NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Release Date: Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013
NOJHL SPOTLIGHT: CJHL Prospects Games experience not lost on Espanola’s Roberge
SUDBURY – For Cray Roberge of the Espanola Rivermen, the opportunity to represent the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League at the recently staged Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects games in Nova Scotia was an occasion he took full advantage of.
As one of the NOJHLers chosen to suit up for the Team East roster that was jointly selected by the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting, the 17-year-old Val Caron, Ont., native certainly made his mark finishing up the two-game, total-goal series vs. Team West tied for the overall points lead among all skaters with three.
Prior to the Rivermen hitting the ice for a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee vs. his former team, the Blind River Beavers, at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex, the eighth round 2012 Ontario Hockey League Draft selection of the Barrie Colts looked back on the success he and his Team East mates had in winning the Prospects games crown.
“The experience was phenomenal,” opined Roberge. “There was a great bunch of guys with a very high compete level. I really enjoyed the experience.”
Discussing his co-top point producing effort at the event, the six-foot-two-inch, 199-pound forward credited an instant chemistry with his line-mates.
“I played with great line-mates and we worked together very well. We provided each other with plenty of scoring opportunities and we got results.”
It was also not lost on the young Espanola forward that the other players from the NOJHL that took part also played pivotal roles in the East triumph.
“It felt great seeing the others come up big for our team too,” stated Roberge. “Me and the guys all played well and it was a good winning with Team East.”
Having been invited to such a high profile event, featuring the top-end talent from across the entire 128-team CJHL, also allowed him to see firsthand just how impressive the quality of play was brought forward by each of the participants.
“The skill level was very high,” Roberge offered. “You got to see how you compare against other prospects across Canada.”
An added bonus for the Rivermen forward was his head coach in Espanola also served as the bench boss for Team East in Tom McCarthy who guided the select squad to their first President’s Cup trophy since 2010.
“It was great having him as the head coach,” stated Roberge. “His mentality stays the same with whoever he is coaching and it keeps things in place. In other words, it was a great chance to spend time with him and show him what I am capable of doing on an off the ice. He knows the game very well and he was able to show all the guys some new things and created a better atmosphere in the dressing room.”
Looking ahead Roberge has now shifted his focus back to the Rivermen as they look to improve on their present third place standing in the NOJHL.
“My goals for the rest of the season are to help the Espanola Rivermen win the league and also the Dudley-Hewitt Cup and from there I am hoping to get the opportunity to sign with the Barrie Colts of the OHL”.