NOJHL Showcase continues Wednesday with Day 2

SUDBURY, Ont. – The second and final day of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League Showcase goes Wednesday at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury with all 12-member clubs in action.

Day 1 of the event was well attended by fans as well as a plethora of scouts ranging from the NCAA and USports ranks along with those from the Canadian Hockey League and representatives from National Hockey League teams.

Staff from Team Canada East that will compete in the World Jr. A Challenge this December in Bonnyville, Alta., were also on hand eyeing up NOJHL talent that could earn invites to their upcoming selection camp in Toronto.

Game action Tuesday saw clubs from the league’s East Division finish with a 5-1 record against the West Division counterparts.

The Timmins Rock, French River Rapids, Powassan Voodoos, Cochrane Crunch and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners were all victorious from the East while the Rayside-Balfour Canadians was the lone West squad to come away with a win.

All proceeds from the NOJHL Showcase, raised from spectators in attendance and donations, will go directly to the Canadian Mental Health Association.


Soo Eagles vs. Hearst Lumberjacks 11:15 a.m.
Rayside-Balfour Canadians vs. Powassan Voodoos 1 p.m. (Rink 2)
Timmins Rock vs. Elliot Lake Wildcats 1:40 p.m.
Blind River Beavers vs. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners 3:45 p.m. (Rink 2)
Espanola Express vs. French River Rapids 4:15 p.m.
Cochrane Crunch vs. Soo Thunderbirds 6:45 p.m.


Timmins 6 Blind River 2

Timmins came out flying striking three times before the contest was six and a half minutes old on tallies courtesy of Matt Capisciolto, Keegan McMullen and Will Caston to chase Blind River starter Thomson Phinney in favour of Garret Boyonoski.

The Beavers did get one back before the first frame was complete on Tyler Nott’s fourth of the campaign.

Moving on to the middle session, the Rock went back in front by three with the lone tally of the stanza as Joshua Anderson collected his first in 2018-19.

Down three but going on a power play, Blind River pulled Boyonoski with over eight minutes to go, but it was the Rock’s Capisciolto who scored into an empty net at 12:18.

Ryan Mulligan brought the Beavers closer in the latter stages of the contest, however Eamon Bollinger iced it for Timmins with a power play marker in the final minute to wrap things up.

Bollinger also added two assists for a three-point day while Same Harris helped set-up both Blind River goals.

Tyler Masternak made 31 saves to record the win for Timmins.

Phinney suffered the loss after giving up three against on six shots while Garret Boyonoski handled 24 of 26 in relief.

French River 3 Soo Eagles 2

French River built up a three-goal lead then held on from there to earn a 3-2 decision over the Eagles.

Neither side would score in the opening frame as the period finished scoreless.

The Rapids would erupt for their trio of tallies in just over a four-minute span in the middle stanza to jump to a 3-0 lead.

Marc-Andre Quevillon started the Rapids off at 5:24 while Ryan Smith made it 2-0 at 8:56.

French River came right back with another just 46 seconds later as Alex Paul put in his first of the year to extend their cushion.

Sault Ste. Marie did get one back before the second was complete when Brendan Blair notched his fourth of the campaign at 12:18.

Moving on to the final frame, the Rapids held off the Eagles until the final seconds when Riley Jensen connected on the power play to round out the scoring.

Kevin Tardiff turned in a solid 37-save effort in net for French River to produce the victory.

Caleb Sauer started for the Soo and suffered the loss allowing three against on 15 shots while Joseph Bnedetto made nine stops in as many attempts in just over 30 minutes of relief.

Rayside-Balfour 5 Hearst 2

Benjamin Hatanaka tallied twice and added an assist to help pace the Rayside-Balfour Canadians to a 5-2 victory over Hearst.

It was the Canadians that collected the lone tally in the opening 20 minutes when Brady Maltais notched his fourth of the season at 12:55.

A Canadians power play helped them go up by two thanks to Hatanaka at 11:37 while teammate Eric Eschweiler picked up his first NOJHL goal at 16:54.

Hearst would get themselves on the board just prior to the second period expiring as Max Griffioen stuffed one in during a goal mouth scramble.

Down a man early in the third, it was Rayside-Balfour that connected while shorthanded as Hatanaka added his second goal of the day.

Zachary Hauseman’s first added some insurance for the Canadians midway through the stanza before Griffioen picked up another and seventh overall in the late stages to round out the scoring.

The Lumberjacks held the edge in shots by a 32-28 count with Sebastien Plamandon picking up the win for RBC while Tomi Gagnon was saddled with the loss.

With the result Rayside-Balfour raised their record to 6-5-1-1 on the season while Hearst slipped to 6-5-0-0.

Powassan 4 Soo Thunderbirds 2

Cade Herd collected a pair of goals and added an assist while Tomas Yachmenev had a tally and two helpers to see the Voodoos hand the Soo Thunderbirds their first loss of the season, with a 4-2 result.

Herd and Yachmenev helped Powassan pick up the lone marker of the first frame as they assisted on a Cameron Moore effort at 6:53.

The Voodoos tacked on two more in the middle session to go up by three thanks to goals from Herd and Yachmenev.

Battling back on the power play in the third, Sault Ste. Marie converted at 7:35 thanks to Kaidan McDonald’s fifth goal of the season.

The Thunderbirds then moved to within one with 3:40 left in regulation as Nick Smith supplied his seventh of the year.

Heading into the final minute, the Soo pulled their netminder William Anderson in favour of an extra attacker in an effort to tie and force overtime, however Herd iced it with an empty netter with 14 seconds left to secure the decision.

Joe Whittet dished out a pair of assists to aid the winner’s offensive cause.

Powassan goalkeeper Joe Vrbetic turned in a stellar effort between the pipes for the Voodoos making 37 saves along the way helping his side improve to a NOJHL-best 9-0-1-0 record.

Anderson made 23 stops for the Thunderbirds as the Soo suffered their first loss of the season falling to 9-1 in the league standings.

Cochrane 5 Elliot Lake 2

Baldino Aiello notched a third period natural hat trick to break open a tie game to lead his team to a 5-2 triumph over the Elliot Lake.

Each team would score once in the first frame with Nicolas Flanders putting the Crunch on the board two minutes into the contest before Elliot Lake’s Josh Bifolchi leveled the proceedings at 15:57.

Cochrane regained the lead in the latter stages of the middle session when Hunter Buzzi put in his third of season at 17:59.

On a power play that carried over into the third, the Wildcats drew level 16 seconds into the stanza thanks to Brett Crook, who finished off the work of teammates Cole Burton and Mark Perone.

It stayed 2-2 until 13:34 when Aiello stuffed in his first of the contest.

Aiello added another with just under three minutes remaining in regulation then finished off his first NOJHL three-goal performance by scoring shorthanded into an empty net with the final moments to complete his impressive effort.

Shots on goal in the match-up favoured Cochrane by a 38-26 count with Zach Wickson picking up the win while Dominic Boily suffered the loss.

Kirkland Lake 5 Espanola 0

Rolling right along, having gone 9-1 in their past 10, Kirkland Lake, off to their best start since the 2013-14 campaign when they began by going 11-1, started their latest triumph with Quinn Schneidmiller picking up his fourth of the year at 17:16.

The Gold Miners then broke it open in the middle stanza by tallying three times in a 10-minute span to take control of the contest.

Jordan Kohlman’s first NOJHL goal started the outburst at 4:55 before Christian Snyder made it 3-0 a couple of shifts later.

Austin Caza then capped off the frame with his fourth at 14:49.

Scheidmiller completed the triumph with his second of the evening to round out the night’s scoring.

Gabriel Leblanc and Patrick Murphy dished out to two assists apiece to aid in the Kirkland Lake victory.

Dawson Rodin finished with 29 saves to record his second shutout out the season.

Eric Schneider was solid despite the defeat in net for Espanola finishing with 43 stops in his league debut.

Gabriel Leblanc and Patrick Murphy dished out to two assists apiece to aid in the Kirkland Lake victory.

Photo credit: Chris Dawson