Major success in Timmins

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.

As a team, the Timmins Majors finished in second place during the regular season, garnering 49 points from a record of 23-9-3. But the best was yet to come for Timmins. During the league’s playoff tournament, the Majors posted a 4-1-1 record including a 2-1 championship game victory over the no. 1 seed Sudbury U18 Wolves. It marked the first Great North championship for Timmins in 22 years.

Edan Etheridge. (photo by Thomas Perry of Postmedia.)

Then came the Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft for players born in 2008. And from that, Majors rookie forward Edan Etheridge was picked by the Saginaw Spirit in the 15th round. Etheridge had an outstanding season with the Majors. Regular season and playoffs included, the skilled skater produced 32 goals, 24 assists, 56 points in 41 games.

The Spirit wasn’t done with the Majors however, as at the ensuing OHL under 18 supplemental draft, Saginaw took Timmins forward Ian Lachance in the second round. Lachance, who has a 2007 birth date, led Timmins and the entire Great North U18 HL in scoring during the 2023-2024 regular season with 26 goals, 48 assists, 74 points in 35 games. He then added two goals, three assists, five points in six games in helping the Majors win the Great North playoff championship.

Long-time general manager Ron Holmes reflected on the Majors success of the 2023-2024 season.

“We got better as the year progressed and bought into the structure the staff put in place while changing the mindset culture using the motto ‘refuse to lose’,” Holmes relayed to Hockey News North. “(Ian) Lachance would lead the league in scoring and be the most valuable player. Going into the playoffs we were well prepared for our opponents and followed our game plans to a tee, dramatically lowering our goals against average with a heavy focus on team defence and special teams. (Edan) Etheridge would continue his stellar season while veteran goaltender Alex ‘The Wall’ Hall was dynamite.”

Holmes saved more than a few words for Etheridge, the OHL priority selections draft pick of Saginaw.

“Edan is an exciting player … he has a dynamic scoring touch around the net. Whether it’s his elite shot, explosiveness, or his creativity, he has the potential to do something special at the next level if provided with the opportunity,” Holmes began. “He is always several steps ahead of his opponents and he reads the game at a much quicker pace than most. Edan’s shot is lethal anytime he is in the offensive zone and he has high end playmaking tools. Off the ice, you have never seen a more polite, well mannered young man. It was a pleasure getting to watch Edan put the work in on a daily basis. We are all so proud of him and his accomplishments.

“And as team, we are so proud of what we did this past season,” Holmes concluded.

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