It was before the start of the playoffs in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and I was having a casual chat with commissioner Rob Mazzuca.
During the course of the conversation it was noted that neither of us would be surprised if the NOJHL championship was decided in Game 7 of the finals.
Well, in a league where parity rules — just six points separated the top five teams in the East Division standings, as an example — the NOJHL title will indeed by determined in a seventh-and-deciding game.
No. 1 seed Soo Thunderbirds, who finished the regular season atop the West Division with a league-best 89 points, have managed to extend the playoffs to a winner-take-all match.
Down three games to one to the upset-minded Hearst Lumberjacks, the Thunderbirds took Games 5 and 6 by respective scores of 4-2 and 2-0 to set up the Game 7 showdown.
Thus, it has all come down to one game to decide the NOJHL championship as the Thunderbirds will play host to the Lumberjacks on Wednesday night at 7:00 at John Rhodes Community Center.
PHOTO: NOJHL championship series action between the Soo Thunderbirds and the visiting Hearst Lumberjacks.