All posts by Randy Russon

Here’s looking at Hounds


Randy Russon
By
March 14, 2021

Major question mark between the pipes aside, Soo Greyhounds figure to be a formidable force once the games begin on the pandemic affected version of a 2020-2021 Ontario Hockey League season.

With seasoned skill and developed depth on the forward lines and at the defense position, the Greyhounds are set up for success in whatever form or length the anticipated, abbreviated OHL season takes.

…[read more]

Blue Devils get even


Randy Russon
By
March 13, 2021

Next up, the regional playoffs.

A resounding 7-2 road victory over the Petoskey Northmen today lifted the Sault High Blue Devils to the .500 mark and a record of 5-5-0 to end the abbreviated regular season.

…[read more]

Sault High class of 2021


Randy Russon
By
March 13, 2021

Playoffs are looming.

But before that, Sault High Blue Devils, with a record of 4-5-0, conclude an abbreviated regular season today with a 12:30 p.m. road tilt against the Petoskey Northmen.

…[read more]

OHL return to play sketch


Randy Russon
By
March 12, 2021

It has been just over a year since there was game action in the Ontario Hockey League.

As COVID-19 put a halt to the 2019-2020 season a year ago this month, the OHL is poised to finally return to the ice for a shortened version of a 2020-2021 campaign.

A normal OHL regular season is 68 games for each of its 20 teams. But there is very little that is normal in this age of hockey as it relates to COVID-19.

…[read more]

Stevenson still in the game


Randy Russon
By
March 11, 2021

Jeremy Stevenson

His hockey playing career ended a dozen years ago at age 34. But now, at 46 years of age and at his playing size and weight of 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Jeremy Stevenson still looks fit and trim enough to be patrolling the left wing.

A first round pick of the Cornwall Royals in 1990 who would finish his Ontario Hockey League career with the Soo Greyhounds, Stevenson defied the odds to play in 228 National Hockey League games after being an 11th round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 1994.

…[read more]

Seven up for Birds, Beavers


Randy Russon
By
March 11, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds and Blind River Beavers will take the COVID-19 affected Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season to a conclusive seven game series between the cohort rivals, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

Four cohorts on NOJHL slate


Randy Russon
By
March 9, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds and Blind River Beavers, in recent NOJHL action.

Cochrane Crunch and Timmins Rock have drawn up a schedule of 10 games between each other over the next 20 days.

And Blind River Beavers and Soo Thunderbirds are working on their next slate of games as cohort opponents, which will likely be next week.

…[read more]

Disano stands tall for BR


Randy Russon
By
March 8, 2021

Gavin Disano of the Blind River Beavers. (photo by Bob Davies)

At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Gavin Disano is on the short side when it comes to the preferences of Ontario Hockey League scouts and American college recruiters who evaluate goalies. But if a goalie can stop the puck and win games, how much does size really matter?

To be sure, Disano who is a 2003 birth year rookie with the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, has been standing tall between the pipes.

…[read more]

Beavers take broom to Birds


Randy Russon
By
March 7, 2021

Staring adversity straight in the chops, Blind River Beavers pulled out a stunning 5-4 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds today to complete a weekend sweep of their Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League cohort rivals.

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Sault High surges to .500


Randy Russon
By
March 7, 2021

Two straight home ice wins have lifted the Sault High Blue Devils to an even mark with the Michigan high school hockey season approaching playoff time.

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Beavers overcome T-Birds


Randy Russon
By
March 6, 2021

Goalie Gavin Disano, in action for the Blind River Beavers.

Enough is enough.

Blind River Beavers halted a five game win-less streak against the Soo Thunderbirds today with a 4-1 victory.

Playing at home, the Beavers scored two power play goals and rode the good goal-tending of rookie Gavin Disano to end a skid in which Blind River had gone 0-4-1 over its previous five games against the Soo.

…[read more]

NOJHL boss was OHL star


Randy Russon
By
March 6, 2021

The ’81-82 Sudbury Wolves with Rob Mazzuca (front row) as team captain

These days, Rob Mazzuca is well known as the likeable, respectable commissioner of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

With deep northern Ontario roots, Mazzuca — who has been the league’s commander in chief since 2011 — has brought a thorough, thoughtful, professional approach to his position and to the NOJHL itself.

…[read more]

Home win for Sault High


Randy Russon
By
March 6, 2021

Freshman goalie Camden Labadie made 31 saves to backstop the Sault High Blue Devils to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Petoskey Northmen.

Friday night’s win for the Blue Devils improves their record on the Michigan high school hockey season to 3-4.

…[read more]

Crunch and Rock in cohort


Randy Russon
By
March 4, 2021

They figure to be familiar and formidable foes by facing off 10 times in a 20 day frame.

As Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League cohort opponents, the Cochrane Crunch and Timmins Rock are slated to play 10 games against each other between March 10 and March 30.

…[read more]

Birds have Beavers baffled


Randy Russon
By
March 3, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds took a 5-3 win from the Blind River Beavers on Tuesday. (photo by Bob Davies)

Soo Thunderbirds have the Blind River Beavers number as of late.

Since the 2021 portion of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season began about a week ago, the Thunderbirds have taken four straight games from the Beavers with Blind River’s only point coming in a shootout loss.

…[read more]

Sault High home at last


Randy Russon
By
March 2, 2021

Following five straight road tilts, Sault High Blue Devils will finally be at home this weekend.

The friendly ice of Big Bear Arena awaits the Blue Devils in the aftermath of their latest away game, which was a narrow 3-2 loss to the Alpena Wildcats tonight.

…[read more]

NOJHL a game at a time


Randy Russon
By
March 1, 2021

Left to right, Nick Jameus, Wyatt Courchaine and Teegan Dumont of the Blind River Beavers and Ethan Novello of the Soo Thunderbirds, in NOJHL action from last week. (photo by Bob Davies)

Five for seven. As in, of the seven games that the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League had scheduled for last week as it returned to play from COVID-19 hiatus, five of them went into the books.

Thus, the NOJHL is maintaining a good average of completion of scheduled matches. In all, when totaling the 51 slated games to date — November and December of 2020 and February of 2021 — 46 have gone on as scheduled.

…[read more]

Making headway in Espanola


Randy Russon
By
March 1, 2021

Espanola Express has a record of 5-4-3 through 12 games of the 2020-2021 season. (photo by Chelsea Solomon)

The times they are a changin’ in Espanola.

And it is change that has been for the better relative to the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Birds fly into top spot


Randy Russon
By
February 28, 2021

Cooper Smyl

Fast skating power forward Cooper Smyl fired three goals today to spark the surging Soo Thunderbirds to a 7-2 triumph over the Blind River Beavers.

The road win for the Thunderbirds boosted their record to 7-3-1 and moved them into first place in the West Division of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, just ahead of the idle Espanola Express, which has a 5-4-3 mark.

…[read more]

Beavers earn tough point


Randy Russon
By
February 27, 2021

Blind River Beavers goalie Gavin Disano, making one of 37 saves against the Soo Thunderbirds in NOJHL action from Friday. (photo by Bob Davies)

It wasn’t a victory.

But Blind River Beavers coach Kyle Brick credited his team for a hard fought effort in gaining a point from a 6-5 shootout loss to the Soo Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League action from Friday night.

The visiting Beavers forced the shootout with a power play goal by Matt Cato with less than three minutes to play in the third period.

…[read more]

NOJHL games postponed


Randy Russon
By
February 26, 2021

Tonight’s and Saturday’s scheduled Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League games between the French River Rapids and the Espanola Express have been postponed, multiple sources have confirmed to Hockey News North.

…[read more]

Nicholls boards the Express


Randy Russon
By
February 25, 2021

He has served a full two year apprenticeship in the Great North Under 18 Hockey League. And now, 2003 birth year goalie Evan Nicholls has been granted the liberty to tend twine in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

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NOJHL: So far, so good


Randy Russon
By
February 25, 2021

Caleb Wood of the Soo Thunderbirds and Mason Chitaroni of the Blind River Beavers in NOJHL action from this week. (photo by Bob Davies.)

Tests have been passed through the early going of return to play in the 2021 half of the interrupted Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season.

The resumption of play on Feb. 23 after a two month shutdown relative to COVID-19 has followed an impressive 2020 half for the NOJHL in which 41 of 44 scheduled games were completed.

…[read more]

T-Birds add seasoned skaters


Randy Russon
By
February 24, 2021

Noah Boman

As play resumes in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League this week following a two-month shut down, the Soo Thunderbirds have added a pair of veteran forwards to their lineup, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

NOJHL rallies with rebound


Randy Russon
By
February 24, 2021

Let the record show that junior hockey returned to northeastern Ontario on February 23 after two months on the sidelines.

The Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League — which got in an impressive 41 games between November 13 and December 22 of 2020 before Christmas holidays and then a province wide shutdown relative to COVID-19 led to the two month stoppage in play — is back on the ice with a safe schedule of games for the 2021 portion of the season.

…[read more]