As the regular season in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League skates towards a conclusion there is still a lot to play for and plenty to write about ahead of the looming playoffs.
FIRST PLACE: The division winners have yet to be decided. Timmins Rock holds a slim margin on the Hearst Lumberjacks in the East Division. And in the West Division, the Sudbury Cubs are trying to fend off the Blind River Beavers.
FOURTH PLACE: Espanola Paper Kings are closing in on clinching the fourth playoff spot in the West Division over the Soo Eagles in what is a much more competitive six pack. Notably, if either the Eagles or the last place Elliot Lake Red Wings were in the East Division, they would make the playoffs with ease. Meanwhile, in the least of the East end, one of the French River Rapids, Cochrane Crunch or Kirkland Lake Gold Miners will make the playoffs with a winning percentage of .200 or less.
SCORING RACE: Nicolas Pigeon of Timmins has all but wrapped up the points parade title. As for the goal scoring race, Brady Harroun of Timmins leads the way with 42 followed by Pierson Sobush of Sudbury with 39 and Lucas Signoretti of Espanola with 37.
NET GAINS: Three goalies have 20 or more wins. Patrick Boivin of Timmins has 24, Gavin Disano of Blind River has 21 and Kannon Flageolle of the Powassan Voodoos has 20. Closing in on 20 are Ethan Dinsdale of Hearst with 19 and Noah Beaulne of Sudbury with 18.