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NOJHL Notebook: Week 2 begins tonight

NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
MEDIA UPDATE

Release Date: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013
 
NOJHL Notebook: Week 2 begins tonight

SUDBURY – Week 2 in regular season competition in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League features another eight games on the slate.

It all gets underway tonight in Copper Cliff as the Sudbury Nickel Barons welcome the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners to McClelland Arena in a 7:30 p.m. start.

That contest sees the home side going in search of their first win of the season while the Gold Miners will look to improve to 3-0 with a triumph.

Two nights later three more tilts are on the go including Kirkland Lake entertaining the also unbeaten Soo Thunderbirds at “The Joe” while Sudbury heads to Elliot Lake to tangle with the Bobcats in a pair of 7:30 p.m. starts.

The evenings other match-up features the North Bay Trappers making their West Ferris Arena debut as they host Espanola, the club that used to call North Bay home, at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday has the Rivermen continuing on the road as they visit the Blind River Community Centre to face-off against the Beavers at 7:30 p.m.

Also on tap that night Sault Ste. Marie heads to Iroquois Falls to take on the Abitibi Eskimos, also at 7:30 p.m.

Weekly play then concludes Sunday with a double dose of NOJHL action with the Trappers seeing the Thunderbirds make their first appearance of the campaign in North Bay at 3:30 p.m. while Abitibi challenges the Gold Miners in a 7:30 p.m. start at Jus Jordan Arena.

Wednesday, Sept. 11
Kirkland Lake @ Sudbury 7:30 p.m. (McClelland)
Friday, Sept. 13
Espanola @ North Bay 7 p.m. (West Ferris)
Soo @ Kirkland Lake 7:30 p.m. (The Joe)
Sudbury @ Elliot Lake 7:30 p.m. (Centennial)
Saturday, Sept. 14
Espanola @ Blind River 7:30 p.m. (Community Centre)
Soo @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)
Sunday, Sept. 15
Soo @ North Bay 3:30 p.m. (West Ferris)
Kirkland Lake @ Abitibi 7:30 p.m. (Jus Jordan)

NOJHL 3 STARS: The first installment of the NOJHL “3 Stars” of the week were Mathieu Lecompte of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners along with Tyler Shanush and Matt Young of the Blind River Beavers.

The trio were recognized for their respective on-ice achievements during week 1 of NOJHL regular season action.

MATHIEU LECOMPTE, (F), KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – In two games during the week that was the 19-year-old native of Ville-Marie, Que., was superb registering a league-high seven points on four goals and three assists.
Lecompte began by notching a hat-trick and setting up another in a come from behind 8-3 victory over the Espanola Rivermen on Sept. 6.

He followed that up the next night by scoring the game-winner and dishing out a pair of helpers as the Gold Miners dug deep and rallied once again to edge the visiting Sudbury Nickel Barons 4-3.

Heading into Wednesday’s game at Sudbury Lecompte leads all NOJHL skaters with the seven points and is knotted for top spot in goals with four.

TYLER SHANUSH, (F), BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – Shanush, who turns 19 later this week, celebrated his birthday early by burying the game-winner in each of the two triumphs the Beavers recorded in their three outings last week.

He finished with five points in total in those three contests, including finding the back of the net on each occasion, to start a modest goal and point streak.

After scoring once in a season-opening 7-3 setback at Elliot Lake on Friday, he tallied twice Saturday notching his club’s final two markers to help lead Blind River to a 3-2 win at home vs. the same Bobcats.

Sunday afternoon the Sudbury product continued his scoring prowess by burying the winner and setting up one more as the Beavers topped North Bay 4-2. He now leads the NOJHL in game-winners, sits second in total points and is tied for first in goals.

MATT YOUNG, (G), BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – The 19-year-old Young, who hails from Kingsley, N.B., made the most of his first two NOJHL regular season starts by coming away victorious in both of them.

He combined to stop 59 of 63 shots he faced to post triumphs over Elliot Lake and North Bay over the weekend.

His efforts see him pacing all netminders in the league in both goals-against-average and save percentage at 2.00 and .937 respectively.

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.

TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES

ABITIBI ESKIMOS – The Eskis are 1-1 after week 1 in league play. … Brennen Roy has the early team scoring lead with three points in two games. Kealey Cummings and Zach Innes are next with two. … Netminder Sylvain Miron is second in NOJHL goals-against average and save percentage at 2.50 and .926 respectively. … Abitibi plays their next four on home ice. … They also have a neutral site contest in which they are the home team slated for Timmins on Oct. 4.

BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – Tyler Shanush has a league-best two game-winning goals already. He is tied for first on the team offensively in points with five and is second overall in the NOJHL. Shanush has tallies in three straight games to begin the year.  … Sean Gruenhagen also has five points for the club. … Matt Young leads all goalkeepers in the league in goals-against average a 2.00. He also leads the way in save percentage at .937. The Beavers are in the midst of five straight games played at home.

ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – The Bobcats opening night victory over Blind River last week saw the squad set or match a number of team records. With a hat-trick Andrew Paulshaj tied the Bobcats team mark for most goals in a game with three set three times last season. …Max Glashouser and Brett Wagner established new team records for assists in a game with four. … The duo also set the pace for most points in a game with the four helpers. … Palushaj is tied for the league lead in goals with four while Wagner is knotted for second in points overall with five.

ESPANOLA RIVERMEN – The Rivermen won their first game in Espanola last Saturday. … Corbin Bean will go down in the record books as scoring the first-ever game-winning goal while Griffin Strain is credited with the first win in net. … Brandon Janke tops the club offensively with three points in two games. … Espanola plays four more on the road before returning for the home opener Friday, Sept. 27 vs. Sudbury.

KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – The Gold Miners are one of two unbeaten teams in the NOJHL early on after posting come from behind victories over Espanola and Sudbury at home last week. … Mathieu Lecompte, who was one of the NOJHL’s “3 Stars” last week leads all skaters in the league in scoring with seven points. His four tallies also tie him for first in that category. … Defencemen Jeremy Picard-Fiset share second overall in assists with four. … Kirkland Lake plays four of their next six at home.

NORTH BAY TRAPPERS – North Bay, who are 0-2 to start the season, has their home opener Friday at the new arena, West Ferris, Friday against Espanola. … They then entertain Sault Ste. Marie on Sunday. … Zach Turner has the early team lead in scoring with three points. He and Ryan Demyen shares the club lead in goals with two. … The Trappers will be without the services of head coach Zane Neily for the next four games as he sits out a league suspension for use of an ineligible player in their season opener at Sault Ste. Marie.

SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Five players had multiple-point games in their season-opening 6-3 triumph over North Bay this past Friday. …Derek Battagin led the way with a goal and two assists. … First-year head coach Jordan Smith was victorious in the NOJHL debut behind the bench. … The T-Birds embark on a three-game road trip this weekend with games against the Gold Miners, Eskimos and Trappers. … The club only has three home games in September compared to six in October. … Including preseason play the Soo have won six straight contests to begin the 2013-14 campaign.

SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS – Sudbury looks for win No. 1 tonight as they host unbeaten Kirkland Lake. … The Nickel Barons won their first eight games in 2012-13. … Ryan Punkari has jumped out to the early team scoring lead with four points after two games on a goal and three assists. That ties him for fifth in NOJHL offensive production. … Including tonight, Sudbury will play nine of the next 15 games at home on McClelland Arena ice.

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