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U16 Nickel Caps pick up big win over North Bay U18 crew
2022-11-07
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Don't look now but the Sudbury U16 AAA Nickel Capitals are leading the way in the Great North U18 League.

Sure, games played is factoring into that with the Soo Jr Greyhounds (5-0-0-0) and North Bay U18 AAA Trappers (3-1-0-0) both likely to eventually overtake the 5-3-0-1 front-runners - but that doesn't take away one bit from an excellent start to the season for coach Jordan Cheechoo and company.

Their league success was punctuated one week ago with a huge 5-4 win over the aforementioned Trappers, a victory in North Bay, no less.

While Max Campbell (2), Cameron Vehkala, Coulson Bell and Nolan Cardinal handled the scoring, it could be argued that puck-stopper Nick Marson might have been the biggest difference maker in this outing.

The native of Sault Ste Marie is off to a very strong start with his new team, boasting a goals against average just under three per game (2.94) in his four starts to date.

"Things didn't work out in the Sault so I decided to come and play U16 in Sudbury and give it another shot," said Marson, who joins centre Coulson Bell as the two Lock City imports who will don the rivalled SMHA jerseys this winter.

"I tried out for the team, ended up making it and I'm loving it down here."

Facing a North Bay team that entered the contest having swept three games from the Sudbury U18 crew, outscoring them 17-2 in the process, Marson and mates needed to be in the proper mindset against a formidable foe.

"I was thinking to myself that these guys are a strong group," said Marson. "They're a U18 team so I've never played against any of them before. I was just saying in my head not to let in more than three goals, a goal a period, if even that."

"That's how I got myself pumped up."

That said, the U16 Caps had seen their four game winning streak snapped with a 4-1 loss, just a few days earlier, to a Sudbury U18 team that was struggling mightily entering the intracity matchup. Refocusing the lads was high on the priority list for the coaching staff as they made their way east along highway 17.

"I definitely think that (head coach) Jordan Cheechoo got us really pumped up for our game on Saturday," said Marson. "We knew we had a bit of a clunk against the Sudbury U18 team. We knew that we had to get back and show everybody that this was just a bad game and that we will be a top team in this league."

Working towards the prestigious Silver Stick Tournament being hosted in Whitby at the end of the month, Marson and company will take another crack at their U18 namesakes this Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. at the Gerry McCrory Sports Complex, with the New Liskeard Cubs in town on Saturday.

With 11 points to date, the Sudbury U16 AAA squad find themselves deadlocked with the Timmins Majors (5-2-0-1), with the unbeaten Hounds one point back and both the Kapuskasing Flyers (3-2-0-0) and the U18 Trappers just a little further off the pace.

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