Hiking up the Great North

November 7, 2019

New Liskeard Cubs and Timmins Majors are both making fresh tracks on the rigorous Great North Midget Hockey League path.

After stumbling through the Great North during the early stages of the 2019-2020 season, both the Cubs and the Majors have since joined the hunt.

New Liskeard started the season with four straight losses but has a record of 4-0-1 over its past five games to reach the .500 level with a 4-4-1 mark.

As for the Timmins, the Majors are 4-1-0 in their last five outings to improve their record to 4-5-2 after going 0-4-2 through the first six games of season.

Cubs coach Steve Polyblank traced the turnaround in New Liskeard to better overall team play, telling Hockey News North that “we have reduced the number of shots on our net and when we do have letdowns, our goalies (Zach Prusky and Alex Date) have played well and kept us in games.”

Polyblank took note of the positive vibes that surround the New Liskeard squad.

“Winning changes a lot of things like confidence and belief … and as a result everyone is having a lot more fun,” relayed Polyblank.

Meanwhile, over in Timmins, a good showing at a major tournament in Ottawa helped the Majors overcome their slow start to the season, coach Brandon Perry told Hockey News North.

“I think our confidence is just growing,” Perry began. “I think the Ottawa tournament made our guys realize that we aren’t as far behind as they might have thought. Our compete level has been great … the way we are hunting pucks on our fore check has been way more consistent.”

“We have a good hardworking group, and we are getting healthy, I think last weekend was the first time we’ve had our six defensemen in our lineup all year. It’s still early and we still have a lot of work to do but we are certainly happy with our last 10 games … counting tournament we are 6-3-1 during that span.”

Individually, New Liskeard has two forwards among the top seven scorers in the league as captain Jackson Buffam and Benjamin White both have identical totals of six goals, 10 assists, 16 points.

As for Timmins, the Majors feature the fifth leading scorer in the Great North as forward Landon Deforge has seven goals, nine assists, 16 points.

The Majors have also benefited from an equitable scoring attack featuring forwards and defenseman.

Besides the aforementioned Deforge and his seven goals, fellow forwards Desmond Brazeau and Pierre Racicot have dented the twine five times each. Meanwhile, defensemen Gavin Martel (4-4-8), Keaston (Sticks) Blais (1-5-6) and Mason Berthiaume (2-2-4 in just seven games) have all contributed offensively.

And between the pipes, Majors goalie Evan Nicholls has the third best goals against average in the Great North with a tidy 2.79 mark.

Jackson Buffam has 16 points in nine games for the New Liskeard Cubs thus far this season.

Gavin Martel and Pierre Racicot are putting up points for the Timmins Majors.

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