An effervescent Jamie Henderson could barely contain his excitement as he talked rapidly into the microphone during a recent guest appearance on local radio station Eagle 95.1 and its Hockey North Show.
The chatty head coach of the Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Under 18 AAA Hockey League was pumped up big time as he talked about his team and the slated return to play after eight months of game activity shutdown relative to the coronavirus health crisis.
“It is absolutely great to be back on the radio again talking hockey … it is a great feeling to know that after so much time away from actually playing games that we are close to being able to play again,” Henderson exclaimed. “We are hopeful that it all works out.
“We have been holding skill sessions and scrimmages for a while now but there is nothing like the anticipation of being on the verge of actually playing another team,” added Henderson.
The Jr. Greyhounds are scheduled to begin regular season play with a set of home games on Saturday, December 5 with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves providing the opposition at John Rhodes Community Center.
“We are preparing as if we are going to be playing. There are a lot of factors involved with health officials, etc. but as it stands now, we are scheduled to play,” Henderson noted.
Currently, the plan is for the Jr. Greyhounds to play the Nickel Capital Wolves in games of 11 on 11 (10 skaters plus one goalie.)
Slated start times for the Saturday, December 5 matches are 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
There will be no deliberate body contact allowed as per the modified rules that the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has already started its regular season under.
Henderson and his coaching staff, which includes assistants Matt Amadio, Laine Bertin, Cole Jarrett, Joe Miller and Nick Tassone and goalie coach Jamie Disano, recently finalized a 22 player roster of 12 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies.
“We have the potentially of being a very good team,” Henderson relayed. “I think we will have some of the best players in the league … we are a good mix of kids born in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
“For example, a kid like Adam Barone could be the best defenseman in the league and returning forwards such as Stephen Pszeniczny and Calem Mangone could really light it up,” said Henderson.
The Jr. Greyhounds player roster is as follows.
Forwards: Calem Mangone, Stephen Pszeniczny, Theo Smith, Sam Lake, Carmine Perna, Gabe Zimbaro, Carter Lidstone, Connor Chow Lynn, Cooper Foster, Lincoln Moore, Noah Aboflan, Daniel Bumbacco.
Defensemen: Michael Beltrano, Adam Barone, Kolby Fellinger, Austin Fellinger, Creo Solomon, Luca Spadafora, Adrian O’Dell, Sam Verbonac.
Goalies: Noah Metivier, Terry See.