Up early in the Great North

October 9, 2022

Soo Jr. Greyhounds have a 3-0-0 record and Timmins Majors are right behind them with a 2-1-0 mark in the early going of the 2022-2023 regular season in the Great North Under 18 Hockey League.

Individually, the Jr. Greyhounds are commanding the points parade of the eight team league through three games. No less than 11 members of the Jr. Greyhounds are averaging at least a point per game. Five of the Jr. Greyhounds have four points and six others have three.

Harley Wardell, Deven Jones-McDonald, Jacob Smith, Cole Cond and Hudson Chitaroni all have four points while Brendan Cooke, Lucas DiBerardino, Carter Huckson, Tyler Neveau , Rylan Fellinger and Candon O’Neill all have three points. Wardell and Cooke are leading the way in goals with three apiece.

Notably, the 5-foot-10, 170 pound Cooke will not turn 15 until December 22 of this year. A Thessalon product, Cooke has already suited up for the Blind River Beavers of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League for one game this season as an affiliate player.

Meanwhile, Shawn Gagnon of Timmins and Max Campbell of the Sudbury Under 16 Nickel Capitals are tied for the league scoring lead with five points apiece. Calvin Collins of Timmins is also off to a good start with four points.

Steve Polyblank, who is in his first season as the head coach in Timmins after being the bench boss of the New Liskeard Cubs for a number of years, likes the potential of his Majors and their 2-1-0 record to date.

“When we can finish checks and wear the opposition out, that’s the way we are going to have success,” said Polyblank. “When we say finish the check, I don’t mean elbow them or high stick them, just wear them out, make a clean check.”

Timmins Majors goalie Sam Rudner make a glove save during a 3-2 win over the U16 Sudbury Nickel Capitals. (Photo by Thomas Perry/Postmedia.)

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