There is no denying that the Nickel District Minor Hockey League is steeped in history.
The rich hockey tradition of the Sudbury region is celebrated on NDMHL playoff weekend, with the hardware that is doled out recognizing both local talent that have enjoyed success at the NHL level, as well as those key pioneers of the Nickel District League.
With the names of Toe Blake, George Armstrong, Gerry McCrory, Eddie Shack, Randy Carlyle, Raymond Gagnon and others adorning the trophies that are distributed come championship Sunday, it's a pretty safe bet that the youngsters who participated in the most recent installment of post-season play have little knowledge of the deeply storied lore to which they add the next chapter.
Which, of course, did not stop the youthful on-ice talent from putting on quite the show, this past weekend, at three different venues in the area.
While a number of games remained close, the only match-up that required overtime was the Peewee II - A encounter, as R.J. Essex netted his second goal of the game, on a power-play in extra time, lifting the Elliot Lake Jr Wildcats past the Nickel City Minor Peewee AA Jr Sons 2-1. Nicholas Lapensee replied in a losing cause, as the Wildcats walked off with the Eddie Shack banner.
Harrison Markiewich buried a hat trick and Josh Bell added a solo marker as the Copper Cliff Novice AA Redmen doubled the Sudbury Novice AA Wolves 4-2. Ty Dubreuil handled all of the offense for the SMHA representatives, as the teams battled for the right to claim Randy Carlyle trophy honours.
The fairer sex would enjoy bragging rights in two gold medal encounters, including the Atom II - A battle for the Alan Secord trophy, as the Sudbury Lady Wolves trimmed the Elliot Lake Jr Wildcats 3-1. Maia Hammell, Julia Dunphy and Vivian Rondina all found their way on to the scoresheet for the winners, with Alex Cameron countering with the lone tally for the 'Cats.
In the highest scoring affair of the day, the Sudbury Lady Wolves crew entered in the Peewee III division lit the lamp early and often, outgunning the Nickel City Canucks 8-5 in a wild and woolly affair. Madison Hollohan, Charleigh (C.J.) Pardy and Taylor Salem scored two goals each to pace the Lady Wolves' attack, with Ayla Lagace and Danika Gray capping things off.
The Canucks kept things tight, in part, due to the offensive prowess of Brody Heinrichs, Mathieu Brassard, Cayden Roy-Blanchette, Miles Schiewek and Julien Jobin, all of whom hit the target for head coach Josh Torok and company.
Mixed results for the Lock City contingent, as the Sudbury Peewee A Wolves doubled the Sault Ste Marie Minor Peewee Greyhounds 4-2, capturing the Jim Pappin banner. A two goal performance by Scott Coles helped to show the way, with Austin Schnarr and Thomas Rinaldi chipping in with one goal apiece. Tyler Smokowich and Wyatt Leblanc answered for the Hounds, who evened the score thanks to the efforts of their club mates in the Cookie Campbell Peewee III grand finale.
Deven Jones-McDonald, Brendan Cooke and Preston Miller all pulled the trigger as the Soo Phi Dental Atom AA Greyhounds defeated the Nickel City Major Atom AA Jr Sons 3-1. Matti Jouppi managed to break through and spoil the shutout for the locals.
Yannic Savard was a one man wrecking crew in the showdown for Gerry McCrory B Atom I bragging rights, scoring four times as the Copper Cliff Atom A Redmen knocked off the Sudbury Minor Atom AA Wolves 5-3. Xavier Osawamick completed the scoring parade for the Copper Cliff contingent, with Dawson Morris, Carter Baron and Andrew McLean all lighting the lamp for the Wolves.
The Nickel City Minor Atom AA Jr Sons continued their run of phenomenal success this year, blanking the Manitoulin Atom B Panthers 3-0 behind a shutout performance between the pipes from Kalia Pharand. Russell Ranger, Noah Lafrance and Grady Jalbert provided ample support for the young puckstopper.
In one of the rare lopsided matchups of the day, the Nickel City Novice AA Jr Sons rode a four goal second period explosion to a 7-0 win over the Nickel City Minor Atom A Stars. Gillis O'Daiskey showed the way with a three-goal performance, Hugo Drouin netted a pair, and Tanner Morris and Adrien Potvin closed things off for the Sons, as Nicolas Guenette kept things clean at the other end of the rink.
Though most of the NDMHL post-season play came to a close over the weekend, there was still the matter of the Midget title that was to be settled late Tuesday evening. After not losing a single regular season game, the 26-0-2 Copper Cliff Midget AA Redmen found themselves in a bit of trouble early in their best of five league final.
The Sudbury Minor Midget AA Wolves surprised the Redmen, taking games one and two (3-2 and 3-1), before the recently crowned NOHA champs dusted themselves off to pull even, posting victories by scores of 3-0 and 4-0. Game five was set for 8:30 pm last night at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Last week, the NDMHL doled out the individual awards for both the Bantam and Midget divisions, with the following players being recognized:Midget Division
Top Scorer- Noah Lagrandeur (Copper Cliff)
Best Playmaker- Noah Lagrandeur (Copper Cliff)
Most Sportsmanlike- Nathan Stagg and Jamie Wahamaa (both Copper Cliff)
Top Goalies - Dylan Fedorowicz, Kam McCue (Copper Cliff)
Top Scorer- Devin Mauro (SSM Sports Gold Rush)
Best Playmaker- Nolan Moxam (Nickel City Jr Sons)
Most Sportsmanlike- Jacob Gaudette (Nicket City Jr Sons)
Top Goalies- Evan Nicholls, Zack Primeau (Nickel City Jr Sons)
The scores and details above are based on information received from NDMHL officials. If there are any oversights or corrections, kindly email Randy Pascal at email@example.com and I will make the necessary adjustments.