NOJHL still not settled
February 18, 2014
They fashioned a fabulous 25-game winning streak and have an awesome overall record of 43-5-2.
But the fact of the matter is, with six games left to play in the 2014-2015 regular season, Soo Thunderbirds have not clinched first place in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
That’s because the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners are having a season that is just about on par with the Soo.
The Gold Miners, who recently ended the Thunderbirds 25-game winning streak with a resounding 5-0 road victory, are six points back of the Soo with a game in hand.
As the Soo has that rousing record of 43-5-2, Kirkland Lake is right behind with a 39-6-4 mark.
Couple that with the fact that the Thunderbirds have to play three road games in as many days this Friday-Saturday-Sunday — against Kirkland Lake, Abitibi and North Bay — and first place is far from settled.
Then there are the third and fourth seedings.
Abitibi holds down third place with 57 points, which is two more than Espanola. But the Rivermen have two games in hand on the Eskimos.
Elliot Lake Bobcats appear destined to finish fifth. With 48 points, Elliot Lake has fallen back of Abitibi and Espanola.
Sixth-and-seventh spots have yet to be finalized.
Sixth-place Sudbury Nickel Barons have a three-point lead on seventh-place North Bay but the Trappers have three games in hand.
With 18 points in 47 games, Blind River Beavers are in last place and will play either the Soo or Kirkland Lake in the first round of the playoffs.
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North Bay Trappers of the NOJHL will play their next three home games in Mattawa.