North Bay claims GNML title and Sudbury parties
by Randy Pascal
The North Bay Trappers have claimed their first Great North Midget League crown since the turn of the millenium, and at least some people
in Sudbury are celebrating.
With long-time North Bay coach Guy Blanchard at the helm, the Trappers walked off with the GNML post-season accolades for the first time since the
2000-2001 campaign, drubbing the visiting Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves 8-1 to complete a three game sweep of their Highway 17 rivals Saturday
night in North Bay.
In fact, the North Bay lads can boast an unblemished GNML season, posting a record of 36-0-0-0 in regular season play and stringing together another six
straight wins come playoff time.
So why the celebration in Sudbury?
While there is no denying that the Trappers are built around a very talented core of Gateway City (and area) players, the additional depth that came
about as a result of a Sudbury late summer exodus is also extremely evident.
The fact is that the quartet of Justin Dauphinais, Noah Lagrandeur, Deric Charbonneau and Gavin Brown all toiled, for the majority of their
minor hockey careers, as members of the Nickel City Hockey Association back in Greater Sudbury.
Both Lagrandeur and Charbonneau found the back of the net as part of the championship triumph on Saturday, joining Sam Garagan (2),
Zachary Lefebvre, Jesse Kirkby, Tanner Flood and affiliate Skyler St Pierre in the offensive on-slaught.
Jimmy Blanchard replied with the only goal in a losing cause for Sudbury, who very briefly enjoyed a deadlocked 1-1 scoreboard before North Bay
erupted for a late first period tally that triggered three more in the second and the same output in period three.
Coach Blanchard and company will now prepare to travel to Clarington, site of the Central Region Midget "AAA" Championships. Meanwhile, the upper
end minor midget talent in the GNML gathers this coming week to take part in the 2019 OHL Cup at Toronto's Scotiabank Pond from March 12th to
Team NOHA opens play on Wednesday (March 13th), taking on both the Alliance #2 (either the Brantford 99ers or the Kitchener Jr Rangers), as
well as the Whitby Wildcats.