All posts by Randy Russon

Northern boys of the NOJHL


Randy Russon
By
April 9, 2021

Teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League are able to recruit players from all over Canada, not to mention the United States. But homegrown players from northern Ontario remain popular among NOJHL teams.

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Brick house in Blind River


Randy Russon
By
April 7, 2021

Beavers coach-general manager Kyle Brick

The most productive coach in franchise history is returning to the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for a sixth season, Hockey News North has confirmed.

Kyle Brick, who will turn 35 years of age later this month, has re-upped with the Beavers as coach and general manager for the 2021-2022 season as per team president Robert Morningstar.

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Splash on the Beaver dam


Randy Russon
By
April 5, 2021

Blind River Beavers forward Nick Jameus, in 2020-2021 action against the Soo Thunderbirds. (photo by Bob Davies.)

A normal regular season in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is 56 games for each of its teams.

Well, in what was an abnormal, offbeat 2020-2021 season relative to COVID-19, it nonetheless — for example — led to the Blind River Beavers being able to play 21 games against two cohort opponents.

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Brantford Alexanders: ’78-84


Randy Russon
By
April 2, 2021

They were here for a good time, not a long time.

To be sure, their history is one of modest length yet the Brantford Alexanders remain an iconic Ontario Hockey League franchise mainly because of the number of high performance players who wore their red-white-and-black jersey from 1978 to 1984.

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Jack Matier a world class kid


Randy Russon
By
April 1, 2021

Jack Matier

He has been chosen to play on the world hockey stage.

Sault Ste. Marie product Jack Matier is slated to skate for Team Canada at this month’s 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation under-18 world championship tournament.

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Summer tournament hockey


Randy Russon
By
April 1, 2021

Dependent on factors related to COVID-19 and a return to more controllable numbers, summer tournament hockey may be more prevalent this year given the low total of games that were played at the junior and under 18 levels during the 2020-2021 season.

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Seguin heading to school


Randy Russon
By
March 31, 2021

Derek Seguin

Graduated Timmins Rock gunslinger Derek Seguin is headed to North Bay to play Ontario university hockey for the Nipissing Lakers next season.

Seguin’s family advisor, Adrian Gedye of Pinnacle Hockey Management, confirmed the commitment of his client to Hockey News North.

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NOJHL news, views, dues


Randy Russon
By
March 30, 2021

As a writer who writes up more than one team in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, here are a number of notations as we move on from the 2020-2021 abbreviation of a season to what we can have faith in at what could lie ahead at some point.

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Beavers set in net with Disano


Randy Russon
By
March 29, 2021

Gavin Disano of the Blind River Beavers, in season ending action against the Soo Thunderbirds. (photo by Bob Davies)

He came through when called upon and earned the no. 1 job.

And along the way, Gavin Disano withstood baptism by fire as a young rookie goalie with the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

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T-Birds retain tidy tradition


Randy Russon
By
March 28, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds forward Cooper Smyl, in close on Blind River Beavers goalie Gavin Disano, in NOJHL action from today. (photo by Bob Davies)

It was a season like no other, all due to COVID-19 and the restrictions and modifications that resulted from it. Among the nine Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League teams that saw action this 2020-2021 season, the Soo Thunderbirds were more fortunate than most as they got to play in 21 games. And along the way, the Thunderbirds maintained a tidy tradition of not having had a losing record since coming into existence as a member of the modern day NOJHL in 1999.

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NOJHL scores ‘E’ for effort


Randy Russon
By
March 27, 2021

French River Rapids and Espanola Express played each other eight times this NOJHL season with each team winning four games. (photo by Chelsea Solomon)

It stick handled around the COVID-19 opponent with a careful game plan and by following all the rules.

And while not all teams were able to finish what they started, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League stared down adversity and came away with an ‘E’ for effort in an abbreviated 2020-2021 season.

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NOJHL team has summer plans


Randy Russon
By
March 25, 2021

The coach and general manager of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League intends to ice a summer team that will compete in showcase tournaments, Hockey News North has confirmed.

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Soo Eagles got game


Randy Russon
By
March 24, 2021

A closed international border prevented the Soo Eagles from competing within the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League this season.

But the Michigan-based Eagles — the only American team in the 12-member NOJHL — still found a way to play a number of games over the past several months.

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Hounds ’79-85 reunion


Randy Russon
By
March 23, 2021

Friends of Terry Crisp and Sam McMaster are planning a Soo Greyhounds reunion for Saturday, July 17 of this year. The reunion is for those who had an association with the Ontario Hockey League team from 1979 to 1985.

Crisp coached the Greyhounds from 1979 to 1985. McMaster worked alongside Crisp as the Greyhounds general manager from 1980 to 1985.

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Local lad leads Lakers to glory


Randy Russon
By
March 22, 2021

Junior forward and hat trick hero Ashton Calder is a Michigan Sault product.

A program known for its national championship success under erstwhile coaches Frank Anzalone and Jeff Jackson is finally headed back to the big dance.

Led by the three goal spark of junior forward and local lad Ashton Calder, glory returned to the Lake Superior State Lakers in the form of a 6-3 win over the Northern Michigan Wildcats and the 2021 Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship.

…[read more]

Beavers take down the Birds


Randy Russon
By
March 21, 2021

Justin Mauro

COVID-19 cohort competition and a rabid rivalry is alive and well in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League series between the Blind River Beavers and Soo Thunderbirds.

Playing at home today, the Beavers took down the Thunderbirds by a decisive 8-3 score to even the marathon, season-long, cohort series between the fiery foes at seven games apiece. It was the second straight home ice win by Blind River over the Soo to cap a two games in two days, weekend matinee series.

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Soo boys spark Blind River


Randy Russon
By
March 21, 2021

Blind River Beavers goalie Gavin Disano makes one of 48 saves in Saturday’s win over the Soo Thunderbirds.

Devin Mauro netted the tying tally in the third period, then sealed the deal in the shootout, and fellow Sault Ste. Marie product Gavin Disano made 48 saves as Blind River Beavers edged the visiting Soo Thunderbirds  5-4 in another cohort contest between the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League rivals on Saturday night.

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Oh, so close for Sault High


Randy Russon
By
March 20, 2021

Close but no cigar. All in all, though, it was a passing grade for a Sault High Blue Devils hockey team that extended a short season into two rounds of the playoffs.

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Beavers come up short


Randy Russon
By
March 19, 2021

Nick Jameus of the Blind River Beavers sets up in front of Soo Thunderbirds goalie Alex Bugeja in NOJHL action from Thursday. (photo by Bob Davies.)

It was a spirited effort by a team that played with just two of its regular defensemen due to league suspension.

But despite numerous glorious scoring opportunities, the visiting Blind River Beavers came up short in yet another cohort match with the Soo Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League action on Thursday.

…[read more]

Devils season is over


Randy Russon
By
March 19, 2021

A last-minute goal lifted the Alpena Wildcats to a 3-2 win over the Sault High Blue Devils in Michigan high school hockey Region 18 semi-final action from Thursday.

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The file on Bobby Jones


Randy Russon
By
March 18, 2021

Bobby Jones, with D.J. Smith and Bob Boughner, behind the bench of the Windsor Spitfires.

There are not many who have an association to the Ontario Hockey League that can match the longevity of Bobby Jones.

Not only did Jones play in 240 OHL games from 1985 to 1990 as a dependable defenseman with the Soo Greyhounds but he coached in the league from 1995 through 2018 with six different teams and won a pair of Memorial Cup championships behind the bench of the Windsor Spitfires.

Jones has always been a favourite of mine. And not just because of the hockey and that he is a good kid from a good family but that he happened to go to the same elementary school in Sault Ste. Marie — St. Mark — that I, my two kids, and my younger sister did.

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High school semis tonight


Randy Russon
By
March 18, 2021

Michigan high school hockey will determine its Region 18 finalists tonight from a pair of semi-final matches at Tawas Bay Ice Arena.

Sault High Blue Devils will face off against the Alpena Wildcats in a 5 p.m. game ahead of a second semi-final contest between the Cheboygan Chiefs and Gaylord Blue Devils.

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Blue Devils skate to semis


Randy Russon
By
March 17, 2021

Sault High Blue Devils have advanced to a semi-final match on the Michigan high school hockey Region 18 playoff scene.

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Playoff date for Sault High


Randy Russon
By
March 16, 2021

Win and they play on. Lose and they return home.

Sault High Blue Devils are downstate in Tawas tonight for a Michigan high school hockey, Region 18 quarter final playoff match against the host Braves.

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Crunch and Rock carry on


Randy Russon
By
March 15, 2021

Defensemen Travis Szafron (15) and Keaston Blais (24) of the Cochrane Crunch get in position in front of goalie Michael Nickolau to defend against Timmins Rock forward Tyler Schwindt (44) in NOJHL action from the weekend. (photo by Emily Martin)

Three games in as many days was the workload as Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League cohort rivals Cochrane Crunch and Timmins Rock faced off on the weekend.

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