September 24, 2014
Here ’n there on Wednesday, September 24:
LIFE OF RYAN
Sault Ste. Marie native Ryan Vendramin has made the season-opening roster of the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.
Vendramin, a 6-foot-3, 180 pound, 1995 birth-year forward, played in 13 games for the Sting in 2013-2014 and had one goal and one assist. He spent the majority of the season with the Sarnia Legionnaires of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League and had 28 goals, 34 assists, 62 points in 47 regular-season games.
During the 2012-2013 season, Vendramin scored 63 goals in 43 games — playoffs included — for the erstwhile Soo North Stars of the Great North Midget Hockey League.
MAJOR MIDGET RETURN
The Great North Midget Hockey League returned to the Soo last weekend after a one-year hiatus.
Formerly the Soo North Stars, the local GNMHL team is now known as the Soo Thunderbirds major midgets and is coached by veteran bench boss Jim Capy.
The Thunderbirds opened the 2014-2015 GNMHL regular season by splitting a pair of games with the visiting North Bay Trappers.
Next action for the Thunderbird midgets will be this Saturday when they play host to the Kapuskasing Flyers in a 5:30 p.m. start at John Rhodes Community Centre.
4-2 EAGLES BACK HOME
Having won three of four games at last week’s annual North American Hockey League showcase tournament in Blaine, Minnesota, Soo Eagles are home for a pair of contests this weekend.
With a record of 4-2 — the Eagles began the 2014-2015 campaign by splitting a pair of games with the Janesville Jets — the Soo will play host to the Keystone Miners on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. at refurbished-but-still-venerable Pullar Stadium.
The Eagles head into the weekend led by forwards Sandis Zolmanis, Bruno Birzitis, Trevor Cope, Denver Pierce and Chase Matson.
Zolmanis and Birzitis lead the Eagles in scoring with identical totals of 3 goals, 7 assists, 10 points.
Cope, formerly of the Wellington Dukes of the Ontario Jr. Hockey League, has 6 goals, 1 assist, 7 points in his first 6 games as an Eagle.
Pierce has 1 goal, 6 assists, 7 points and Matson has 3 goals, 2 assists, 5 points.
The Eagles have received exceptional goaltending thus far from Sean Keating and Jack Berry.
The veteran Keating, who played with the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Canada Hockey League in 2013-2014, has a 2-2 record with a 2.74 goals against average and .903 save percentage.
The rookie Berry is off to an eye-popping start between the pipes with a 2-0 record, 0.43 goals against average and .977 save percentage.
ON THE ATTACK
Batchewana Attack of the new Canadian International Hockey League has a perfect 4-0 record in exhibition play, having swept both the Espanola Rivermen and St. Charles Spirit to date.
A highlight of last weekend’s sweep of St. Charles was the hat-trick performance of 1997 birth-year forward Jacob Palmerio.
Coached by Denny Lambert, the former Ontario Hockey League player and coach and former National Hockey League winger, Batchewana is in Traverse City this weekend for a four-team showcase tournament.
Batchewana and Espanola will represent the CIHL at the showcase that is being hosted by the defending Midwest Jr. Hockey League champion Traverse City Hounds.
The Soo Firehawks of the MWJHL are the fourth team entered into the tournament.
What you think about “Midweek Notes”
Good to see the Soo Eagles off to a good start. Sean Keating was a teammate of Johnny’s when the made the National U18 semi final run with Honeybaked. Great young man.