NOJHL team has summer plans


Randy Russon
By
March 25, 2021

The coach and general manager of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League intends to ice a summer team that will compete in showcase tournaments, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

Soo Eagles got game


Randy Russon
By
March 24, 2021

A closed international border prevented the Soo Eagles from competing within the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League this season.

But the Michigan-based Eagles — the only American team in the 12-member NOJHL — still found a way to play a number of games over the past several months.

…[read more]

Beavers take down the Birds


Randy Russon
By
March 21, 2021

Justin Mauro

COVID-19 cohort competition and a rabid rivalry is alive and well in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League series between the Blind River Beavers and Soo Thunderbirds.

Playing at home today, the Beavers took down the Thunderbirds by a decisive 8-3 score to even the marathon, season-long, cohort series between the fiery foes at seven games apiece. It was the second straight home ice win by Blind River over the Soo to cap a two games in two days, weekend matinee series.

…[read more]

Soo boys spark Blind River


Randy Russon
By
March 21, 2021

Blind River Beavers goalie Gavin Disano makes one of 48 saves in Saturday’s win over the Soo Thunderbirds.

Devin Mauro netted the tying tally in the third period, then sealed the deal in the shootout, and fellow Sault Ste. Marie product Gavin Disano made 48 saves as Blind River Beavers edged the visiting Soo Thunderbirds  5-4 in another cohort contest between the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League rivals on Saturday night.

…[read more]

Beavers come up short


Randy Russon
By
March 19, 2021

Nick Jameus of the Blind River Beavers sets up in front of Soo Thunderbirds goalie Alex Bugeja in NOJHL action from Thursday. (photo by Bob Davies.)

It was a spirited effort by a team that played with just two of its regular defensemen due to league suspension.

But despite numerous glorious scoring opportunities, the visiting Blind River Beavers came up short in yet another cohort match with the Soo Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League action on Thursday.

…[read more]

Crunch and Rock carry on


Randy Russon
By
March 15, 2021

Defensemen Travis Szafron (15) and Keaston Blais (24) of the Cochrane Crunch get in position in front of goalie Michael Nickolau to defend against Timmins Rock forward Tyler Schwindt (44) in NOJHL action from the weekend. (photo by Emily Martin)

Three games in as many days was the workload as Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League cohort rivals Cochrane Crunch and Timmins Rock faced off on the weekend.

…[read more]

NOJHL deserved better


Randy Russon
By
March 15, 2021

Cameron Walker

It has followed all the rules — and then some — relative to COVID-19. Fifty three of its scheduled 58 games for this season have been played thus far and the only ones that were postponed were of the precautionary measure.

Still, the 12-member Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is down to four active teams and is poised to halt the 2020-2021 season at the end of this month when Blind River Beavers v. Soo Thunderbirds and Cochrane Crunch v. Timmins Rock finish their respective, current cohort schedule.

The NOJHL deserved better. And, as just one example, so did the up and coming Espanola Express.

…[read more]

Stevenson still in the game


Randy Russon
By
March 11, 2021

Jeremy Stevenson

His hockey playing career ended a dozen years ago at age 34. But now, at 46 years of age and at his playing size and weight of 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, Jeremy Stevenson still looks fit and trim enough to be patrolling the left wing.

A first round pick of the Cornwall Royals in 1990 who would finish his Ontario Hockey League career with the Soo Greyhounds, Stevenson defied the odds to play in 228 National Hockey League games after being an 11th round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in 1994.

…[read more]

Seven up for Birds, Beavers


Randy Russon
By
March 11, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds and Blind River Beavers will take the COVID-19 affected Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season to a conclusive seven game series between the cohort rivals, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

Four cohorts on NOJHL slate


Randy Russon
By
March 9, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds and Blind River Beavers, in recent NOJHL action.

Cochrane Crunch and Timmins Rock have drawn up a schedule of 10 games between each other over the next 20 days.

And Blind River Beavers and Soo Thunderbirds are working on their next slate of games as cohort opponents, which will likely be next week.

…[read more]

Disano stands tall for BR


Randy Russon
By
March 8, 2021

Gavin Disano of the Blind River Beavers. (photo by Bob Davies)

At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Gavin Disano is on the short side when it comes to the preferences of Ontario Hockey League scouts and American college recruiters who evaluate goalies. But if a goalie can stop the puck and win games, how much does size really matter?

To be sure, Disano who is a 2003 birth year rookie with the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, has been standing tall between the pipes.

…[read more]

Beavers take broom to Birds


Randy Russon
By
March 7, 2021

Staring adversity straight in the chops, Blind River Beavers pulled out a stunning 5-4 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds today to complete a weekend sweep of their Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League cohort rivals.

…[read more]

Beavers overcome T-Birds


Randy Russon
By
March 6, 2021

Goalie Gavin Disano, in action for the Blind River Beavers.

Enough is enough.

Blind River Beavers halted a five game win-less streak against the Soo Thunderbirds today with a 4-1 victory.

Playing at home, the Beavers scored two power play goals and rode the good goal-tending of rookie Gavin Disano to end a skid in which Blind River had gone 0-4-1 over its previous five games against the Soo.

…[read more]

NOJHL boss was OHL star


Randy Russon
By
March 6, 2021

The ’81-82 Sudbury Wolves with Rob Mazzuca (front row) as team captain

These days, Rob Mazzuca is well known as the likeable, respectable commissioner of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

With deep northern Ontario roots, Mazzuca — who has been the league’s commander in chief since 2011 — has brought a thorough, thoughtful, professional approach to his position and to the NOJHL itself.

…[read more]

Crunch and Rock in cohort


Randy Russon
By
March 4, 2021

They figure to be familiar and formidable foes by facing off 10 times in a 20 day frame.

As Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League cohort opponents, the Cochrane Crunch and Timmins Rock are slated to play 10 games against each other between March 10 and March 30.

…[read more]

Birds have Beavers baffled


Randy Russon
By
March 3, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds took a 5-3 win from the Blind River Beavers on Tuesday. (photo by Bob Davies)

Soo Thunderbirds have the Blind River Beavers number as of late.

Since the 2021 portion of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season began about a week ago, the Thunderbirds have taken four straight games from the Beavers with Blind River’s only point coming in a shootout loss.

…[read more]

NOJHL a game at a time


Randy Russon
By
March 1, 2021

Left to right, Nick Jameus, Wyatt Courchaine and Teegan Dumont of the Blind River Beavers and Ethan Novello of the Soo Thunderbirds, in NOJHL action from last week. (photo by Bob Davies)

Five for seven. As in, of the seven games that the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League had scheduled for last week as it returned to play from COVID-19 hiatus, five of them went into the books.

Thus, the NOJHL is maintaining a good average of completion of scheduled matches. In all, when totaling the 51 slated games to date — November and December of 2020 and February of 2021 — 46 have gone on as scheduled.

…[read more]

Making headway in Espanola


Randy Russon
By
March 1, 2021

Espanola Express has a record of 5-4-3 through 12 games of the 2020-2021 season. (photo by Chelsea Solomon)

The times they are a changin’ in Espanola.

And it is change that has been for the better relative to the Espanola Express of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

Birds fly into top spot


Randy Russon
By
February 28, 2021

Cooper Smyl

Fast skating power forward Cooper Smyl fired three goals today to spark the surging Soo Thunderbirds to a 7-2 triumph over the Blind River Beavers.

The road win for the Thunderbirds boosted their record to 7-3-1 and moved them into first place in the West Division of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, just ahead of the idle Espanola Express, which has a 5-4-3 mark.

…[read more]

Beavers earn tough point


Randy Russon
By
February 27, 2021

Blind River Beavers goalie Gavin Disano, making one of 37 saves against the Soo Thunderbirds in NOJHL action from Friday. (photo by Bob Davies)

It wasn’t a victory.

But Blind River Beavers coach Kyle Brick credited his team for a hard fought effort in gaining a point from a 6-5 shootout loss to the Soo Thunderbirds in Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League action from Friday night.

The visiting Beavers forced the shootout with a power play goal by Matt Cato with less than three minutes to play in the third period.

…[read more]

NOJHL games postponed


Randy Russon
By
February 26, 2021

Tonight’s and Saturday’s scheduled Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League games between the French River Rapids and the Espanola Express have been postponed, multiple sources have confirmed to Hockey News North.

…[read more]

Nicholls boards the Express


Randy Russon
By
February 25, 2021

He has served a full two year apprenticeship in the Great North Under 18 Hockey League. And now, 2003 birth year goalie Evan Nicholls has been granted the liberty to tend twine in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

…[read more]

NOJHL: So far, so good


Randy Russon
By
February 25, 2021

Caleb Wood of the Soo Thunderbirds and Mason Chitaroni of the Blind River Beavers in NOJHL action from this week. (photo by Bob Davies.)

Tests have been passed through the early going of return to play in the 2021 half of the interrupted Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League season.

The resumption of play on Feb. 23 after a two month shutdown relative to COVID-19 has followed an impressive 2020 half for the NOJHL in which 41 of 44 scheduled games were completed.

…[read more]

T-Birds add seasoned skaters


Randy Russon
By
February 24, 2021

Noah Boman

As play resumes in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League this week following a two-month shut down, the Soo Thunderbirds have added a pair of veteran forwards to their lineup, Hockey News North has confirmed.

…[read more]

NOJHL rallies with rebound


Randy Russon
By
February 24, 2021

Let the record show that junior hockey returned to northeastern Ontario on February 23 after two months on the sidelines.

The Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League — which got in an impressive 41 games between November 13 and December 22 of 2020 before Christmas holidays and then a province wide shutdown relative to COVID-19 led to the two month stoppage in play — is back on the ice with a safe schedule of games for the 2021 portion of the season.

…[read more]

Express v. Rapids etc.


Randy Russon
By
February 23, 2021

French River Rapids and Espanola Express will return to NOJHL game play tonight.

Better late than never.

The 2021 portion of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League regular season will finally get underway tonight when the French River Rapids play host to their cohort rival Espanola Express in a slated 6:00 start.

The two teams have already faced off against each other six times this season with each side winning three games. Two of French River’s wins were in extra time.

…[read more]

NOJHL confirms return


Randy Russon
By
February 22, 2021

The Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has just confirmed what Hockey News North had said would happen in a story posted earlier today — a return to play effective this week.

…[read more]

NOJHL working on return


Randy Russon
By
February 22, 2021

Blind River Beavers and Soo Thunderbirds are under the Algoma Public Health unit umbrella. (photo by Bob Davies)

Sources are telling Hockey News North that the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League will return to play this week.

And the same sources are saying that teams will be restricted to playing within their own public health units, at least to begin.

In the case of the five-member West Division of the NOJHL, there is an odd number of teams. That is, unless a guest team from the Great North Under 18 Hockey League is allowed in.

…[read more]

NOJHL guest team scenario


Randy Russon
By
February 18, 2021

As amateur hockey teams and leagues try to stick handle around COVID-19 and return to game activity with the blessing of public health units, there are various scenarios in consideration.

One such suggestion would have, for example, the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League joining the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League as a guest team.

…[read more]

Assistants for the Rock


Randy Russon
By
February 16, 2021

Timmins Rock president Ted Gooch has told Hockey News North that the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League team will not hire a new head coach until after the 2020-2021 season.

Gooch confirmed that in the wake of today’s resignation of Corey Beer, who was in his fourth season as bench boss of the NOJHL team.

…[read more]

No more Beer in Timmins


Randy Russon
By
February 16, 2021

Corey Beer

Corey Beer has resigned as head coach of the Timmins Rock of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League to accept a position with the Okanagan Hockey Group.

The move to the Whitby, Ontario-based academy will allow Beer to be closer to his family. Beer and his girlfriend are expecting their first child.

…[read more]

NOJHL poised to return


Randy Russon
By
February 15, 2021

Soo Thunderbirds and Espanola Express, in December action. (photo by Bob Davies)

Barring any sort of setback relative to COVID-19, the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League could resume regular season play within a week or so.

Sources have told Hockey News North that NOJHL commissioner Rob Mazzuca and team representatives have scheduled a conference call for Tuesday evening relative to a return to play.

…[read more]

NOJHL has passed COVID test


Randy Russon
By
February 2, 2021

Blind River Beavers at Rayside Balfour Canadians, in NOJHL action from December. (photo by Caleigh Fera)

If a tried, tested and true track record stands up — as it should — then the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League should be cleared for a return to the ice once the provincial government lifts its lock down and stay at home edict.

Under the careful, calculated leadership of NOJHL commissioner Rob Mazzuca, the league managed to play 41 of the 44 games that were scheduled between Nov. 13 and Dec. 22.

…[read more]