Beavers working to try to halt skid

November 14, 2015

They have a roster full of players born in 1997, 1998 and 1999 — which makes the task ahead a tad more difficult for one of the youngest teams in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.

Having lost 15 games in a row, the Blind River Beavers will be out to try to put a halt to that skid tonight when they play host to the Soo Eagles in a 7:30 p.m. start.

The Beavers were in a close encounter on Friday night only to drop a 5-3 road decision to the Eagles.

With a record of 3-19-1 thus far this 2015-2016 season — after failing to win a single game in 2014-2015 — the building of a new Beaver dam has been slow work in progress for first-year coach-general manager Brad Barton.

But despite the current losing streak, Barton remains upbeat and points to the fact that the Beavers have 17 players born in either 1997, 1998 or 1999.

“We need to get better in our defensive zone but we have been improving,” Barton told “We are a young team and we are working hard to try to cut down on our mistakes.”

The youngest player on the Beavers is also their second-leading scorer — Max Khull, a 1999 birth-year forward from Echo Bay, Ont. who just turned 16 in October.

“He’s been playing like a man,” Barton said in praise of Khull, a sixth-round Ontario Hockey League draft pick of the Niagara Ice Dogs in 2015 who is second on the Blind River scoring chart with 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points in 23 games.

Barton, who has a three-year contract with the Beavers — and in his words, a three-year plan — said making the playoffs this season remains the goal.

“We are trying to stay clear of the negativism and stay positive,” Barton said evenly. “Patience is something I don’t have a lot of but I cannot let negativity take over.”

With a new board of directors in place led by president Rachelle Nyman, the support from them “has been great,” said Barton. “As a team we are involved in the community…we are trying to create a more-positive image.”

PHOTO: Rookie forward Max Khull is second on the Blind River Beavers in scoring thus far this season. (Photo by Ali Pearson.)

What you think about “Beavers working to try to halt skid”

  1. The Beavers have a long way to go after that 17-3 loss to the Soo Indians. It’s not the only time Blind River lost a game by more than 15 goals. This has been happening since the 2000-01 Blind River Barons. How does a team like Blind River not up and leave town after so many disastrous seasons. Last year was the worst, that ended up in the record books for not winning a game. Manitoulin left after 8 seasons and not winning more than 10 games in almost every season. Blind River needs to seriously figure out why they aren’t winning games.

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