Life in the lock down


Randy Russon
By
January 17, 2021


And so they wait, with any resumption of a season solely in the hands of public health units and the Ontario government.

As with the rest of the province as it relates to the amateur level of the game, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is in a shut down state as per the government lock down.

Players on the nine NOJHL teams that were set to resume play this month before the lock down order was issued have remained together in their respective communities, hopeful and prayerful of a return to play at some point this season.

…[read more]

SIJHL reacts to lock down


Randy Russon
By
January 16, 2021


Kam River Fighting Walleye and Thunder Bay North Stars, in action prior to the government lock down. (photo by Gary Moskalyk)

The commissioner of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League did not mince words in addressing the Ontario government’s latest lock down and state of emergency edict.

SIJHL commissioner Darrin Nicholas has issued a terse statement on behalf of the northwestern Ontario based league.

…[read more]

Beavers first won with Capy


Randy Russon
By
January 15, 2021


The early years of the Blind River Beavers in what is the modern day Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League yielded very few victories for the small market franchise.

To be sure, the Beavers won just 31 of 178 games over four seasons that began with their debut campaign of 2000-2001.

…[read more]

Bad News, Billy the Kid et al


Randy Russon
By
January 14, 2021


They didn’t win many games.

But for the most part, they tried hard, worked hard, were entertaining to watch and fun to write about.

In short, they were a collection of delightful rogues who played together and stuck together as the Manitoulin Islanders of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

It was a first for the Hounds


Randy Russon
By
January 12, 2021


Craig Hartsburg, as a 16-year old rookie

They had missed the playoffs in each of their first three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, beginning with their debut campaign of 1972-1973.

And fans and supporters of the Greyhounds — who were used to the winning ways from the team’s days in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association — were becoming restless and impatient.

…[read more]

NOJHL is ahead of the game


Randy Russon
By
January 11, 2021


NOJHL commissioner Rob Mazzuca

This is positive news in a time of uncertainty.

That is, as it plans to return to play when and if it is cleared to do so by the provincial government via regional public health units, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is already ahead of the game.

…[read more]

All even on the Express


Randy Russon
By
January 10, 2021


Espanola players (left to right), Josh Kavanagh, A.J. Favot and Ben Anderson. (photo by Chelsea Solomon)

A .500 mark through 10 games is at least a passing grade.

And what is worth noting is that the teacher — in this case the head coach — has given his students an ‘E’ for effort.

…[read more]

Buffam moving on to KL


Randy Russon
By
January 7, 2021


Jackson Buffam

As the Powassan Voodoos have officially opted to take a leave of absence from the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, players on their roster are free to sign with other teams for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season.

One such player is Jackson Buffam, a highly regarded forward with a December, 2002 birth date who signed with Powassan prior to the start of the current ’20-21 campaign after three productive seasons with the New Liskeard Cubs of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League.

…[read more]

Working hard in Espanola


Randy Russon
By
January 6, 2021


Espanola Express forward Cameron Walker, in NOJHL action against the visiting Soo Thunderbirds. (photo by Chelsea Solomon)

There have been ups and downs as evidenced by an 0-0-2 start through its first two contests to a 3-1-2 mark after six outings to the 4-4-2 record that it has 10 games into the 2020-2021 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season.

…[read more]

Rock on to Rayside


Randy Russon
By
January 5, 2021


Chris Innes

The holiday embargo on player transactions in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has been lifted.

And Hockey News North has confirmed that the Timmins Rock has traded 2003 birth year defenseman Chris Innes to the Rayside Balfour Canadians in a cash exchange.

…[read more]

Chelsea takes the Express


Randy Russon
By
January 5, 2021


Members of the Espanola Express skate off the ice following a home-ice win over the Soo Thunderbirds. (photo by Chelsea Solomon)

She takes aim and shoots.

And she scores with some really good close-up photos.

We have the work of another good Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team photographer to share.

…[read more]

Bob shoots the Birds


Randy Russon
By
January 4, 2021


Michael Chaffay of the Soo Thunderbirds and Cole Delarosbil of the Espanola Express head up the ice. (photo by Bob Davies)

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

And, it says here, there are a number of independent photographers who do exceptional work on behalf of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

We are with the Express


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
January 3, 2021


Hockey News North and the Espanola Express are planning to team up during what will be a temporary time away from game activity for the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team in the early stages of the 2021 schedule.

With the other eight active teams of the NOJHL potentially slated to return to play later this month as part of cohort competition, Espanola will be on the sidelines as the league’s ninth entry before the Express resumes regular season game action in February.

Which is where Hockey News North will come in to play while the Express is temporarily idle.

…[read more]

NOJHL January play update


Randy Russon
By
January 2, 2021


As 2020 has moved into 2021, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has confirmed key components relative to a poised resumption of play for the ’20-21 campaign.

Notably, any return to activity is based on upcoming decisions by the Province of Ontario and the multiple regional public health units as they relate to the current COVID-19 lock down that is slated to end in northern Ontario on January 9, which is one week from today.

…[read more]

MVP to BR assistant coach


Randy Russon
By
January 2, 2021


Caleb Serre

Given his druthers, Caleb Serre would be in uniform this season as a freshman forward with the Laurentian Voyageurs of Ontario University Athletics.

But with no university hockey being played relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 21-year old Serre has found an unexpected role as an assistant coach with his hometown Blind River Beavers.

…[read more]

Brick boosts baby Beavers


Randy Russon
By
January 1, 2021


They have their share of veteran performers who have helped vault the Blind River Beavers to five victories in eight outings through their first two sessions of cohort play in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

But four rookie players — two with 2004 birth dates and two others who were born in 2003 — are baby Beavers who have made an early splash in Blind River for veteran coach-general manager Kyle Brick.

…[read more]

Net worth of the NOJHL


Randy Russon
By
December 31, 2020


Alex Bugeja

Through 41 games among the nine Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League teams that have been active thus far in the 2020-2021 regular season, no less 21 goalies have stood between the pipes.

And in a league that features so many good goalies, following is a Hockey News North look at six of the top twine tenders in the NOJHL through the early going of this season.

…[read more]

At home on a back yard rink


Randy Russon
By
December 30, 2020


Brothers Brett and Nik Rossetto

No access to indoor arenas due to the current shutdown relative to COVID-19 hasn’t kept the Rossetto hockey family of the Sault off the ice.

To be sure, this could well define the classic ‘love of the game’ phrase.

…[read more]

Here ‘n there in the north


Randy Russon
By
December 28, 2020


Meaningful games have already been played.

Forty one regular season contests have taken place in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

And the major teams from the Great North Under 18 Hockey League have played as many as eight mini matches apiece.

…[read more]

What’s next for the OHL?


Randy Russon
By
December 27, 2020


OHL commissioner David Branch

Regular season action in junior hockey leagues that span northeastern and northwestern Ontario got underway in November with new playing rules that ban intentional contact — and with very few spectators allowed in the arenas.

But while the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League began regular season play on November 13 and the Superior International Jr. Hockey League started two weeks later, the higher level, higher stakes Ontario Hockey League has remained idle.

…[read more]

Nice NOJHL action shots


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
December 26, 2020


Rayside Balfour Canadians goalie David Bowen thwarts a scoring opportunity by Mason Chitaroni of the Blind River Beavers

We have some good photos to share from the first session of play in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Hockey News North has taken the liberty of choosing a few quality photos from a smattering of the games that have been played in the NOJHL thus far in this 2020-2021 regular season.

…[read more]

NOJHL is passing the test


Randy Russon
By
December 24, 2020


Since the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League began 2020-2021 regular season play back on November 13, a total of 44 games have been scheduled.

Of the 44, only three were not played relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. And it is worth noting that all three games were postponed by the NOJHL itself as precautionary measures — with not a single player, coach or official testing positive for the virus.

…[read more]

Ritchie on the right track


Randy Russon
By
December 22, 2020


Jordan Ritchie, in action for the Espanola Express. (photo by Bob Davies)

No opportunity to play at home?

No problem, just head down the road.

That is what Sault Ste. Marie product Jordan Ritchie is doing as a 2001 birth year defenseman with the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

The free agent defender had been out skating with his hometown Soo Thunderbirds prior to the start of this 2020-2021 NOJHL season.

…[read more]

Drive for five in NOJHL West


Randy Russon
By
December 21, 2020


Gavin Disano

Teams in the cohort tent of the West Division of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League are now on holiday recess until slated resumption of play in January.

And, to be sure, the Blind River Beavers, Espanola Express, Soo Thunderbirds, Rayside Balfour Canadians and French River Rapids have all wrapped their share of presents from regular season action during these modified days of play that began in mid November.

At any rate, following are some notable notations relative to the five active teams of the NOJHL West. Team records are in brackets.

…[read more]

Express stays with the Birds


Randy Russon
By
December 20, 2020


Cole Delarosbil of the Espanola Express and Connor Toms of the Soo Thunderbirds battle for the puck in NOJHL action at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex

Younger and less experienced, the Espanola Express nonetheless showed a good compete level against the veteran-laden Soo Thunderbirds this weekend.

After scoring a dramatic, come-from-behind, 4-3 win over the Thunderbirds on Saturday, Espanola dropped a 4-1 decision — including empty net goal — to the visitors from the Soo this afternoon.

…[read more]

Espanola overcomes the Soo


Randy Russon
By
December 19, 2020


It was a frantic finish to a back and back forth contest.

With the game tied 3-3 and time ticking away, forward Cameron Walker scored his second goal of the third period — and third of the day — with 35 seconds left on the clock to lift the Espanola Express to a 4-3 win over the visiting Soo Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League action from this afternoon.

…[read more]