It is a 12-team Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League that features a compound of 1-2 goalie duets of high grade standard. And in the case of the Blind River Beavers, they have no less than three goalies who have appreciable net worth.
Rookie Patrick Boivin was acquired by the Beavers from the Espanola Express at the Jan. 10 trade deadline. The arrival of hometown product Boivin in Blind River gives the Beavers three good goalies going into the 2022 segment of the season with Gavin Disano and Jeremi Delaquis being the others.
Boivin and Disano are both 18-year olds and graduates of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League. Boivin tended twine for both the Sudbury Minor Wolves and Kapuskasing Flyers while Disano minded the net for the Soo Jr. Greyhounds before moving up to Blind River and the NOJHL last season.
The 19-year old Delaquis hails from Quispamsis, New Brunswick and is in his first NOJHL season.
All three goalies put up good numbers in the 2021 portion of this NOJHL season.
Boivin was a workhorse with Espanola and posted an 8-13-2 record, 3.51 goals against average and .908 save percentage on an Express crew that is in fifth place in the West Division of the NOJHL.
Meanwhile, the 5-foot-9, 180 pound Disano will take a 6-5-2 record, 3.49 goals against average and .900 save percentage into the 2022 half of the season.
Delaquis, on the other hand, had a 6-3-0 record with a 2.56 goals against average and .917 save percentage for the Beavers before being sidelined in late November with a concussion injury.
The injury status of the 6-foot-3, 205 pound Delaquis heading into the 2022 portion of the NOJHL schedule is part of what prompted Blind River general manager and coach Kyle Brick to trade for the 5-foot-10, 175 pound Boivin.
“We like our goal-tending even more now with the addition of Boivin, who was just too good to pass up. ” Brick told Hockey News North. “Delaquis had a really good first half with us as did Boivin in Espanola … and Disano has certainly proven that he can play in our league. Disano played well for us as a rookie last season and he has played well for us again this season.”
Brick said the goalies all understand the situation.
“It’s a different kind of year, with the Omicron and all and the pause in play. What I will say is that we as a team are very fortunate to have the three quality goalies that we do,” Brick added. “We have three goalies who can all play and it is a really good position for us to be in going into what we figure is going to be a really busy second half of the season with games to make up.”
Blind River currently resides in third place in the West Division of the NOJHL with a record of 14-9-2.
Blind River goalie Gavin Disano, in action against the the Elliot Lake Red Wings. (Northern Exposures)