All posts by Randy Russon

Summer fest in NOJHL West


By
August 16, 2021

Hot, humid and hazy weather aside, it is but a mere month before the first puck drops on the 2021-2022 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season.

September 16 is the planned start date to the upcoming NOJHL campaign. And ahead of that, it has been an eventful off season in the NOJHL, primarily in the West Division.

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Tony O was a proud Soo boy


By
August 15, 2021

The legendary Tony O.

You didn’t have to be from Sault Ste. Marie to know who Tony Esposito was.

But if you knew hockey, you knew who Esposito was. And if you knew hockey, you knew that Esposito was from Sault Ste. Marie.

…[read more]

Cochrane is set in net


By
August 13, 2021

Ben DiGiallonardo

Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has solidified its goalie tandem ahead of the looming 2021-2022 season.

The Crunch has added incoming goalie Ben DiGiallonardo by way of the Brantford Bandits of the Greater Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Drumm is one up on Gretzky


By
August 12, 2021

Brian Drumm

As an underage 15-year old during the 1976-1977 Ontario Hockey League season, Wayne Gretzky played in three games for the Peterborough Petes before the Soo Greyhounds took him with the third overall pick of the 1977 OHL draft.

But not even the Great One can top fellow forward Brian Drumm when it comes to being the youngest player to ever skate in an OHL game. That is, Drumm first suited up for the Oshawa Generals as a 14-year old local affiliate during the 1971-1972 season.

…[read more]

Doucette on the rise


By
August 11, 2021

Tyson Doucette

As he has grown several inches in height and become noticeably stronger, so too has he elevated his game.

Still very young, with a 2004 birth date, forward Tyson Doucette looms as a rising star for the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

High Level to Kam River


By
August 10, 2021

Keaton Mercredi

Keaton Mercredi is ready to make another long trek from home — as in about 1,700 miles — to play junior hockey again this season.

Hailing from the small, remote northern Alberta town of High Level, Mercredi has signed up to play another season with the Thunder Bay-based Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Hounds ink Russian defender


By
August 10, 2021

Kirill Kudryavtsev signs up to play for the Soo Greyhounds

Kirill Kudryavtsev has officially signed with the Soo Greyhounds after the Ontario Hockey League team took the 2004 birth year defenseman in the first round, sixth overall, at the 2021 Canadian Hockey League import draft.

A native of Yaroslavl, Russia, he spent the 2020-2021 season with Loko Yaroslavl in Russia’s top junior hockey league and produced two goals, five assists, seven points in 20 games.

…[read more]

Balanced schedule for SIJHL


By
August 9, 2021

The seven member teams of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League will each play 48 regular season games in 2021-2022. The upcoming season will signify the SIJHL’s 20th anniversary.

…[read more]

Lussier lands in Flint


By
August 8, 2021

Cole Lussier

Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan native Cole Lussier has been hired by the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League as their new video coach and administrative assistant.

The 24-year old Lussier was a top forward with the under 16 Soo Thunder and under 18 Soo Indians before moving on to play at the junior level in both the Central Canada Hockey League and North American Hockey League.

…[read more]

Defending the Kam River


By
August 7, 2021

Collin Wiseman

A seasoned brigade of blue line skaters has the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League in a good position ahead of the 2021-2022 season.

…[read more]

Erie presence in Blind River


By
August 6, 2021

Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League are sending one of their top prospects to develop with the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season.

…[read more]

Noah and Noah in the net


By
August 6, 2021

Noah Zeppa, goalie. Noah Metivier, goalie.

New teammates and goalie partners with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Goalie to goalie coach


By
August 5, 2021

Parker Simpson

Parker Simpson is returning to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League scene in Elliot Lake.

The former NOJHL goalie is now an NOJHL goalie coach, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

SIJHL has a new look


By
August 4, 2021

A new logo design has been unveiled by the Superior International Jr. Hockey League ahead of what will be its 20th anniversary season of 2021-2022.

SIJHL commissioner Darrin Nicholas noted that the new logo “really covers the whole spectrum.  What emerged was a consensus on a design we felt would pay homage to our past but also properly represent our league as we head into our third decade.”

…[read more]

Fishing on the Kam River


By
August 3, 2021

Brad Fortier

There is intent to not only be competitive but to challenge for the championship in what would be a first full season as members of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.

COVID-19 limited the expansion Kam River Fighting Walleye to just four regular season games plus a challenge tournament with the nearby Thunder Bay North Stars in 2020-2021. Now, key player commitments have the Fighting Walleye prepared to swim ahead of the 2021-2022 season.

…[read more]

Hounds of summer into fall


By
August 2, 2021

There is anxious anticipation ahead of the 2021-2022 Ontario Hockey League season. More so given that the entire 2020-2021 season was wiped out due to the coronavirus.

Now, with a return to a good degree of normalcy seemingly on the horizon, OHL teams such as the Soo Greyhounds have been spending the summer tending to internal and external business preparatory to the upcoming season.

…[read more]

Net addition for Beavers


By
August 1, 2021

A puck-stopping duo is now in place for the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Hockey News North has confirmed that the Beavers have added a veteran goalie from the Central Canada Hockey League.

…[read more]

New Liskeard to Espanola


By
August 1, 2021

Adam Shillinglaw, formerly of the New Liskeard Cubs. (photo by Sue Nielsen)

Up and coming young defenseman Adam Shillinglaw is ready to board the Express train to Espanola from his hometown of New Liskeard.

That is, Shillinglaw is poised to move up from the New Liskeard Cubs of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League to the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

A steal for the Habs?


By
July 30, 2021

Playing on the worst team in the Ontario Hockey League did not help the stock of North Bay Battalion goalie Joe Vrbetic for the 2021 National Hockey League draft.

Joe Vrbetic

Vrbetic, a former Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League star with the Powassan Voodoos, faced baptism by fire for the Battalion during the most recent OHL season in playing for a North Bay team that posted an awful record of 17-41-4.

…[read more]

Slick has more Spirit


By
July 30, 2021

One of the very best play by play announcers in the Ontario Hockey League has been given a promotion by his employer.

Joey (Slick) Battaino

Saginaw Spirit president and managing partner Craig Goslin has confirmed the appointment of Joey Battaino as vice president of communications and broadcasting.

…[read more]

Goodman back in Kam River


By
July 29, 2021

The Fighting Walleye has landed a big defenseman for the upcoming season.

Trystan Goodman

That is, Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League has confirmed the return of Trystan Goodman for the 2021-2022 campaign.

…[read more]

Tough guys of the north


By
July 28, 2021

My roots are in northern Ontario. And as I am proud to be a northerner, I make no apologies for, when it comes to hockey, being partial to players who hail from the north.

Which brings me to compile my personal Top 10 list of the toughest customers from northern Ontario to play in the Ontario Hockey League during what I will call the rough and tumble decades of the 1970s and 1980s.

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Another gig for a good guy


By
July 27, 2021

“I had told myself that I was probably done coaching at this level but then the phone rang and I couldn’t say no to being associated with these guys again.” — Dave Clancy.

A good, old grizzled coach with a winning past is returning to the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season.

Dave Clancy has signed on with the Rayside Balfour Canadians as an associate coach alongside head coach Vagelli Sakellaris.

…[read more]

Bombers of Sioux Lookout


By
July 26, 2021

What’s in a hockey team nickname?

The owners of a new franchise that is slated to debut in the Superior International Jr. Hockey League a year from now — the 2022-2023 season — chose its name to salute those who strive to keep the Sioux Lookout area safe from wildfires.

…[read more]

It’s all about the Show


By
July 25, 2021

Hockey dreams have turned into one aspect of reality for a number of youngsters with northern Ontario roots and associations.

As 30 players from 18 different Ontario Hockey League teams were selected at the recent 2021 National Hockey League draft, a number of them have a connection to the Great North Under 18 Hockey League and the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

All the way from Idaho


By
July 25, 2021

Suffice to say that Alex Enegren will go a great distance to play junior hockey.

Alex Enegren

Rather obviously, Enegren liked what he saw in the brief sample size that he experienced with the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League during the abbreviated 2020-2021 season.

…[read more]

Mauro boys on the move


By
July 24, 2021

Justin Mauro

From one junior hockey league to another.

Justin Mauro and his younger brother Devin Mauro are on the move from the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

Coaching the Thunderbirds


By
July 16, 2021

Jeremy Rebek once played for the Austrian national team

A new look hockey staff has been finalized and put into place for Sault Ste. Marie’s junior A hockey team.

Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have confirmed the all-local coaching staff that will assist new head coach and part owner Cole Jarrett for the 2021-2022 season.

…[read more]

Birds ink Hounds pick


By
July 15, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have signed a prospect of the Soo Greyhounds from the 2021 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft.

He is 6-foot-2, 195 pound, 2005 birth year defenseman Andrew Gibson. Hailing from the Windsor area town of LaSalle, Gibson was a fourth round pick of the Greyhounds at this year’s draft.

…[read more]

Fighting Walleye gets a Tiger


By
July 15, 2021

Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League has added a veteran forward with a 2001 birth date from the Campbellton Tigers of the Maritime Hockey League, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

Voodoos cast spell on O’Dell


By
July 15, 2021

Powassan Voodoos of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League have signed a 2020 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft pick of the Oshawa Generals. He is 6-foot-4, 200 pound defenseman Ryan O’Dell. 

…[read more]

Junior hockey up north


By
July 14, 2021

They are the two primary junior A hockey leagues of the expansive, sweeping northern Ontario region.

As of now, in total, there are 19 teams from northeast and northwest Ontario, northern Michigan, northern Minnesota, and northern Wisconsin that span the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and the Superior International Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Good news for hockey diversity


By
July 12, 2021

Trevor Iserhoff

This can and should be seen as a step forward relative to diversity and inclusion in junior A hockey throughout Ontario and across Canada.

That is, the Superior International Jr. Hockey League has confirmed the appointment of Trevor Iserhoff as its first ever director of diversity and inclusion.

…[read more]

Kam River goes with the flow


By
July 12, 2021

Kevin McCallum

There are committed returning players and incoming skaters who have signed up — with room to still add to the roster.

Indeed, the part owner and general manager of the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League likes the promising look of the second year franchise ahead of the 2021-2022 season.

…[read more]

Days of Sault sportscasters


By
July 10, 2021

I have been writing sports — mostly hockey — day in and week out since February of 1982.

Before that, starting in October of 1975, I was a sportscaster, first in radio, then in both radio and television.

There were a lot of us sportscasters in Sault Ste. Marie and throughout northern Ontario back then.

…[read more]

Kam River lands a goalie


By
July 8, 2021

Eric Vanska

This looms as a net gain.

That is, Eric Vanska has opted to return to the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League for the 2021-2022 season, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

Five Eagles off to school


By
July 8, 2021

Bobby Price

Homegrown product Bobby Price tops a list of five graduates of the Soo Eagles of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League who are moving up to the college ranks this fall.

A 6-foot, 190 pound forward who played three seasons with the Michigan-based Eagles, Price is heading to Trine University, which is a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 3 school.

…[read more]

Captain on the Express


By
July 7, 2021

Josh Boucher

Josh Boucher will be returning to the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for a third season, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

In and out of Kam River


By
July 7, 2021

Kevin McCallum has been wheeling and dealing ahead of the 2021-2022 junior hockey season. The general manager of the Kam River Fighting Walleye of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League has been involved in four separate transactions thus far this summer.

…[read more]

Back in the Beaver dam


By
July 6, 2021

Blind River Beavers general manager and coach Kyle Brick has confirmed the signed return of nine players ahead of the 2021-2022 Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season.

The nine veterans include one goalie, two defensemen and six forwards. They are as follows.

…[read more]

Local look of the Birds


By
July 5, 2021

Tyson Doucette

Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League are — as they should be — the big game in town. After all, the OHL is probably the best junior hockey development league in the world and the Greyhounds have a long history of producing players for the National Hockey League.

But the Soo is also home to the Thunderbirds of the lower level Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League. And the Thunderbirds are all about giving local lads a place to play and develop while staying at home.

…[read more]