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Sunday, May. 19, 2019
Nickel Caps to face North Bay in GNML final
by Randy Pascal

The cavalry has arrived, and to a certain extent (feel free to debate amongst yourselves the overall effect), the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves find themselves in the Great North Midget League final because of the post season influx.

After finishing 21 points behind the Kapuskasing Flyers in regular season play, the Nickel Caps ousted the northernmost GNML team in four games in their best of five semi-final series in late February.

In outscoring the Flyers 18-15 over the course of the four games set, the Sudbury "AAA" midgets received a contribution totalling no less than 11 goals from their minor midget affiliated call-ups (Zacharie Giroux - 5, Cameron Walker - 3, Mitchell Martin - 3).

As always, the team also continued to receive key contributions from forwards Bradey Smith (2), Draper MacLean (2), Jakob Fahey, Nicholas Faught and versatile Christopher Innes, who can suit up either up front or on the back-end, when needed.

Despite their success in reaching the final, the locals remain clear underdogs to topple an undefeated North Bay Trappers team (36-0-0-0) which featured the top five league scorers, and eight of the top ten in the form of scoring champion Zachary Lefebvre and co-horts Joe Jordan, Jesse Kirkby, Jack Stockfish, Noah Lagrandeur, Gavin Brown, Ben Brunette and Justin Dauphinais.

Interestingly enough, with the likes of Lagrandeur, Brown and Dauphinais all hailing from Greater Sudbury, there is an argument to be made as to exactly how necessary the need to call-up affiliated players might have been had the locals simply opted to play in town.

In any event, the fun begins this evening in North Bay, as the Trappers and Nickel Capital Wolves meet in the league final for a third consecutive year, with game two set for Tuesday evening (March 5th) at 8:45 p.m. at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex.

Games three and four will take place on March 9th (in North Bay) and 10th (in Sudbury), with a fifth and deciding game, if necessary, likely to come after March break as the league allows talent to participate in the 2019 OHL Cup.

The Great North Midget League also revealed, earlier this week, their 2018-2019 invidual award recipients, with Soo Thunderbirds Midget AAA goaltender NOah Zeppa (GNML MVP, Top Goaltender, All-Star) and North Bay sniper Zachary Lefebvre (Top Forward, Scoring Champion, All-Star) among those hauling off with some significant hardware.

Following is a breakdown of all remaining award winners:

Top Defenceman - Ben Brunette - North Bay Trappers Midget AAA
Top Defensive Forward - Sam Garagan - North Bay Trappers Midget AAA
Most Gentlemanly Player - Zacharie Giroux - Sudbury Minor Midget AAA Wolves
Rookie of the Year - Chase Stillman - Sudbury Minor Midget AAA Wolves
Lower Goals Against Average - Reece Proulx/Ben Gaudreau - North Bay Trappers Midget AAA
Coach of the Year - Guy Blanchard - North Bay Trappers Midget AAA
Trainer of the Year - André Guenette - North Bay Trappers Midget AAA
Manager of the Year - Ron Holmes - Timmins Majors Midget AAA
GNML Builders' Award - Claude Denommé - New Liskeard Cubs Midget AAA

All-Star Team
Forward - Zachary Lefebre - North Bay Trappers Midget AAA
Forward - Chase Stillman - Sudbury Minor Midget AAA Wolves
Forward - Joe Jordan - North Bay Trappers Midget AAA
Defense - Ben Brunette - North Bay Trappers Midget AAA
Defense - Ryan Maynard - Kapuskasing Flyers Midget AAA
Goaltender - Noah Zeppa - Soo Thunderbirds Midget AAA

GNML Minor Midget AAA Awards
Most Valuable Player - Zacharie Giroux - Sudbury Minor Midget AAA Wolves
Top Forward - Chase Stillman - Sudbury Minor Midget AAA Wolves
Top Defenceman - Josh Kavanagh - Sudbury Minor Midget AAA Wolves
Top Goaltender - Jake Marois - Sudbury Minor Midget AAA Wolves

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