Parity is rather evident among the six divisional rivals. Indeed, just six points stand between the second place Kirkland Lake Gold Miners and the sixth place Timmins Rock in the East Division of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
In short, the NOJHL East is a beast.
While the reigning league champion Powassan Voodoos are sitting solid in first place with 26 points from a record of 13-2-0, the rest of the East forms a tight bunch.
Kirkland Lake has 19 points from a record of 8-6-3 and has won two straight and is 6-2-2 over its last 10 outings. Still, as mentioned, the second-place Gold Miners are only six points up on last place Timmins.
On that note, first-year Kirkland Lake coach-general manager Ryan Wood likes the feel of the East Division.
“I am really enjoying the competition,” Wood relayed to me. “I like the parity.”
Following second place Kirkland Lake in the standings are the Cochrane Crunch with 18 points from a record of 9-7-0, French River Rapids with 16 points from a record of 7-10-2, Hearst Lumberjacks with 14 points from a record of 7-7-0 and Timmins with 13 points from a record of 6-10-1.
Cochrane has won three straight and Timmins is showing some sign of emergence with two wins in a row.
On the flip side, French River is struggling after a nice start to the season and has lost three in a row and has a record of 2-7-1 in its last 10 games.
Hearst is a bit of a dark horse. The Lumberjacks have played the fewest games in the division and as they are 7-7-0 on the season, they are 5-5-0 in their last 10 as they remain even.
At any rate, parity is the name of the game thus far this season on the East side of the NOJHL.
PHOTO: Kirkland Lake and French River, at the face off in a recent NOJHL game. (Photo by CapturingTheMoment.ca.)