Kurtis Rogers of the Soo Greyhounds of the Great North Midget Hockey League got to experience the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League recently as a Cochrane Crunch affiliate player.
With the Crunch minus five players due to injuries and suspension and with the Greyhound major midgets on an off weekend, Rogers answered a call from Cochrane coach-general manager Ryan Leonard to suit up for a pair of NOJHL road games.
And the 5-foot-9, 175 pound forward with a late 2001 birth date was impressive in his NOJHL baptism as a Cochrane call-up from the Soo major midgets.
After getting used to the pace of the NOJHL in his debut game against the Blind River Beavers, Rogers got into the flow in his second outing with Cochrane and had a goal and an assist in a 7-2 decision over the French River Rapids.
Leonard, the aforementioned Cochrane coach-GM, explained how he managed to get Rogers registered with the Crunch as an affiliate player.
“I watched him play three weeks ago up in Kapuskasing when the Greyhounds were there for a Great North midget game,” Leonard relayed to HockeyNewsNorth.com. “I liked his energy and his willingness to go into the dirty areas. I was able to get a hold of the (Greyhound major midget) coach and then the proper channels to make it happen and get Kurtis on our AP roster.”
Leonard came away impressed with Rogers in the youngster’s two games with Cochrane.
“His first game he was getting better each shift and playing a regular shift and in his second game with us he fit right in. You wouldn’t have even known he was a call up. He scored a beautiful goal and set up another for a two point night,” Leonard added.
Leonard noted that this particular situation is an example of the NOJHL and the Great North loop being good for each other.
“It was a great opportunity for our program to see a (Great North midget) player who is not from our area in uniform and create relationships with the league and exposure to our program,” Leonard pointed out. “And Kurtis played so well that the players on the Crunch gave him the hard hat after the win over French River as our team’s hardest worker in that game.”