All posts by Randy Russon

Development is NOJHL focus


By
July 18, 2024

Big on development with a good track record of sending players to the Ontario Hockey League and various colleges and universities, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League recently held its 2024 Annual General Meeting. And a major takeaway from the AGM is further emphasis on player development.

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SMHA coaching program


By
July 17, 2024

There is more game changing and ground breaking news emanating from the ranks of the Sault Major Hockey Association. Hockey News North has confirmed that world class former coach and player Craig Hartsburg is instituting a coaching program guide that all Sault Major coaches at the AAA and AA levels will be expected to follow.

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TC North wins it all


By
July 15, 2024

Team Canada Black — with all 17 of its 2011 birth year hockey players from various towns in northern Ontario — returned home from Vaughan, Ont. as champions of the recent Sports Illustrated Prospects Challenge.

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Here comes the OHL


By
July 13, 2024

Hot fun in the summertime will soon turn to ice. For example, It doesn’t matter if you are up north in Sault Ste. Marie, in the mid to lower Michigan regions of Flint and Saginaw, or in the southwestern Ontario areas of London and Windsor, first pucks will drop on Ontario Hockey League training camps in late August.

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Vikings stay in the north


By
July 13, 2024

Another northern lad has signed up to play for the Elliot Lake Vikings. Martin Brassard, a 2008 birth year forward from Sudbury, has become the sixth player from the north region to commit to Elliot Lake ahead of the 2024-2025 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season.

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Espanola to Powassan


By
July 12, 2024

Hulking forward Caden Kowal is headed close to home. Powassan Voodoos have obtained the North Bay product from the Espanola Paper Kings in a Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League cash exchange.

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Connor Toms to Carleton


By
July 11, 2024

Former Soo Greyhounds and Windsor Spitfires defenseman Connor Toms is utilizing his Ontario Hockey League education package to begin his university schooling and playing career this fall.

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Majors to the Rock


By
July 10, 2024

Travis Poan is staying home. The homegrown hombre has signed with the Timmins Rock of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League after starring for the Great North Under 18 Hockey League champion Timmins Majors in 2023-2024.

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New coach in Kam River


By
July 9, 2024

Perennial Superior International Jr. Hockey League powerhouse Kam River Fighting Walleye has confirmed the hiring of Dwight Lee as its new head coach.

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Birds land Gage Evans


By
July 8, 2024

Towering defenseman Gage Evans has been acquired by his hometown Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League after spending the 2023-2024 season with the Windsor LaSalle Vipers of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

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Paper Kings ink local lad


By
July 4, 2024

Lucas Dubois will be staying home to play hockey come the 2024-2025 season. Espanola Paper Kings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have signed the local lad.

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Timmins to Chatham


By
July 3, 2024

Forward Ian Lachance, who led the Timmins Majors and the Great North Under 18 Hockey League in scoring in 2023-2024, has signed with the Chatham Maroons of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

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Flint of the NHL Draft


By
July 1, 2024

Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League have continued their franchise streak of having at least one player drafted at the annual National Hockey League selections process.

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Hounds of the NHL Draft


By
June 30, 2024

Goalie Landon Miller and forward Owen Allard of the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League have become 2024 National Hockey League draft picks.

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Pitawanakwat to Paper Kings


By
June 27, 2024

Barrie Colts draft pick Ashton Pitawanakwat has signed with the Espanola Paper Kings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

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Paul Maurice and Stanley


By
June 26, 2024

I have been rooting for Paul Maurice ever since the 1984 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft when the Windsor Spitfires took the lanky defenseman in the third round from the Sault Ste. Marie Legion midgets.

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Bell rings for Soo Eagles


By
June 25, 2024

A high level hockey exodus from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to the Michigan Sault continues. Hard working, hard edged 2007 birth year forward Coulson Bell has signed with the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

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Hartsburg joins Sault Major


By
June 25, 2024

This is really good news — as good as it gets — for minor hockey in Sault Ste. Marie. That is, Craig Hartsburg — world class as both a player and a coach — has been appointed to the position of AAA league director by the Sault Major Hockey Association.

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Soo Eagles sign OHL pick


By
June 24, 2024

Sault Ste. Marie product Cole Wreggitt, a 2008 birth year defenseman who was a fourth round pick by the Sudbury Wolves from the U18 AAA Soo Jr. Greyhounds at the 2024 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft, has signed with the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

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Cubs to the Birds nest


By
June 22, 2024

Sudbury Cubs have confirmed that they have dealt championship goalie Noah Metivier to his hometown Soo Thunderbirds in a cash exchange.

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Mix of Rossetto, Garden


By
June 20, 2024

Every year seems to yield a steal as far as Ontario Hockey League draft picks go. Two from the 2024 OHL priority selections draft who just might end up being swindles are smaller size forwards Nik Rossetto of the Brantford Bulldogs and Ethan Garden of the Windsor Spitfires.

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NOJHL changes the way to go


By
June 19, 2024

Simply put, this makes sense. One division instead of two means the best eight teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League will make the playoffs effective the 2024-2025 season. The NOJHL’s playoff format of the previous two years was seriously flawed in a one-sided way.

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Vikings of Northern Ontario


By
June 15, 2024

Make that four highly regarded northern lads among the veteran players who have thus far made approved commitments to return to the Elliot Lake Vikings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the 2024-2025 season.

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OHL draft pick to Espanola


By
June 13, 2024

High scoring forward Kaden Wicklander has signed with the Espanola Paper Kings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

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Owen Sound via Powassan


By
June 10, 2024

He was the first head coach for the Powassan Voodoos and led the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team to the 2017 championship in just its third season of existence. Now, after a six year apprenticeship as an assistant coach with the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League, Scott Wray has his first OHL head coaching gig as the new bench boss of the Owen Sound Attack.

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T-Birds sign four locals


By
June 9, 2024

Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have stayed in their own backyard to sign four local forwards ahead of the 2024-2025 season.

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Eagles goalie to Oswego State


By
June 7, 2024

Anthony Zolezzi is moving on from the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League with nothing but glowing words for general manager Bruno Bragagnolo and the program.

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Player to coach in Blind River


By
June 7, 2024

Tyson MacLeod’s association with his hometown Blind River Beavers is coming full circle. A former productive forward with the Beavers, the 29-year old MacLeod has been hired as a new assistant coach for the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team.

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Beavers, Birds and baptism


By
June 6, 2024

It has been up and down and all around since I really got into close up coverage and insight on the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League. I had covered the NOJHL here and there over time but began year round coverage of it in earnest back in 2004 when well known coach Jim Capy parted ways with the Soo Thunderbirds after taking them to the league championship series in four successive seasons.

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New gig for an old scout


By
June 4, 2024

Charly Murray is getting back into the game he loves. Now in his mid 70s and with his commitment to the sport not lacking in energy or enthusiasm, Murray has joined the Espanola Paper Kings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League as their Sault Ste. Marie-based scout.

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Road hockey heroes


By
June 3, 2024

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an excerpt from my next book — More Tales Of An Old Hockey Writer — which I plan on publishing later this year.)

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Spirit win was no surprise


By
June 3, 2024

The best team won the single game showdown between two powerhouse Ontario Hockey League squads and the right to hoist the time honoured Memorial Cup. Saginaw Spirit was able to withstand a frantic comeback by the London Knights with a dramatic goal of its own as the seconds ticked away in the third period of what was an absolute thriller on the theatre.

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Vikings assemble for battle


By
June 1, 2024

Jef Jarmovitch has had time on his side as he prepares for his second season as the owner and president of the Elliot Lake Vikings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

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Bulldogs are big on Rossetto


By
May 28, 2024

As Hockey News North was first to report, this looms as a potential steal of a third round draft pick. As in, Sault Ste. Marie product Nik Rossetto has officially signed with the Brantford Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League.

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Ahead of a new NOJHL season


By
May 25, 2024

June 1 marks the official start to the 2024-2025 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season. Among other new business, player signings and transactions can be confirmed and finalized. And the league will settle its regular season schedule and revamped playoff format for the ’24-25 campaign at its annual general meeting.

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Firebirds re-up assistants


By
May 19, 2024

Much valued assistant coaches Reijo Ruotsalainen and Saverio Posa will return to the coaching staff of the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League for the 2024-2025 season.

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Mazzuca sits in CJHL chair


By
May 17, 2024

The Canadian Jr. Hockey League has confirmed its executive committee for the 2024-2025 season. And Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League commissioner Rob Mazzuca has been acclaimed as CJHL chair of the board for another season.

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Knight train keeps rolling


By
May 17, 2024

This is not a one Knight stand. For the record, the London Knights have not had a losing season in more than 20 years, a feat that is unmatched among the member teams in the Ontario Hockey League. This is a junior hockey dynasty. This is a junior hockey powerhouse. This is a junior hockey franchise that is the envy of many.

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OHL’s best at Memorial Cup


By
May 16, 2024

It is fitting that the top two teams in the Ontario Hockey League during the 2023-2024 regular season will both compete for this year’s Memorial Cup championship.

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New coach for EL Vikings


By
May 15, 2024

Hopefully this is a breath of fresh air for Elliot Lake. That is, there is a new head coach and general manager on board with the Elliot Lake Vikings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

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In and out of the Eagles nest


By
May 13, 2024

It has been a hectic off season to date for Bruno Bragagnolo, who is the president and general manager of the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

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Eagles d-man off to Marian


By
May 11, 2024

A sixth player from the 2023-2024 edition of the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has a school commitment for the 2024-2025 season. Defenseman Lane Janssen is headed to Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Marian is a Division 3, National Collegiate Athletic Association program.

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Rossetto opts for the OHL


By
May 10, 2024

This looms as a potential steal of a third round draft pick. That is, Sault Ste. Marie product Nik Rossetto is poised to sign with the Brantford Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League, Hockey News North has learned.

…[read more]

Miller time for Soo Eagles


By
May 10, 2024

Joey Miller, who played in more than 190 games for the Soo Thunderbirds as a high scoring forward and later became an assistant coach with the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team, has himself a new gig.

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Fox of the Eagles to school


By
May 8, 2024

Three full seasons with the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has turned into a National Collegiate Athletic Association school commitment for 2003 birth year defenseman Coby Fox.

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Rebek to coach Soo Eagles


By
May 7, 2024

He was the first choice of president and general manager Bruno Bragagnolo to become the new head coach of the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League. So, suffice to say that Bragagnolo got what he wanted in Jeremy Rebek.

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On to the OHL finals


By
May 7, 2024

There will be two Ontario Hockey League teams that will compete at the 2024 Memorial Cup championship tournament later this month in Saginaw, Michigan. One will be the host Saginaw Spirit. The other will be either the London Knights or Oshawa Generals.

…[read more]

OHL orientation camps


By
May 5, 2024

There is little or no break from the game. As recent examples of that, there are multiple teams in the Ontario Hockey League who are hosting summer orientation camps for many of their younger drafted and free agent prospects ahead of future off season sessions.

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OHL, NOJHL coach vacancies


By
May 5, 2024

There are prime head coaching opportunities available in both the Ontario Hockey League and Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

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Adding on in Elliot Lake


By
May 4, 2024

What goes around has come around for John Buchanan. Having briefly served as general manager of the erstwhile, rag-tag Elliot Lake Red Wings in 2021, Buchanan is back in town as the assistant GM for the since rebranded Elliot Lake Vikings.

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Seven up in the Flint net


By
May 3, 2024

The net seems set in Flint for the foreseeable future. Edmonton Oilers draft pick Nathan Day and his seasoned presence tops the list of seven goalies who the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League have on their present protected list of puck stoppers.

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U18 Hounds have 13 so far


By
May 1, 2024

Head coach Jeremy Stevenson of the Soo U18 Jr. Greyhounds has picked the majority of his roster ahead of the 2024-2025 Great North Under 18 Hockey League season.

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SIJHL commissioner is out


By
April 30, 2024

A ‘help wanted’ sign has been posted on the commissioner’s door of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League. Darrin Nicholas, who has served as SIJHL commissioner since 2020, is no longer on the job effective immediately.

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Sudbury Cubs at the top


By
April 28, 2024

Sudbury Cubs of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League are led by a pledged, philanthropic proprietor in Mark Burgess whose decades-long commitment to the game as the former owner of the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League is without question.

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Top pick has Flint all fired up


By
April 27, 2024

Flint Firebirds have signed the player who was the undivided choice of the scouting staff to be their first round pick at the recent 2024 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

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Spitfires build depth in net


By
April 26, 2024

Windsor Spitfires — who missed the Ontario Hockey League playoffs this season after back to back first place finishes atop the Western Conference — have assembled a cargo of goalies to choose from as part of their present and future flight plan.

…[read more]

Blind River to Sault College


By
April 26, 2024

Two high end graduates of one of the top programs in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have committed to the Sault College Cougars of the American Collegiate Hockey Association ahead of the 2024-2025 season.

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Cubs are NOJHL champs


By
April 25, 2024

Sudbury Cubs are the big bears of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League. Under the committed ownership of Mark Burgess and his chief lieutenant Blaine Smith, the Cubs have brought a junior hockey championship to Greater Sudbury.

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Showdown: Spirit v. Knights


By
April 25, 2024

A featured attraction on the Ontario Hockey League playoff scene has the London Knights and Saginaw Spirit set to face off in a Western Conference showdown between two teams that both won 50 games during the regular season.

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Soo Eagles off to school


By
April 24, 2024

Four members from the 2023-2024 edition of the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have school commitments effective the 2024-2025 season.

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Mangone shows his Spirit


By
April 24, 2024

He was bypassed through all 15 rounds of the 2020 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft. But a year later, he became a first round pick of the Saginaw Spirit at the 2021 OHL under 18 supplemental draft.

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7 UP! Greyhounds v. Spirit


By
April 22, 2024

It is a rivalry that is becoming as terse and testy as any in the Ontario Hockey League. And now the Saginaw Spirit and Soo Greyhounds are set to face off in the seventh and deciding game of their Western Conference semi-final series.

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Leader of U16 Wolves pack


By
April 21, 2024

Forever and a day assistant coach Clayton Bertrand now has a head coach gig for the 2024-2025 season. Bertrand is set to take the helm of the Sudbury Under 16 Wolves of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League.

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Hounds are high on Elliott


By
April 20, 2024

Sault Ste. Marie product James Elliott looms as a potential plum of a draft pick by his hometown Soo Greyhounds. To be sure, Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis is high on Elliott, a small size forward who the Soo snagged in the seventh round of the recent 2024 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

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NOJHL finals tied at one


By
April 20, 2024

Powassan Voodoos will play host to the Sudbury Cubs on Sunday afternoon and Monday evening with the best of seven Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship series tied at a game apiece.

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Soo Eagles to Soo Indians


By
April 19, 2024

Doug Laprade has got himself a new head coaching gig ahead of the 2024-2025 season. But the 55 year old bench boss will not be leaving Sault Ste. Marie.

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Paper Kings assisted Spitfires


By
April 18, 2024

Hulking defenseman Conor Walton is being projected for continued progress as a 2006 birth year performer for the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. Notably, prior to his rookie OHL season with Windsor in 2023-2024, Walton developed over a full schedule with the Espanola Paper Kings of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League in 2022-2023.

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U13 AA Hounds at OHF


By
April 18, 2024

Two weeks after leaving Timmins with silver medals from the Under 13 AA Northern Ontario Hockey Association Tournament of Champions, the Soo Jr. Greyhounds are back in the same northeastern Ontario town this weekend for the Ontario Hockey Federation finals.

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Major success in Timmins


By
April 18, 2024

It was, to be sure, a season of Major accomplishments for the Great North Under 18 Hockey League program in the northeastern Ontario town of Timmins.

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Major scorer to Saginaw


By
April 17, 2024

The leading scorer in the Great North Under 18 Hockey League has been selected by the Saginaw Spirit in the second round of the 2024 Ontario Hockey League under 18 supplemental draft.

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Nadon goes to North Bay


By
April 17, 2024

Goalie Carter Nadon of the Sudbury U18 Wolves of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League has been taken by the North Bay Battalion in the first round of the 2024 Ontario Hockey League under 18 supplemental draft.

…[read more]

Goalie goes 1st to Spitfires


By
April 17, 2024

Windsor Spitfires added to their depth at the goalie position by taking Michael Newlove with the first overall pick at the 2024 Ontario Hockey League under 18 supplemental draft.

…[read more]

On to the NOJHL finals


By
April 17, 2024

And now there are two. It will be the Sudbury Cubs from the West Division and the Powassan Voodoos representing the East Division in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League championship series.

…[read more]