NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
NOJHL MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Sunday, April 19, 2015
Soo Thunderbirds crowned NOJHL champions
SAULT STE. MARIE – An Andrew Barbeau goal early in the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Soo Thunderbirds defeated the Cochrane Crunch 5-3 Sunday in Game 5 of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League championship series for the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy at Essar Centre.
With the victory the Thunderbirds take the league crown in five hard-fought games and will now advance to represent the NOJHL at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship April 28 through May 2 in Fort Frances.
Kept off the score sheet the previous three games, Cochrane’s Dustin Cordeiro, helped the Crunch get on the board first in this one as he jumped around a Thunderbirds defender, only to have his attempt stopped, but see Henry Berger stuff in the rebound past a sprawled Mario Culina.
On the power play a minute and half later, Sault Ste. Marie pulled even as Matt Pinder one-timed a shot beating Cochrane netminder Brett Young.
Earning assists on the marker were Owen Headrick and Matt Caruso, with Headrick running a consecutive game point streak to 10 straight in the process.
The goals kept coming as the visitors countered right off the face-off following Pinder’s effort with Alex Goulet firing one home a mere nine seconds later.
Then less than a minute after that the T-Birds tied it again with Nicolas Tassone notching the equalizer at 12:21.
With no shortage of offensive production in the opening stanza Cochrane captain Max Glashauser put the Crunch back in front as his blast from the left point found its way into the back of the net at 17:01.
Headrick continued his impressive postseason play as his attempt from a sharp angle eluded Young with 100 seconds to go in the frame to finish off the high-scoring session.
The Thunderbirds tacked on 1:27 into the second as defenceman Barbeau snapped one in from the right side to give them their first lead of the night.
Both clubs tightened up defensively after that with the rest of the period going scoreless.
The Crunch had a good chance to knot the affair eight minutes into the third as the NOJHL’s leading goal scorer, in Cody Gratton, was sent in alone on a breakaway only to be denied by the pad of Culina.
The next few minutes both netminders exchange superb stops as Culina and Young were stellar to keep the contest a one-goal affair.
Pulling Young in the late going in favour of an extra attacker in an effort to force overtime, it was the Thunderbirds who countered by clinching the title with an empty netter by Brett Jeffries with 31 seconds to go to wrap things up.
Final shots on goal favoured the Soo 37-27 with Culina picking up the win and Young the defeat.
COPELAND CUP – MCNAMARA TROPHY FINAL
Soo Thunderbirds vs. Cochrane Crunch
Thunderbirds win best-of-seven series 4-1
Game 1: Cochrane 6 Soo 2
Game 2: Soo 8 Cochrane 0
Game 3: Soo 4 Cochrane 2
Game 4: Soo 2 Cochrane 0
Game 5: Soo 5 Cochrane 3
SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
SIJHL MEDIA UPDATE
Release Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Lakers’ netminder Park named Gongshow Gear SIJHL playoff MVP
DRYDEN, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Saturday that Fort Frances Lakers goaltender Nathan Park has been named the Gongshow Gear SIJHL most valuable player for the 2015 playoffs.
The 20-year-old from Edmonton, Alta., had a stellar postseason for the Lakers helping them capture their second consecutive Bill Salonen Cup SIJHL championship as they defeated the Dryden GM Ice Dogs in six hard-fought games.
Park finished with an 8-2 record in the playoffs saving some of his best work for the final three games of the Salonen Cup final backstopping Fort Frances consecutive victories and giving them the title.
In all, he finished with a league-best 2.65 goals-against average in the postseason along with a SIJHL-leading .919 save percentage.
Park was earlier named a SIJHL CCM first team all-star and the league’s top goaltender award recipient for his efforts between the pipes during the course of the regular season.
Park will receive a gift package courtesy for his efforts, courtesy of Gongshow Gear Inc., the SIJHL’s official lifestyle hockey apparel partner and sponsor of the league’s performer of the month and playoff MVP awards.
The Lakers and GM Ice Dogs will now prepare for the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship in Fort Frances, April 28 through May 2.
They’ll be joined by the title holders from the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Junior Hockey League with a berth in the RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A championship May 11-19 in Portage la Prairie, Man., on the line.
ABOUT GONGSHOW GEAR INC.
Founded in 2002 by three teammates in the Central Junior “A” Hockey League after identifying the need for a hockey apparel brand that would accurately represent the exciting and exclusive lifestyle that hockey players live. Gongshow was the first Lifestyle Hockey Apparel brand in the world to hit the market in 2002, and this game changing company has since grown into the largest hockey lifestyle clothing brand in the world – selling in over 500 retail locations, in 15 countries internationally, and has hailed comparisons to such pioneering lifestyle brands as Billabong (Surfing Lifestyle), and Burton (Snowboarding Lifestyle).
For more information on Gongshow Gear Inc., visit their website at www.gongshowgear.com or via Facebook at www.facebook.com/gongshowgear or Twitter at twitter.com/gongshowgear.
October: Cole Golka, Dryden
January: Lucas DeBenedet, Fort Frances
November: Evan Erickson, Minnesota
February: Nathan Park, Fort Frances
December: Cole Golka, Dryden