NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013
NOJHL Notebook: 10-game week 10 resumes tonight
SUDBURY – The 10th week of regular season game action in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League has already seen two contests played with another eight still on the slate.
After victories by North Bay Monday and Kirkland Lake Tuesday on-ice action resumes this evening as Sudbury hosts Espanola in a 7:30 p.m. start at McClelland Arena.
Three more 7:30 p.m. tilts go Friday with Elliot Lake at home Blind River, Sault Ste. Marie traveling to Kirkland Lake and Espanola entertaining Sudbury.
Saturdays sees the Bobcats and Beavers tangling in Blind River and the Thunderbirds heading to Iroquois Falls to meet the Eskimos of Abitibi in 7:30 p.m. face-offs.
Weekly play then concludes Sunday as the Rivermen are on the road in Blind River for a 2 p.m. matinee while the Trappers take on the T-Bird at 7 p.m. at West Ferris Arena.
NOJHL THIS WEEK
North Bay 5 Blind River 2
Kirkland Lake 6 North Bay 2
Espanola @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m.
Blind River @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m.
Soo @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.
Sudbury @ Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Elliot Lake @ Blind River 7:30 p.m.
Soo @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m.
Espanola @ Blind River 2 p.m.
Soo @ North Bay 7 p.m.
CJHL PROSPECTS: The NOJHL will have four players and a coach representing the league at this weekend’s Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects games in Digby and Yarmouth, N.S.
While Espanola Rivermen bench boss Tom McCarthy was earlier named as the head coach of Team East in the two-game series, four NOJHL players were also named to the squad earlier this week by the CJHL and Hockey Canada.
Soo Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk, Espanola’s Cray Roberge along with Sudbury Nickel Baron’s defenceman Bradley Bell and forward Ryan Punkari were all named to the Team East roster.
This two-game event is being held in conjunction with the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth Nov. 4-10 of which Kirkland Lake Gold Miners head coach and general manager Marc Lafleur is serving as an assistant coach with Canada East.
The opening prospects contest goes Friday, Nov. 8 at the Digby Arena at 7 p.m. AT and concludes the following afternoon at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth in a 4 p.m. AT start.
Player selection in compiling the rosters for the CJHL Prospects games was a joint initiative between the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
CJHL TOP 20: The CJHL’s weekly top 20 rankings sees the two frontrunners in the NOJHL standings continue to garner national attention.
The surging Soo Thunderbirds are still soaring as they moved up another notch in the weekly tabulations as they now sit third overall nationally in the rankings, which are compiled in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.
Sault Ste. Marie presently owns the best record in the NOJHL with an impressive 18-2-0-1 overall record along with a .891 winning percentage. Much of that is due to an incredible run where they have amassed 27 out of a possible 28 points in their past 14 games.
Meanwhile the second place Kirkland Lake Gold Miners were tabbed with the No. 14 rating in the CJHL.
Kirkland Lake is 15-2-0-1 on the season to date, which gives them a win mark of .861.
Holding down the No. 1 ranking yet again in the 128-team CJHL are the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons while the Steinbach Pistons of the MJHL moved to No. 2.
CJHL TOP 20
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST WEEK)
1. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (1)
2. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (3)
3. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (4)
4. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (5)
5. Powell River Kings (BCHL) (2)
6. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (7)
7. Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (8)
8. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (6)
9. Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL) (15)
10. Carleton Place Canadiens (CCHL) (12)
11. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL) (9)
12. Wellington Dukes (OJHL) (11)
13. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (13)
14. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (HM)
15. Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (HM)
16. Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL) (NR)
17. Melville Millionaires (SJHL) (18)
18. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (14)
19. Weeks Crushers (MHL) (NR)
20. Les Cougars de Sherbrooke (LHJAAAQ) (NR)
Honourable Mention: Langley Rivermen (BCHL), Yorkton Terriers (SJHL), Portage Terriers (MJHL), Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL), Les Montagnards de Sainte-Agathe (LHJAAAQ).
ABOUT THE CJHL TOP 20
The CJHL Top 20 weekly rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including the league in which the team plays, winning percentage, win-loss record, total points accumulated, goals-for versus goals-against ratio, etc.
ABOUT THE CJHL
The Canadian Junior Hockey League is a national organization comprised of all 10 Junior A hockey leagues in Canada.
The CJHL represents 128 teams and over 2,500 players and has over 2,800 alumni furthering their hockey careers at the professional, major junior and college level across North America.
For latest CJHL news and features, visit www.cjhlhockey.com and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/cjhlhockey or @cjhlhockey.
NOJHL 3 STARS: The league’s latest # Stars of the week were Michael Muzyka of the Sudbury Nickel Barons along with Elliot Lake Bobcats defenceman Ned Simpson and forward Andrew Palushaj.
MICHAEL MUZYKA, (G) SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS – In two starts Muzyka backstopped the Nickel Barons to their first multi-win week of the 2013-14 campaign.
The 17-year-old Sudbury Wolves draft choice began his award-winning effort by making 30 stops in a 4-3 overtime victory over North Bay this past Wednesday.
Saturday night he made another 39 saves backstopping his club to a 3-1 road victory at Blind River.
His efforts allowed him to wrap-up the week with a respectible1.94 goals-against average and a stellar .942 save percentage.
NED SIMPSON, (D) ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – While helping anchor the Bobcats defensive corps, Simpson also bolstered Elliot Lake’s offensive cause as well by accumulating four points in a pair of home ice victories while doubling up his overall season totals in the process.
Entering play last week with three points in his first 10 games this season, Simpson matched that number by blasting home a pair of power play tallies and picking up an even strength assist in a 6-2 win Friday over North Bay at Centennial Arena.
The next night the 18-year-old, who hails from Kitchener, Ont., added another helper aiding in his club’s 4-3 victory over Abitibi.
ANDREW PALUSHAJ (F) ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – Palushaj too made his mark in the Bobcats two triumphs last week.
In the Friday evening victory over the Trappers he had a goal and set-up two others, including assisting on the game-winner, for the three-point night.
On Saturday the Livonia, Mich., product, who turns 20 next month, got Elliot Lake going by notching the game’s opening goal in his club’s win over Abitibi.
His 11 markers on the season are the second most on his team, which is the 11th highest total in the league so far this season.
ONLINE ACTION: Each and every NOJHL game this season is available online on a pay-per-view basis via FASTHockey.
Fans can view the games through the FASTHockey link on the league website at www.nojhl.com.
NOJHL SHOWCASE: The NOJHL is slated to host a league Showcase Weekend Jan. 10-11 in Espanola.
A total of four league regular season games, which will count in the NOJHL standings, will be played at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.
The goal is to further showcase the players of the NOJHL in one location to further assist NCAA, CIS, CHL and NHL scouts allowing them access to all league members clubs in one venue.
NOJHL SHOWCASE GAMES
Friday, Jan. 10
Elliot Lake vs. Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 12
Kirkland Lake vs. Blind River 1:30 p.m.
Abitibi vs. Soo 4:15 p.m.
Sudbury vs. North Bay 7:15 p.m.
CENTRAL CANADA CUP: Over the Christmas break the NOJHL will be sending an all-star team that will compete in the Central Canada Cup Challenge Dec. 27-29 in Terrebonne, Que.
There the NOJHLers will go up against similar all-star squads from the Maritime, Quebec, Central Canada and Ontario Jr. Hockey Leagues.
This marks the second time in three years the league will take part in the event.
DUDLEY-HEWITT CUP: The NOJHL champion will move on to represent the league at the 2014 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship.
That four-team event will be hosted by the OJHL’s Wellington Dukes and will run April 29 – May 3 at the Essroc Arena in the Wellington and District Community Centre.
ROYAL BANK CUP: The DHC title holder will then move on to represent the region at the 2014 RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship with that tournament being hosted by the BCHL’s Vernon Lakers May 10-18 in Vernon, B.C.
Record: 8-9-0-2 (18pts-Tie 5th overall)
Next game: Nov. 9 vs. Soo 7:30 p.m.
Last game: Nov. 2 @ Elliot Lake (4-3 loss)
Streak: 2-game winless
Leading scorer: Brady Clouthier (13g-14a-27pts)
Leading goaltender: Sylvain Miron (6-8-4.04-.894)
DID YOU KNOW: Former Eskimos forward Aaron Kerr scored his first Quebec Major Junior Hockey League goal Tuesday. It turned out to be the game-winner as Kerr’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan defeated the Saint John Seas Dogs 1-0.
BLIND RIVER BEAVERS
Record: 4-15 (8 pts-8th overall)
Next game: Nov. 8 @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m.
Last game: Nov. 4 @ North Bay (5-2 loss)
Streak: Six-game winless
Leading scorer: Tyson MacLeod (7g-8a-15pts)
Leading goaltender: Matt Young (2-4-4.02-.877)
DID YOU KNOW: Blind River only has one 14 in their past 14 games. That triumph came back on Oct. 16, a 6-5 overtime triumph at Sudbury.
ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS
Record: 9-6-0-3 (21 pts-4th overall)
Next game: Nov. 8 vs. Blind River
Last game: Nov. 2 vs. Abitibi (4-3 win)
Streak: Three-game winning
Leading scorer: Brett Wagner (16g-8a-24pts)
Leading goaltender: Etienne Roy (6-5-3.32-.906)
DID YOU KNOW: The Bobcats are riding a season-high three-game winning streak. That matches a franchise best set last season.
Record: 12-8 (24 pts-3rd overall)
Next game: Tonight @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m.
Last game: Nov. 2 @ Sault Ste. Marie (3-1 loss)
Streak: One-game winless
Leading scorer: Brandon Janke (13g-18a-31pts)
Leading goaltender: Joakim Jutras (2-1-2.33-.939)
DID YOU KNOW: Head coach Tom McCarthy and forward Cray Roberge are both off the Nova Scotia this weekend to compete in the CJHL Prospects Games. Brennen Dubchak leads the NOJHL in goals with 17.
KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS
Record: 15-2-0-1 (31 pts-2nd overall)
Next game: Nov. 8 vs. Soo
Last game: Nov. 5 vs. North Bay (6-2 win)
Streak: Four-game winning
Leading scorer: Steven Babin (10g-24a-34pts)
Leading goaltender: Kenny Fitzgerland (7-2-2.06-.917)
DID YOU KNOW: Forward Steven Babin leads all NOJHL point producers with 34. He is also tops in assists with 24.
NORTH BAY TRAPPERS
Record: 7-13-0-4 (18pts-Tie 5th overall)
Next game: Nov. 10 vs. Sault Ste. Marie 7 p.m.
Last game: Nov. 5 @ Kirkland Lake (6-2 loss)
Streak: One-game winless
Leading scorer: Ryan Demyen (13g-10a-23pts)
Leading goaltender: Evan Cormier (3-8-3.33-.915)
DID YOU KNOW: Trappers leading scorer Ryan Demyen leads all skaters in the league in power play tallies with seven. Netminder Dustin Hummel has played the second most minutes (791:23) and faced the second most shots (514) in the NOJHL.
Record: 18-2-0-1 (37 pts-1st overall)
Next game: Nov. 8 @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m.
Last game: Nov. 2 vs. Espanola (3-1 win)
Streak: Two-game winning and 27 out of 28 points in their past 14 games
Leading scorer: Gavin Burbach (15g-15a-30pts)
Leading goaltender: Joel Horodziejczyk (11-2-1.69-.934)
DID YOU KNOW: Sault Ste. Marie is currently ranked third in the CJHL rankings out of 128 teams. Netminder Joel Horodziejczyk will represent the Thunderbirds at the CJHL Prospects Games in Nova Scotia this weekend. The T-Birds are 15-0 so far this season when Anthony Miller registers at least one point.
SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS
Record: 6-11-0-2 (14 pts-7th overall)
Next game: Tonight vs. Espanola 7:30 p.m.
Last game: Nov. 2 @ Blind River (3-1 win)
Streak: One-game winning
Leading scorer: Ryan Punkari (8g-10a-18pts)
Leading goaltender: Michael Muzyka (4-8-3.80-.899)
DID YOU KNOW: Bradley Bell and Ryan Punkari will both take part in the CJHL Proespects Games in Nova Scotia this weekend.