Team NOHA finish Gold Cup at 2-2
by Randy Pascal
The OHL Gold Cup is an intriguing event.
Taking place less than a month after the OHL draft, the eight team minor midget AAA all-star tournament provides a wonderful opportunity for players who
were selected to re-confirm the faith that was placed in them by their respective Ontario junior teams.
For those competing at the Gold Cup who were not drafted, it's yet another chance to open some eyes and earn training and rookie camp invites, or at very
least, work their way more prominently on to the radars of scouts and other interested hockey folks.
Team NOHA had elements of both groups when it took to the ice for game one last Thursday. Thankfully, players on both sides of that equation
enjoyed chances to shine.
Team NOHA would, in general, make a very good account of themselves, posting a record of 2-2 that included a big upset win over GTHL (Greater Toronto
Hockey League) Red, as well as a tough closing loss by the slimmest of margins.
The northern crew got off and running out of the gate, recording a 4-3 overtime win over OMHA (Ontario Minor Hockey Association) Black as
Sudbury native Cameron Walker (9th round - Kingston Frontenacs) scored the game-winning goal at the 4:24 mark of period four.
Earlier NOHA goals had come from Zacharie Giroux (3rd round - Flint Firebirds), Joshua Kavanagh (5th round - Peterborough Petes) and Sault
Ste Marie native Jack Matier (1st round - Ottawa 67's).
Goaltender Ben Gaudreau (1st round - Sarnia Sting) was stellar between the pipes, finishing with 38 saves as OMHA outshot NOHA 41-25. The toughest
outing of the weekend would come in game two for the north as Team Alliance exploded for four second period goals en route to a 6-2 win.
Sudbury Minor Midget teammates Mitchell Martin (4th round - Kitchener Rangers) and Chase Stillman (2nd round - Sudbury Wolves) accounted
for the NOHA offensive production.
Facing an undefeated GTHL Red squad next, the Sudbury - North Bay - Sault Ste Marie triumvirate rode an impressive 41 save performance from undrafted
local netminder Jake Marois to a 3-2 win, with Mitchell Martin snapping a 2-2 tie with a well placed wrister with just forty seconds to play.
Making the very most of their 12 shots on net, Team NOHA also received one goal apiece from Devon Savignac (9th round - North Bay Battalion) and
Ethan Marois (not drafted).
Closing things out against HEO (Hockey Eastern Ontario), the deepest collection of northern talent since the 2000 age grouping came up just short,
dropping a 4-3 decision as Ethan Marois, Mitchell Martin and Nolan Moxam (not drafted) pulled the trigger in a losing cause.