos).”
On Tuesday, Team NOJHL jumped out to a 2-0 lead before watching Team CCHL Yzerman storm back with three unanswered second-period goals en route to a 3-2 victory.
First-period goals by Zach Hayes, of the Cochrane Crunch, and Herd had staked Team NOJHL East to a 2-0 advantage.
Team CCHL Yzerman battled back with Zack Hoffman scoring a power-play goal to get them on the board.
Konnor MacCormick then tied things up midway through the frame before Jeremie Lavallee netted what would prove to be the game-winner with 45 seconds remaining.
Team CCHL Yzerman’s Matthew Petizian turned aside 21 of the 23 shots he faced to pick up the win.
Brassard, who went the distance in goal for Team NOJHL East, stopped 30 of the 32 shots directed his way while being tagged with the loss.
On Monday, Team NOJHL East opened the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge with a 5-0 setback against Team QJAAAHL St. Louis.
Following a scoreless first period, Team QJAAAHL St. Louis pumped in five-straight markers to take control of the contest.
Alex Plamondon (short handed), Daven Castonguay, Michael Stegmann, Frederik Theoret and William Duperron all found the back of the net for Team QJAAAHL St. Louis.
Cedric Lariviere was called upon to make just nine saves while posting the shutout and earning the victory for Team QJAAAHL St. Louis.
Team NOJHL East’s Vrbetic was peppered with 30 shots, 25 of which he turned aside while being tagged with the loss.
Meanwhile Team NOJHL West — composed of players from the Soo Thunderbirds, the Rayside-Balfour Canadians, the Blind River Beavers, the Elliot Lake Wildcats, the Soo Eagles and the Espanola Express managed to post a pair of victories during their three games at the Eastern Canada Cup Challenge.
Team NOJHL West opened with a 2-1 shootout win over Team MHL South and then blanked Team OJHL Oates 1-0 before finishing up with a 2-0 setback against Team OJHL Nieuwendyk