Good and bad of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League…A night of firsts for the Lake Superior State University Lakers…Here and there and around the rinks…
GOOD AND BAD
Managed by Todd Stencill and coached by Nathan Hewitt, the expansion Elliot Lake Wildcats are the feel-good story of the NOJHL thus far this season.
Not only are the Wildcats averaging 556 fans over 9 home dates, they have a rather-impressive record of 11-4.
But while all is good in Elliot Lake, it has been a disaster in both Blind River and Mattawa.
The Beavers have a record of 0-17-1 and have allowed 130 goals in the 18 games.
The Blackhawks have not been much better with a record of 2-14-1 and have given up 130 goals in 17 games.
There is also the issue of ownership in Mattawa with Blackhawks founder David Beauchamp having been voted out of the NOJHL and locked out of Mike Rodden Arena.
Beauchamp is currently consulting with a lawyer and has filed a notice of appeal with the NOJHL.
FIRST FOR LAKERS
After nine straight losses to begin the 2014-2015 season, Lake Superior State University Lakers hit the win column on Saturday with a 3-2 road decision at Alaska-Anchorage.
The win for the Lakers was also the first for new head coach Damon Whitten and the first collegiate victory for freshman goalie Gordon Defiel.
The Lakers thus improve their record to 1-5 in the Western Collegiate Athletic Association standings and are 1-9 overall.
Defiel, to be sure, has been a saving grace for the Lakers.
Despite a record of 1-7 for the 1-9 Lakers, Defiel has a .908 save percentage and 3.41 goals against average.
Hearst native Zack Dorval — who was the first player from northern Ontario to be selected at the 2014 Ontario Hockey League draft — notched his first goal on Saturday as the Kingston Frontenacs upended the Plymouth Whalers 6-2. Dorval, a 1998 birth-year centre, was Kingston’s second-round pick from the Soo Thunder minor midgets at the 2014 OHL draft…Goalie Sean Keating has won his last 3 decisions for the Soo Eagles of the North American Hockey League to boost his record to 5-5 with a 2.54 goals against average and .907 save percentage. The Eagles are in second place in the hotly-contested North Division of the NAHL with a record of 10-8. With 20 points, the Eagles — who are home to the Springfield Jr. Blues for games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights of this week — are just a point out of first in the NAHL North…Jarrad Vroman, a 1997 birth-year defenceman with the MC Monarchs of the Midwest Jr. Hockey League, is being watched closely by scouts from higher-level junior leagues. Not only is Vroman young but he has size at 6-foot-4, 180 pounds and skill as evidenced by the 2 goals, 19 assists, 21 points that he has in just 11 games for the Monarchs thus far this MWJHL season.
PHOTO: Kingston Frontenacs rookie forward Zack Dorval.