It’s that time of the season again.
The first puck will drop on the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League playoffs tonight.
Sudbury Nickel Barons, sixth-place finishers during the regular season, will play host to the third-seeded Espanola Rivermen in a 7:30 p.m. start at McClelland Arena.
The best-of-seven series will then shift to Espanola for Games 2 and 3 on Friday night and Sunday afternoon at the Regional Recreation Complex.
Games times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Espanola finished 20 points ahead of Sudbury during the 2013-2014 regular season but the teams are seen as being a lot more evenly-matched than their records might indicate.
Both teams are well coached.
Veteran junior hockey bench boss Tom McCarthy calls the shots for the Rivermen while former Ontario Hockey League assistant Jason Young took over as head coach of the Nickel Barons midway through the 2013-2014 campaign.