No lack of story lines


Randy Russon
By
December 1, 2020


Connor Toms

Junior hockey is being played throughout northern Ontario, albeit in modified form, with no deliberate contact, restrictions on team to team travel, and few fans allowed in the rinks.

And unlike the Ontario Hockey League, which is planning on an early February start date to its regular season, the 2020-2021 campaign is already several weeks underway in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

To that end, there are good story lines galore relative to the NOJHL, including sports writers who previously ignored the league only to all of a sudden be on the bandwagon with plenty of printed words.

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Catch the ace for SMHA


Randy Russon
By
December 1, 2020


Mike Creedon, who is the first year president of the Sault Major Hockey Association, hopes to make the game more affordable to more players, especially at the elite level.

…[read more]

Keaston ‘n Kobe in Cochrane


Randy Russon
By
November 30, 2020


Keaston Blais

They both hail from the resilient northeastern Ontario town of Iroquois Falls.

Having both been born in the latter months of 2002, they played minor hockey together in their hometown and surrounding area as childhood friends.

Graduates of different programs from the Great North Under 18 Hockey League, they are now teammates again with the Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Kobe Barrette

Separated for a couple of seasons, defenseman Keaston Blais and forward Kobe Barrette took different roads to get to the NOJHL in Cochrane, which is located about 30 miles from Iroquois Falls along rugged Highway 11.

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Wild ways in NOJHL West


Randy Russon
By
November 29, 2020


Jacob Kelly of the Blind River Beavers and Caleb Wood of the Soo Thunderbirds in action. (Photo by Bob Davies)

Good winds of the north are steady and sweeping through a regional junior hockey league.

Yes, it is only three weekends into the 2020-2021 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season.

But four cohort counterparts from the league’s West Division have become formidable foes with three games that have already been decided by shootout.

…[read more]

Here are the Timmins Majors


Randy Russon
By
November 29, 2020


Returning goalie Evan Nicholls of the Timmins Majors

Head coach Brandon Perry and his staff have selected the 22-player roster that will represent the Timmins Majors of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League for the 2020-2021 season.

By position, the Majors lineup, with players birth year in brackets, is as follows.

…[read more]

Savignac sparks the Express


Randy Russon
By
November 28, 2020


Devon Savignac

There is little doubt about the ability and skill level of Devon Savignac.

And what the 2003 birth year forward and Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft pick of the North Bay Battalion is capable of was on full display for the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League in a rousing victory over the French River Rapids.

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Walleye shoots past the Stars


Randy Russon
By
November 28, 2020


Trenton Morriseau

Trenton Morriseau hit for the hat trick and Talon Thomas tallied twice as the expansion Kam River Fighting Walleye made its official debut on Friday with a 6-2 win over the defending champion Thunder Bay North Stars.

The game marked the start of the 2020-2021 regular season in the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Hendo is high on his Hounds


Randy Russon
By
November 27, 2020


Michael Beltrano, Kolby Fellinger, Adam Barone, Calem Mangone, Stephen Pszeniczny and Noah Metivier are all returning players for the U18 Hounds

An effervescent Jamie Henderson could barely contain his excitement as he talked rapidly into the microphone during a recent guest appearance on local radio station Eagle 95.1 and its Hockey North Show.

The chatty head coach of the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Under 18 AAA Hockey League was pumped up big time as he talked about his team and the slated return to play after eight months of game activity shutdown relative to the coronavirus health crisis.

…[read more]

SIJHL season set to start


Randy Russon
By
November 27, 2020


Red Lake Miners and Dryden Ice Dogs begin regular season play this weekend. (photo by Patrick Boucha)

Four of the five northwestern Ontario based teams from the Superior International Jr. Hockey League will begin regular season play this weekend.

Kam River Fighting Walleye and Thunder Bay North Stars will play a home and home set as will the Dryden Ice Dogs and Red Lake Miners.

…[read more]

RBC banks first win


Randy Russon
By
November 27, 2020


Mitchell Martin

It was a night of firsts in Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League action from Thursday night.

Playing at home, Rayside Balfour Canadians scored their first win of the 2020-2021 regular season with a 7-4 victory over the Timmins Rock.

As RBC improved its record to 1-3-1 on the season, Timmins lost for the first time and now has a 4-1-0 mark.

…[read more]

Train tracks of the north


Randy Russon
By
November 26, 2020


Cole Delarosbil

To say that the Espanola Express has a liking for players from northeastern Ontario would rank as an understatement.

That is because of the 22 players who are currently on the roster of the small market Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team, no less than nine of them are lads from the north — six reside in the Greater Sudbury Area, two are from Sault Ste. Marie, and one calls Iroquois Falls home.

…[read more]

These are the U-18 Hounds


Randy Russon
By
November 26, 2020


Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Under 18 AAA Hockey League have finalized their roster for the 2020-2021 regular season, which is slated to begin play on the first weekend of December.

…[read more]

Doucet delivers for Hearst


Randy Russon
By
November 25, 2020


Sebastien Doucet

Homegrown product Sebastien Doucet has been piling up the points for the Hearst Lumberjacks through five games of the 2020-2021 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season.

Which is a nice bonus for the Lumberjacks in that the 5-foot-9, 170 pound forward with a 2000 birth date wasn’t exactly a scoring threat during his first two seasons in the NOJHL.

…[read more]

Flint to Leamington


Randy Russon
By
November 25, 2020


Top prospect goalie Chazz Nixon has been assigned by the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League to the Leamington Flyers of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

The GOJHL has been cleared by the Ontario Hockey Federation to begin regular season play in January while the OHL has targeted February as its planned start date.

…[read more]

Rock on with Masternak


Randy Russon
By
November 24, 2020


Tyler Masternak

He is the shutout sensation of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

With a 2000 birth date, goalie Tyler Masternak is into his final season of NOJHL play as the whitewash wizard who tends the twine for the Timmins Rock.

Dating back to the 2017-2018 season when he was the backup goalie in Timmins as an NOJHL rookie, Masternak now has 17 — yes, 17 — shutouts.

…[read more]

RBC Christmas Camp


HockeyNewsNorth.com Staff
By
November 24, 2020


Rayside Balfour Canadians of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League will be holding a ‘Christmas Camp for Kids’ for youngsters 12 years of age and under.

The camp will feature Rayside Balfour coaches and players assisting youngsters with their hockey skills including skating, stick-handling and passing.

There are two age categories for the morning sessions that will be held on December 28, 29, 30 at the Garson Arena.

…[read more]

Sault crew in the NOJHL


Randy Russon
By
November 23, 2020


Jordan Ritchie

It is a town that has long carried a reputation as a hockey hotbed.

And when it comes to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, no less than 22 players with a connection to minor hockey in Sault Ste. Marie are all over the map this season — and not just via the hometown Soo Thunderbirds.

As in, not only do the Thunderbirds boast 13 local lads in their lineup but there are five Sault boys playing for the Blind River Beavers, two more who are with the Espanola Express, one who skates for the Rayside Balfour Canadians, and another who is on the roster of the Powassan Voodoos.

…[read more]

Such a good, good man


Randy Russon
By
November 22, 2020


Jim McAuley

He defined kindness and generosity with a trademark, friendly smile and the warmest of hearts.

A much respected, benevolent gentleman who was well known and well liked, he shunned the limelight even though he was so active in the community as a businessman, volunteer and philanthropist.

He had a love for dogs and a soft heart for the less fortunate and he gave so much in so many ways and asked for nothing in return.

…[read more]

Nice balance on the Express


Randy Russon
By
November 22, 2020


Luke Bibby

Goals, assists and points are being tallied all through the lineup of the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

A mere four games into the 2020-2021 regular season, no less than 15 of the 20 skaters who have seen the ice for the Express have at least one point thus far.

…[read more]

Beavers sweep the Birds


Randy Russon
By
November 21, 2020


Make it two straight wins for the upstart Blind River Beavers over the Soo Thunderbirds.

Blind River completed a two game, home and home, weekend sweep of the Soo tonight with a 6-3, home ice victory.

The Beavers had upended the Thunderbirds 4-2 on Friday in the 2020-2021, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season opener for both teams.

…[read more]

Beavers win on the Rhodes


Randy Russon
By
November 21, 2020


Blind River defenseman Mason Chitaroni defends against Soo forward Avery Rebek. (Photo by Bob Davies)

Blind River Beavers have drawn first blood on the Soo Thunderbirds with the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season underway for the Highway 17 foes.

And it was Sault Ste. Marie product Nick Jameus, a second year forward, who sparked Blind River to a 4-2 victory in a Friday match at John Rhodes Community Center in the Soo.

The two teams will face off again tonight in a 7 p.m. match at the Community Center in Blind River.

…[read more]

Express takes the Rapids


Randy Russon
By
November 21, 2020


Sporting new jerseys, Espanola Express hit the win column with a Friday night home victory. (Photo by Chelsea Solomon)

It was yet another narrow margin of victory.

For the third straight outing to begin the 2020-2021 regular season, a game between the Espanola Express and French River Rapids was decided by one goal.

But for the first time in the early going of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League slate, the Express was able to take down the Rapids.

…[read more]

So far, so good in NOJHL


Randy Russon
By
November 20, 2020


David Bowen stopped 39 of 40 shots before the Rayside Balfour Canadians lost to the Timmins Rock 2-1 in game that went to the shootout

Parity has been evident in the early going of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League schedule.

The NOJHL is six games into the 2020-2021 regular season and four of the contests have been decided in the shootout.

Not only that, the league has been free from any positive cases relative to COVID-19.

…[read more]

Return to play is for Birds


Randy Russon
By
November 19, 2020


Trev Zachary

The game has changed, at least for the time being.

In modified form — as in no intentional physical contact — the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is into its second week of regular season play after a short test drive of exhibition action.

Restrictions aside, the general manager of the Soo Thunderbirds has no real issues with the NOJHL’s new normal, while also liking the makeup of his own team.

…[read more]

Happy for hockey hoopla


Randy Russon
By
November 17, 2020


Celebrating the return of hockey, in this case, the NOJHL.

Covid-19 is a crisis, a change in the way we live our lives that can’t be under-stated.

How we cope with the pandemic and the so-called new normal of every day existence is a reality that we are facing and, hopefully, adapting and adjusting to in these uncertain times.

And while we do not know if the return to play of, for example, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League can be sustained over the course of the 2020-2021 regular season, it is at least a start.

…[read more]

Beavers, Birds back on ice


Randy Russon
By
November 16, 2020


Blind River Beavers and Soo Thunderbirds have been cleared to begin regular season play this weekend. (Photo by Bob Davies)

Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League commissioner Rob Mazzuca has confirmed that the Blind River Beavers and Soo Thunderbirds have both been cleared to resume team activities and return to the ice.

The temporary shutdown of the Beavers and Birds happened last week after a trio of Blind River players displayed a number of Covid 19-related symptoms and underwent testing. While awaiting the results, this past weekend’s scheduled games between the two teams were put on hold.

…[read more]