NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013
NOJHL Notebook: 2013-14 regular season begins tonight
SUDBURY – Another Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s regular season is upon us with this year’s campaign commencing this evening in Copper Cliff as the Sudbury Nickel Barons host the Abitibi Eskimos in a 7:30 p.m. start at McClelland Arena.
That contest is one of eight on the skate in week one of competition with the schedule as follows:
Wednesday, Sept. 4
Abitibi @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland)
Friday, Sept. 6
Blind River @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
Espanola @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (The Joe)
North Bay @ Soo 7:30 p.m. (Essar Centre)
Saturday, Sept. 7
Elliot Lake @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Espanola @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Sudbury @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (The Joe)
Sunday, Sept. 8
North Bay @ Blind River 2 p.m. (Community Centre)
REGULAR SEASON: Throughout the course of the 2013-14 regular season club each of the eight member teams will play a 56-game schedule with action set to conclude on March 9.
Overtime in regular season action will remain the same as last year with the squads playing four skaters aside in the first OT with a sudden victory format being used in the five-minute session.
If still tied a second five-minute sudden victory OT period will be contested and if the two sides are still knotted the game will end in a draw with each team picking up one point in the standings.
Should a goal be scored in either the first or second OT the winning team will earn a second point to the one the losing team will receive in extra time defeat.
Each and every game will be available online via a pay-per-view basis through the FASTHockey link on the league website at www.nojhl.com.
PRESEASON WRAP: A total of 14 games were contested in the league’s exhibition season highlighted by the nine that were played in the first-ever Cottage Cup hosted by the Elliot Lake Bobcats and featured the Soo Thunderbirds, Blind River Beavers and North Bay Trappers also taking part.
In the end it was the T-Birds who ran the table going a perfect 5-0 en route to the title, including a 7-3 triumph over the Beavers in the finale.
Each of the eight NOJHL clubs, with the exception of Espanola who did not see any exhibition action, played in at least two preseason affairs.
Brady Clouthier and Zach Innes paced Abitibi in points in exhibition play with two apiece while Tyson MacLeod was the top numbers man for Blind River registering seven in total, including five goals.
For Elliot Lake it was Aviv Milner’s eight points followed by Andrew Plushaj’s seven, which also saw him lead all goal scorers in tallies with six.
Then there was Alex Hulford’s four points that led the Gold Miners while Jake Staples dished out six assists to show the way for North Bay offensively.
You also had Gavin Burbach and Joey Miller pick up eight and seven points respectively for Sault Ste. Marie and Bradley Bell’s picking up a goal and assist pacing Sudbury.
The following is the respective team records in the preseason.
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.