T-Birds nab Soo boy Novello


Randy Russon
By
October 19, 2020


Yet another local product has caught the eyes of the Soo Thunderbirds.

Ethan Novello, a 2003 birth year forward, has signed a Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League card with the Thunderbirds, Hockey News North has confirmed.

Novello is known for his work ethic, something that Thunderbirds general manager Trev Zachary alluded to, in correspondence with Hockey News North.

…[read more]

Junior hockey’s return to play


Randy Russon
By
October 18, 2020


Players such as Josh Boucher and A.J. Favot of the Espanola Express hope to soon be celebrating a return to play

Could this be the beginning of more junior hockey action?

The news that the 12 teams representing the Saskatchewan Jr. Hockey League have been cleared for an immediate return to the playing of games might be taken as good news for the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

As the province of Saskatchewan has relatively few cases of the coronavirus, so too does northeastern Ontario, where 10 of the NOJHL’s 11 teams are located.

…[read more]

All new Hockey North Show


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
October 17, 2020


There will be significant changes to the Hockey North Show when the well established program returns to the airwaves in mid November for its annual 25 week gig.

For one, the Hockey North Show with Randy Russon and Brad Coccimiglio is moving to a new radio home, Eagle 95.1 — on line via www.eagleradio951.com — from its former ESPN 1400 spot.

As well, the Hockey North Show will be broadcast live on Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m. (as opposed to Tuesdays) and as a bonus, all editions will be recorded and archived on www.eagleradio951.com as well as the Eagle 95.1 Facebook page for replay on demand.

…[read more]

T-Birds add to their net


Randy Russon
By
October 16, 2020


Alex Bugeja

Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have solidified their goalie tandem ahead of the 2020-2021 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season.

Thunderbirds general manager Trev Zachary has confirmed the acquisition of 2001 birth year net minder Alex Bugeja from the Fort Frances Lakers of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.

Zachary referred to the 5-foot-10, 190 pound Bugeja as “a very good goalie with focus and work ethic.”

…[read more]

Eagles in flight with few vets


Randy Russon
By
October 15, 2020


Soo Eagles have a fresh faced look to them with no less than 18 newcomers to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League who have been signed by president and general manager Bruno Bragagnolo.

Still, the Eagles do have a sprinkling of time tested veterans for coach Doug Laprade and his staff to look to for leadership and experience over the course of the 2020-2021 season.

…[read more]

Busy slate for Soo Eagles


Randy Russon
By
October 14, 2020


Captain Bobby Price and the Soo Eagles in action against the USNTDP under 17 squad

Ice time aplenty, in the form of practices and games, is underway for one area junior A hockey team.

To be sure, exhibition matches against high level opponents are on the agenda for the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League over the next few weeks.

A pair of home games against the powerhouse United States National Team Development Program under-17 squad will be followed by two road trips and then another set of contests within the friendly confines of Pullar Stadium in the Michigan Soo.

…[read more]

Practice time at Soo Pee Wee


Randy Russon
By
October 12, 2020


Restrictions relative to the coronavirus have delayed the start of the minor hockey season as it pertains to the actual playing of league games.

But, for instance, in Sault Ste. Marie, teams in the various age categories have been holding weekly practice and skill sessions and scrimmages that are organized and under the watchful eyes of coaches.

Soo Pee Wee Hockey League has put together teams in age categories that include under 7, under 9, under 11 and under 13.

…[read more]

No contact beats no hockey


Randy Russon
By
October 11, 2020


Remember the days, not so long ago, when fighting was such a big and entertaining part of junior hockey and goons and enforcers were just as popular — maybe more — than the skilled players?

Well, fighting is now a very small part of hockey to the extent that when a scrap breaks out, it almost looks awkward, not to mention foolish.

And as players and coaches and fans have adapted to the sharp decline in fighting, they can probably similarly adjust to hockey without contact for as long as the coronavirus remains the health risk that it currently is.

…[read more]

Working the Knight shift


Randy Russon
By
October 9, 2020


Luke Evangelista

If you don’t like, appreciate, or respect the London Knights, you might want to skip this story.

That is, Luke Evangelista is just the latest example of how the Knights develop their hockey players the London way.

The 2002 birth year forward went from a whitewash of an Ontario Hockey League rookie season with the Knights in 2018-2019 to becoming a second round National Hockey League draft pick of the Nashville Predators in 2020.

…[read more]

Local talent a T-Bird priority


Randy Russon
By
October 8, 2020


When the Soo Thunderbirds were admitted into the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League back in 1999, the locally operated franchise had a firm mandate.

Led by Sam Biasucci and several other Sault Ste. Marie business people, the Thunderbird owners vowed to be a haven for local products who were ready to move up from the town’s minor hockey and high school hockey ranks.

To be sure, Biasucci et al stayed true to form for the first couple of years of the Thunderbirds existence in the NOJHL. And later, when Pat Egan and Al Jones took over as operators and moved on from Jim Capy to Toots Kovacs as their head coach, the Thunderbirds were again made up of 95 to 100 per cent local players.

…[read more]

Ex-NOJHLer drafted to NHL


Randy Russon
By
October 7, 2020


Phillipe Daoust

This looms as a feel good story.

Speedy forward Phillipe Daoust, who skated for the French River Rapids of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League as a rookie during the 2018-2019 season, has become a National Hockey League draft pick.

The 6-foot, 165 pound Daoust, who has a November, 2001 birth date, was a surprise pick of the Ottawa Senators in the sixth round of today’s NHL draft.

…[read more]

Junior hockey variances


Randy Russon
By
October 6, 2020


Return to play scenarios for junior hockey in Ontario are contrasts in distinction.

Players like Cameron Walker of the Espanola Express of the NOJHL are awaiting word on a potential return to play

For example, while teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and the eastern Ontario based Central Canada Hockey League are on the ice holding drills that vary from skill sessions to non contact scrimmages, members representing the Ontario Hockey League remain in a dormant state relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both commissioner Robert Mazzuca of the NOJHL and CCHL commander in chief Kevin Abrams are maintaining a wait and see attitude as they keep in touch with public health officials and their respective governing bodies while overseeing their respective leagues during these unprecedented times.

…[read more]

New assistant in Espanola


Randy Russon
By
October 5, 2020


One of the highest scoring — and, pound for pound, toughest — forwards to ever skate in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is returning to his roots.

Hockey News North has confirmed that 51-year old Shawn Dubois has joined the Espanola Express as an assistant coach under new bench boss Brent Hughes.

A local resident who is originally from the nearby, Highway 17 town of Blind River, Dubois now works in the Espanola area as a sales person.

…[read more]

They call him Captain Kovacs


Randy Russon
By
October 2, 2020


Bronson Kovacs

Dunaújvárosi Acélbikák Steel Bulls have named veteran defenseman Bronson Kovacs their team captain for the 2020-2021 season.

Based in Central Hungary, the Steel Bulls are part of the Erste Liga professional hockey league.

The 2020-2021 campaign, which begins shortly, will mark the sixth season of pro hockey in Hungary for Kovacs, who is a 30-year old native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

…[read more]

Hockey North Show on 95.1


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
October 2, 2020


A seasonal mainstay of the airwaves since 2013, the Hockey North Show is planning its return for the upcoming season via Eagle Radio 95.1.

The plan is for the Hockey North Show to be on air a week in advance of when, for example, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League begins play for the 2020-2021 campaign.

The NOJHL, along with minor hockey in the Twin Sault and northeastern Ontario areas, will be focal points of the Hockey North Show.

…[read more]

Birds all over the Rhodes


Randy Russon
By
October 1, 2020


Soo Thunderbirds are just one of a number of teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League who have recently hit the ice ahead of the upcoming season.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no one can say with any degree of certainty when the 2020-2021 NOJHL season will begin, even in the form of exhibition matches.

Still, the majority of teams in the 11-member NOJHL have been holding non contact skill and drill sessions as health and safety precautions are being observed relative to COVID-19.

…[read more]

SPWHL return to play guide


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
September 29, 2020


Minor hockey has made a return in Sault Ste. Marie with teams selected for skill and practice sessions in the various age categories. Following is a return to play guideline as issued by the Soo Pee Wee Hockey League.

…[read more]

A flock full of local Birds


Randy Russon
By
September 28, 2020


In true homegrown fashion, the Soo Thunderbirds have already signed 11 — yes, 11 — local skaters ahead of the 2020-2021 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season.

…[read more]

Skills, drills on the Express


Randy Russon
By
September 27, 2020


Second year skater Cole Delarosbil is taking to the approach of his new coach.

Brent Hughes

Delarosbil, a 2001 birth year forward from Sault Ste. Marie, was responding to being asked by Hockey News North how the first week of the skills and drills camp of the Espanola Express went under new bench boss Brent Hughes.

The 38-year old Hughes was hired as head coach of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team earlier this summer after three straight winning seasons as an assistant with the Cape Breton Eagles of the Quebec Major Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Nice local look for T-Birds


Randy Russon
By
September 26, 2020


Scout local. Stay local. Play local.

The current operators have got it down pat.

Most recently, it was confirmed that Tyson Doucette, a 2004 birth year forward, is moving up from the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Midget Hockey League to the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Soo T-Birds stay local


Randy Russon
By
September 25, 2020


Tyson Doucette, a 2004 birth year forward, is moving up from the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Midget Hockey League to the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Mauro boys in Beaver dam


Randy Russon
By
September 25, 2020


Justin Mauro

They are a pair of high performance players with speed and a smart skill set.

And they just happen to be siblings.

To be sure, a brother act is prepared to take the stage for the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

As in, Devin Mauro will join his older brother Justin Mauro in Blind River for the upcoming NOJHL season.

…[read more]

Birds go Young in the net


Randy Russon
By
September 24, 2020


Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have a new goalie. Hockey News North has confirmed the signing of a new Bird in the nest, er, net.

…[read more]

Hockey is back in town


Randy Russon
By
September 22, 2020


Across Canada, return to play guidelines are either in place or about to be observed as players in various levels of hockey are back on the ice.

As an example, minor hockey is back in Sault Ste. Marie, at least in the form of organized team sessions that have been slated at various local rinks.

…[read more]

Flint deals with London


Randy Russon
By
September 21, 2020


Once a Knight, now a Firebird.

Flint Firebirds have acquired highly touted forward Sahil Panwar in an Ontario Hockey League transaction with the London Knights.

Flint has transferred its fourth round pick at the 2021 OHL priority selections draft to London in exchange for the 6-foot-1, 180 pound Panwar.

…[read more]

Net gain for Espanola


Randy Russon
By
September 20, 2020


Goalie Owen Willis, a 2018 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft pick of the London Knights, has signed with the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Willis, who has a late 2002 birth date, was London’s 13th round pick in 2018.

The 6-foot-3, 175 pound Willis tended twine for the Toronto Titans under-18 team in 2019-2020.

…[read more]