Soo Thunderbirds under investigation

The office of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League has authorized a third-party, independent investigator to look into reports of alleged off-ice misconduct involving members of the Soo Thunderbirds organization.

I have been advised that the person conducting the investigation on behalf of the NOJHL is a retired Ontario Provincial Police officer.

The regular-season and playoff champion Thunderbirds are headed to Thunder Bay next week to represent the NOJHL at the four-team, Dudley Hewitt Cup, Central Canada Jr. Hockey Championships.

107 thoughts on “Soo Thunderbirds under investigation

  1. hockey dad

    RR – easy on the TBirds – a lot of time and dedication from a majority of the players and coaches has culminated in a very successful season and they still have a very good chance at winning the DHC which has NOT been done by a NOJHL team in 10 years!!!

  2. Randy Russon Post author

    hockey dad,

    Just reporting the facts, as confirmed to me by the Office of the NOJHL.

    Regards,

    RR

  3. upfront

    Randy: is it really necessary to report this ? Think of how disruptive it is to the players prior to the Dudley. don’t you think they have had enough to think about with all that has gone on in the past few weeks not to mention thinking about the Dudley?

  4. Randy Russon Post author

    upfront,

    Are you suggesting that I turn a blind eye to this investigation? I don’t think that would be right or responsible.

    Regards,

    RR

  5. BirdsFan1

    Alot of horror stories out there regarding the Thunderbirds & Their Coaches pertaining to getting drunk on bus trips home etc. Perhaps they are not true but … if the NOJHL has choosen to bring in a Independent Investigator then well as they say: “Where There Is Smoke There Is Fire!” A former OPP policeman conducting this investigation is a message all to itself.
    What I cant figure out is why Thunderbird Mgmt has not addressed this? To “upront” and “hockey dad” and all who are associate with the Thunderbirds:
    THIS IS NOT GOING AWAY UNTIL THE TRUTH COMES OUT!
    The reputation of this Thunderbirds Team has been tarnished whether Mr. Geommi or Mr. Cain wish to admit this or not.

  6. Tommy Hawk

    Let’s give the Tbirds a break until the independent investigation has been completed. who knows, maybe the investigation proves it’s ok to party with the boys. until then, anything wrong with Mizzi throwing another going away team party at his place again this weekend before departing for the Provincials? The Commissioner did the right thing in not rushing to conviction … it will be hard to argue with the facts found by former OPP 3rd party investigators.

  7. Guest

    Obviously something terrible has happened with this Soo Thunderbird team/coaches if the league has opted to go the route it has….just sad that a team like this is representing the NOJHL at the DHC. What a disgrace!

  8. northenlites

    Lots of hear say and rumors, let the investigation take place and then the facts will come out, who knows certainly not the ordinary citizen, All I can say is lets go T Birds show what your team and the NOJHL is all about.

  9. ABITIBIAN

    T-birds are entering the DHC with their backs against the wall with this investigation hanging over their heads.
    Too bad for the `birds & our league

  10. upfront

    Ok so Mazzuca has asked his friend and ex OPP to investigate the Birds for what ??? So what authority does this guy carry ? just because he was a ex cop doesn’t give him any more authority than lets say security firm or private eye that would take a look at the alleged wrong doings if Mazzuca thought there were charges to be laid then he would have had the Cops look into it
    As RR reported : quote ”alleged off-ice misconduct”"

    Let the Boys play hockey they have enough on there plate to worry about adding Rumors etc only hurts the Players and the League
    Wait for all the facts

    GO Birds GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. BirdsFan1

    upfront: you ask what can the 3rd party investigator do if he finds evidence of wronngdoing by the Thunderbird Coaches and whoever? Let me remind you and everyone else out there that if this is indeed what happened that:
    providing alcohol to minors is a criminal offence.
    Now, do you wish to ask again what the 3rd party investigator can do?

  12. foober40

    Well folks ,

    There are expectations and consequences involved with having a junior team , coaching and playing .
    If the Thunderbird organization broke any Federal , Provincial , Hockey Canada , Ontario Hockey Federation , any Northern Ontario Hockey Association or League rules / Laws then they best be ready to deal with the consequences . If the commissioner feels the need to investigate then it’s because there is ample evidence to suggest a pattern of non compliance with the regulations . As such everybody involved is innocent until such times as the investigation is finished and a final decision is reached . If there are those who are guilty then they should be dealt with . If there is no merit then nothing will happen . I for one will wait until the conclusion before I judge anybody .
    That being said I find it in poor taste for anyone to use the stand that it’s just before the Dudley Hewitt as a defense. It’s time people realize that accountability has to become more of an issue in all levels of hockey . In the end the commissioner has the authority and the moral obligation to follow up . It’s unfortunate that it happens now but life is rarely fair or convenient . I hope the Tbirds pull together as a team and compete at the highest level they can . I wish them the best of luck in the Dudley and that they represent themselves , their families , their team and their home towns with pride . In the end it will be what it is and maybe everybody will learn a few life lessons from this .

  13. Guest-2

    I’m happy that someone is finally looking into the lack of discipline this Soo Thunderbirds team has, they should look into all the problems they had last year especially when a former player broke into his ex billet’s house.
    The cops were involved yet the coaches did nothing to punish him and he ended up in an OHL uniform this year.
    You have junior teams that are portraying that they will not tolerate off ice behaviour, yet the coaches of the Tbird’s party with the players all the time. Way to show the kids in the community that you can break the law, but as long as you are a hockey player you won’t be punished.

  14. upfront

    Well I guess the Bar, Parents, Coaches etc all are guilty of that offence at one time or another have you ever given your child a sip of beer ?? it does not take a Third party to bring that charge anyone can do it It’s called reporting to the authority’s a crime was committed .

  15. Golden Bear

    Upfront–You need to wake up and smell the coffee. Why do you want to cover this up? There is more to life than hockey, how about creditability for the league and the T-birds? This investigation should of happened long time ago. I understand their could be some serious charges possibly comming up, when the law has finished their investigations, stay tuned!

  16. Cue For Treason

    Kevin Cain should be ashamed of himself for throwing Randy Russon under the bus in the Sault Star article which I just read. Shame shame on you Kevin. It has been spoke many times with-in the Thunderbird circle that you have been looking for the 1st oppertunity to fire your Coach Mizzi and now you stick up for him. I think I am going to puke after reading your quotes. I did not think you were 2-Faced Kevin but boy oh boy was I wrong.

  17. barclay donaldson

    …discipline and self control starts at the top…I once had a boy playing junior hockey and I would certainly not want alleged drinking and partying with staff taking place..I would be on the road to pick him up and bring him home before the phone was hung up…hope this is all gossip mongering for the Thunderbirds sake…at the very least cleaning house of coaches would be a priority..

  18. Beavers1

    maybe The Sault Thunderbirds will learn a lesson: You Can Run But You Can’t Hide. Lets hope that the Commish has the balls to do what is right or maybe its true that he and the Thunderbirds Owner are “buddy buddy” or that could be just talk . I have met the Commish and he seems to be a man who care’s about our League and who wants to put a stop to all this Bull Sh-t.

  19. Eskisfan

    IMO, Poor Timing. If this is about supplying booze to minors on a team road trip, not exactly a huge deal but if you need to look into it, wait until after the DHC and take the neccesary actions. Are you going to try an charges the underaged players? the coach? i just don’t understand what the rush is, why this couldn’t wait until after the DHC. what a terrible distraction leading into the biggest tourney of some of these kids lives.

    I just don’t understand what could have taken place that needs to be investigated (and annouced) just as teh clock winds down to the start of the DHC.

    Regarding the Eskimos. thank you to the board of directors for your time, $ and efforts to keep this thing alive in Iroquois Falls. The club is part of the fabric of our community and there sure was alot of worry and concerns the past few weeks. i sincerely hope the club finds the support it needs, i know i’ll be chipping in.

  20. Golden Bear

    Eskisfan,There is a lot more to this than underage drinking,and it should all come out soon.REMEMBER YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN NOT HIDE FROM THE BIRD DOG! Great reporting Randy

  21. LeJib

    ‘foober40′ pretty well summed it up in a clear and reasonable manner. To suggest that RR should have stifled the facts is simply ridiculous.

    There are 3 qualities required of a successful coach in Jr. hockey (or any other level for that matter) – he/she must be a teacher, a motivator, and a disciplinarian. Note – a disciplinarian!

    North Bay fans will remember back in ’92 (I think), when 3 Centennials players were stopped by police on their way home from having a beer at a local club. The officer sent them home with a warning, and then notified the coach, Bert Templeton. Bert met with the players the following day, discussed the situation, and handed them one-way bus tickets to their home towns. End of story. And, believe me, these were not 3rd or 4th stringers, they were an integral part of a very good team.

    That kind of discipline instills proper respect in young men for their team, their management, their families, their communities, and themselves. Anything less should not be acceptable.

    I do hope these events don’t hamper the T-birds’ ability to bring their very best game and represent us well at the DHC. It’s up to them now to rise above this ‘setback’ and play well. Then, when the dust settles, let the chips fall where they may. Good luck T-birds.

  22. barclay donaldson

    regarding Bert Templeton: he did not pussyfoot with his players, it was “my way or the highway.” I remember this and one player was a top six player. Bert used to say: “the bus companies love me”…..

  23. Golden Bear

    Hey Kevin Cain! You are doing the same thing to Mizzi that you did to every other junior team that you have been involved with — Black Bears, Soo Indians, Soo Thunderbirds. YOU ARE A CONTROL FREAK! If you cant be in charge you want them fired?

  24. Dave Williams

    The sad thing here is not that the T-Birds are being investigated, but the fact that every junior hockey team that had an overnight road trip is this province for the past 40 years has had off ice conduct that would not be deemed acceptable. I am sure when Rob Mazzuca played, he could share stories that would make underage drinking seem mellow. If anyone recalls the Mike Danton/David Frost situation when Mike was in junior, you will see that a few drinks should be the least of the leagues concern.

  25. Bartolucci

    This issue needs to be dealt with moocho pronto, before the Dudley.

    Most of the players are over 20, and what ever discipline is handed out needs to be done prior to the Dudley, doing afterwards is pointless..

    A harsh lesson maybe, but will serve to deter things like this to happen in the future.

    From the capital of northern hockey,ya’ll have a good day.

  26. Randy Russon Post author

    bartolucci et al,

    Did it ever occur to you that perhaps it is not the players who are being investigated?

    Regards,

    RR

  27. Dave Williams

    Randy, will the league just penalize the culprits or investigate every team in the league prior to disclosing the issues in SSM?

  28. Nukker

    I’m not condoning any of the actions of the T-Birds by any means but for the Commissioner to go public on this just days prior to the DHC is questionable. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with the investigation. I don’t agree with going public and the timing of it.

    PS let’s not harp on RR and the media. They’re simply reporting the info that is being relayed to them by the league.

  29. Randy Russon Post author

    Dave,

    The investigation is solely centered on members of the Soo Thunderbirds organization.

    Regards,

    RR

  30. Dave Williams

    Randy, is there any inclination that the investigation is on the players or the coaches. And do we have any indication what off ice issues may arise from this?

  31. Randy Russon Post author

    Dave,

    I don’t think it is apropos for me to make comment or to speculate. I will when the investigation is complete.

    Regards,

    RR

  32. Bartolucci

    Randy:

    When you say members of the organisation, to me, players are part of the organisation.

    Sorry Randy, but I think your reporting falls just a little short on this one. We’re used better from you.

    Bet you a Big Nickel players are involved.

  33. Randy Russon Post author

    Bartolucci,

    I am quite familiar with the definition of the word “organization” and what it entails in this case.

    Having said that, keep your big nickel. I would not advise making that bet.

    Regards,

    RR

  34. American Eagle

    Thunderbirds beat the Eagles “fair and square” for first place and again in this year’s playoffs. They did not win with very much class however with a disrespctful Coach who confronted officials on the ice after one particular game and as a Team that simply did not have the dissipline that Bruno and the Eagles showed. The best team on ice usually wins and the Thunderbirds were that best team. Off the ice however that is a different story with Coaches and Players (many under legal Michigan age of 21) seen drinking together in Sault Michigan bars after Game # 5 of the playoffs. Perhaps this has something to do with the League investigating the Thunderbirds???

  35. Charly Murray

    I also want to wish the coach & players of the Soo Thunderbirds the best of luck in the Dudley Hewitt Cup.
    I had the privilege of scouting and eventually signing Kevin Michaelcavage and John Kleinhans originally when I was with the Soo Eagles. Both players have exceeded all expectations and became solid performers for both of their teams they have played for which is a testament to their character.
    I also want to say that Randy Russon has been a true fan of this league and to everyone involved with the NOJHL. The coverage received through Randy’s newspaper, blogs and radio is second to none and anyone who would betray a trust with him after all this time has to be a very low individual who lacks moral fibre.
    Once again to the Soo Thunderbirds, bring home the Cup, you as players deserve it.

    Charly Murray

  36. hockey dad

    Let’s move on!
    Go Birds Go! Game 1 Tuesday 2pm vs Wisconsin. Should be a good guage!!

  37. stick

    Heard on the MCTV sports news tonight that the SOO coaches will not be returning next season they have been let go.

  38. Eskisfan

    Capital of Northern Hockey? Are you from the Soo Bartolucci? cuz I was guessing you were Sudbury all along. The Bartlucci crew may be selling out the rest of Northern Ontario for a big nickel, but unfortunately for you, the Soo is the true capital of hockey and no one in Northern Ontario will bother to debate that! Home of the AAA Bantams Champions, the GNML Champions, The NOJHL and although the Hounds didn’t qualify to get swept in the first round like the Wolves did this year, the Hounds have done something that the Wolves have never done. 3 OHL Championship and a Mem Cup!
    (congrats Sudbury Nickel Capitals though on their very recent All ontario championship, best of luck in the Telus Cup)

  39. eaglenews

    go tbirds… kick sum butt, eat sum finnish pancakes and drink the town dry… from the cup. charlie giv it a rest

  40. BirdsFan1

    Here is hoping the Thunderbirds start off the Dudley with a big Win today. It sure would be nice for an NOJHL team to win this thing.

  41. barclay donaldson

    ..when North Bay hosts the Dud. next year I hope the website works better than the one I tried to use today to get the Soo..Wisc. score…pathetic..

  42. ex_nojhler

    The site worked perfect for me. I had no problem navigating it at all. That being said.
    Congrats Thunderbirds on your 4-3 O/T win over the Wisconsin Wilderness.
    Brett Campbell (Dylan Connolly) got the OT winner at of 1st OT 2:21

  43. Golden Bear

    Charly Murray-I just wanted to point something out to you, Kevin Michaelcavage and John Kleinhans came to play for the Soo Eagles for the following reasons, Ritchie Donaghe scouted Kevin when he was playing for Notre Dame prep high school when he was playing at the pullar in a Soo High School Tourney. John was playing for De-Lassale high school and was recommended to the Soo Eagles by one of their scouts named Dave Phillips. Dave also steered Kevin M to the Eagles also. It was Paul Theriault that actually signed these two players

  44. Peachy

    Peachy wuz in Tunder Bay 1 time in 1972 for wild weekend of booze, brods & hash ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  45. Charly Murray

    To Golden Bear
    I’m not going to get into it about who did what and so on. It’s not about who, it’s about how those 2 youngmen have succeeded in their careers. Obviously there were more people than myself involved at that time in selecting players for the team. Paul, Denny, Dave G.,Tom, Dave P.,Mike C.,Tony and myself all had voices in the selection process at the Michigan Selects camp and at our try-out camps. I did not intend to leave the impression that it was just myself who had a hand in selecting these boys solely. To see the T-Birds win the 1st game at the Dudley with John in net and Kevin having an assist shows they are continuing to succeed. Good luck to them and the rest of the players and the coach.
    Charly Murray

  46. BirdsFan1

    as much as I am a fan of the Thunderbirds the organization has brought this bad publicity onto itself with their behaviour.

  47. Bartolucci

    @Birdfan

    I agree 100%, sometimes selfinflicted wounds are the hardest to recover from.

    From the capital of everything Northern Ontario. Have a good day, you too Eskisfan.

  48. upfront

    Great game yesterday the boys played well We had many oportunity’s Klienhans play was spectacular gave us the chance to win Should be a good one tonight

    I watched the Northstars take the spirit to OT last night another barn burner Nice goal in OT.

  49. Golden Bear

    Charly Murray-Glad to see that you gave other staff members of the former Soo Eagles credit But you still forgot to mention the key person that found Kevin M. was Ritchie Donaghue at a Soo High Tourney at the pullar. Good luck to former Soo Eagles Michael Oresey & Tyler Osborne who are participating in the Dudley Cup for Thunder Bay North Stars.

  50. concerned citizen

    Some people on here are shooting the messenger for doing his job of reporting stories both good and bad.
    RR only wrote statements from KC, and AG that they said to him (and many others) and I don’t think he would make them up considering they are all friends. Stop re-directing the blame and put it where it belongs; on the actions of the Thunderbirds involved. Fact of the matter is, a retired OPP officer does not investigate something unless there grounds to do so, fact is that a player was caught consuming alcohol underage and in possesion of an illegal substance (police report on file) and fact a player was caught breaking into his ex-billet’s home (police report on file).
    It worries me that some people are more upset that this came out when it did over the fact that the law has been broken.

  51. Brother99

    Well good luck to the TBIRDS. They are one of the best run Junior teams I have had a privilege of knowing and even though this blip hit and has to be dealt with that doesn’t change my opinion. As for Kevin Cain he is one of the most upright persons I know in hockey.

    As for RR reporting this, he is right on, he needs to report the facts and when he has them otherwise IMO he would be a questionable reporter and Randy is an exceptionable reporter and did the right thing. I do question the method of this investigation as every team has disclipine problems. My problem is that this is close to what is called selective enforcement. If the commissioner is going to proceed with strict enforcement with investigators then fine I am not oppose but I would say he needs to investigate all teams equally and at the same time. In fact I think he should have rolled this out, like a program with an announcement, procedures, expectations and standards. Also he should roll it out prior to a season not at the end. This doesn’t take away from that some folks might have done something wrong, key word is still might.
    As for Charly M. I will only say I know he was involved in scouting JK since I seen him down here doing it. There is a lot that goes into scouting a player and many folks doing it.

  52. TBird Volunteer

    I feel bad for Mr. Albert Giomi who has put his $$$$ into the Thunderbirds because he cares about Junior Hockey in S.S. Marie and the North. Albert has respect in the Community as a Business-man and I feel sorry that he has chosen to have some questionable people involved with his Hockey team.
    Albert needs to clean house and repair the reputation of this Thunderbirds team that they had with Toots, Al, Billy Sims etc. etc.
    This years Team has been about “winning at all costs” and look where this has got them with all of this bad publicity that only Randy has had the guts to bring to light.

  53. Eskisfan

    Kids drink all the time and if you have a 17 or 18 year old who says they’ve haven’t drank before, then you’re either being lied to or your kids are part of probably 5% of most. Good for you! Is it the right example for coaches to set? no, but i’ve seen parents drink and supply drink to minors more times than i care to count. Make it right? absolutely not, but so far i haven’t heard of any kids being pulled from the Tbird roster as a result of what happened and i bet if you polled the parents, i would bet they aren’t overly concerned. If they are, maybe they need to look in the mirror since it was they who raised these boys into young adults over the course of 17 or more years and gave them the foundations to base their actions and decisions. As for timing, it was i who said it was pooring and i still say it’s poor timing. Sounds like there will be a coaching change at the end of the season, maybe that is required. But… last time i checked, Cain was still Gm and Mizzi is coaching in Thunder Bay…..so again, what was the rush! there has been zero change, just a distraction. Is there a lesson taught here? I guess we’ll have to invetigates the kids actions after the DHC but i have to believe if the Birds win the Dudley, those dirty birds are going to party. Cain and Mizzi won’t be present, but i guarantee those kids are going to to have a drink.

    I too feel for Mr Giommi, this may very well have been without his knowledge and out of his control, but it’s his club that gets the black eye, he has the job of cleaning up the mess, to wear the the stress on his back and the work of finding new hockey operation people. For the love of the game i suppose but it’s no fun at a time when he should be proud and enjoying the succesess of his club. Keep your Head up Mr Giommi and i wish you continued success in the operation of one the staples of junior hockey in Ontario.

    Congrat to the Tbirds on winning game one of the Dudley. hopefully the birds continue to get better as the tourney progesses and they can bring Dudley Hewitt Championship back to the NOJHL after a very long hiatus.

  54. Eskisfan

    BTW, my comment has nothing to do with RR. he’s a reporter and he’s just doing his job, very well i might add. keep up the good work RR!

  55. guest

    Do any of you ever think that this investigation MAY have more to do with just underage drinking? Perhaps other shenanigans have been going on with this team (players/coaches) that hasn’t hit the media yet. Just a thought…

  56. eaglenews

    Go TBirds, a win tonite could mean the pass to the finals, looks like the OJHL isn’t dominating this year, 5-2 Wilderness

  57. eaglefan

    After attempting to bring down the coach, Charly and company attempted to bring down the team (Eagles). Therefore, not just the coach, but after that unsuccessful move on the coach, the players were in his/their sights. “It’s about the boys” eh Charlie! Sure it is!!!

    Now, he comes on here, points the finger at those who may have ‘betrayed the trust’ and how they ‘must be of low moral character’. What a laugh. Look in the mirror Charly!

    And taking credit for ‘singlehandedly’ scouting some players for the aformentioned team. Next we’ll be reading about how he discovered the internet!!

  58. barclay donaldson

    ..except for this blog North Bay Nugget offers not one word about the Thunderbird situation….thankful for any Dudley coverage…

  59. North bay hockey

    the soo r poised to win there second tonight lets hope the nojhl goes on to the RBC!

  60. North bay hockey

    Ok so the soo is 2 – 0 if they beat the spirit tomorrow they r guaranteed the buy to the final, what gets interesting is if the thunder bay north stars beat the Wisconsin wilderness u have a 3 way tie for second… And one team will loose out in goals for against

  61. Former Sooite

    It would be interesting to know if this investigator is licensed under the Private Security & Investigative Services Act. Being a former police officer doesn’t give him authority to investigate. If he is doing it as a favor for a friend the outcome could be compromised by the illegality of the investigation.

  62. upfront

    Birds got the win but looked very tired half way through the second hopefully there well rested for today contest Should be a good game today Go Birds Go !!!

  63. Beavers1

    If you are going to slam Charley Murray it would only be kosher and manly to sign your name to your post. Charley has the balls to sign his name if you are going to crtisize him then sign your name to it.

    Good Luck with the Elliot lake team, Charley. You are a man of respect and integrety & you re very well thought of by the many Beavers fans who I know in Blind River. I hope you will still wear your Beavers Hat from time to time!

  64. Eskisfan

    Birds win (doesn’t matter by how many) and the North Stars beat the Wilderness by 1 or 2, the Spirit are out. Win by 4 and the Wilderness are out. Win by 3, goals for and against involving all games and all teams will determine who sits where. But, the first tie breaker in a 3 way tie is the goals for and against involving ONLY the teams in the 3 way tie, so provided the Birds win this afternoon, all the Tbirds games will get thrown out of the tie break equation. The Wilderness winning by 3 over the Spirit could be huge for the North Stars/devastating for tghe Sprit! That cushin can prove huge for the SIJHL and the NOJHL since the Spirit should still be considered favorties. They stumbled so far but they are a VERY good team.

    Only two games left but still lots to be decided but if the birds want the bye to the final, the only way to get it is to win this afternoon. They lose they’re automatically playing in the semi. No way for them to get the bye using the goals for against in a 3 way tie for first and in a two way tie between them and the Spirit, they lose via the head to head round robin outcome. Again, they must win to get the bye.

    Go Birds, Go North Stars!

  65. Toots Kovacs

    No big deal. Now the Thunderbirds got them right where they want them. Better to have a let down during the round robin than in the semi or final. They will re-group and when they face the OPJHL again, and they will, we will see the real team. These boys have faced adversity over and over again and have worked too hard to get where they are today. They have a strong leadership group of players that will get them back on track.

  66. Northernhockeyfan

    according to the score sheet, Stoufvilles top player, Finch, hasnt played a game. Anyone know if hes out for an extended period?? Could be huge to lose a 100 pt player

  67. eaglenews

    I agree with Toots, lets go TBirds, fly high over the North Stars and then it’s payback for the cup

  68. Cassio

    Any news on what is going on with the Sudbury Cubs? They need a credible Coach and they need to play in a better facility imho. And while they are it they need to get rid of those awful lookin uniforms.

  69. upfront

    The Birds forgot to show up for yesterday’s game. Birds will rebound today with a win and on to the Final tommorow. For some of these player it could be there last JR game I can assure you they will make the most of it.
    Go Birds Go !!!!!!!!!!!

  70. eskisfan

    good thing about now is there is nothing/everythign to lose. last game of the round robin there was pressure to win and get the bye, but it wasn’t an elimination issue. You can try and play possom, feel things out and play safe but that rarely works and it didn’t yesterday. the Spirit on the other could of and would have been out had they lost.
    now the Tbirds are in the win or die situation, unfortunatley they’ll need to do it twice.

  71. fanman

    If the Birds can make it to the Dudley finals they’ll be the first NOJHL team to get that far since 2006.

  72. CJNR

    Charlie Murray will be a tremendus asset to any Junior Team and Elliott Lake is lucky to have him on there side. He does what he does for the players and for no personel gain. He is a good man and a loyal friend and as was said by ‘Beavers1′ Charlie is very well thought of by Blind River Beavers fans.

  73. Ryan Leonard

    Wishing the the T Birds the best of Luck tonight. I know with all the veteran leadership that they have on that team they will come out tonight bigger then ever. Hopefully you will see some of thier big guns wake up!

    On a side note the Elliot Lake Bobcats have got the website up and running you can check it out at http://www.elliotlakebobcats.net

  74. eaglenews

    ZORZI, son of Chris short-handed to seal the deal… take the Sault”s finest and add some great young men from other shores (north included) CONGRATS to the TBirds.

  75. Eskisfan

    Watched the Tbirds game live off the link on the DHC website, pretty good feed, good camera view and decent commentary.

    Birds looked very good, plenty of quality scoring chances and were clearly the better team. Romano was dominant and Fraser Turner is a stud back there. He’s going to be a very good D, won’t be at all surprised to see him in a Greyhound jersey next year.

    Kleinhann will need to be much better and find his regular game tomorrow night. Tonight’s game was not nearly as close as the score reflects.

    If the Birds get the goaltending they’ve got a hell of chance to win this thing. Good luck Birds, leave it all on the ice.

  76. Toots Kovacs

    Just like they planned it all along. Another shot at the OPJHL. Give it your best fellas and empty the tank.

  77. stick

    Yea looks like you were right Toots, lets hope the boy’s have enough in the tank to get the job done .

  78. Billy Syms

    Great post Toots! Come on Tbirds bring the cup to the NOJHL!! Show the OPJHL where Northern Ontario is!!

  79. LeJib

    Hey barclay d – before the DHC started, I said here that I hoped the Nugget would provide us with good coverage of the tournament. (Never mind picking up any news re the T-birds admin problems.) ‘When pigs fly’ eh?!
    As of today (Friday), I have yet to see any results of the DHC from our alleged ‘sports dept.’ – no writeups, no game reports, not even the scores of the games. Have I missed something? God forbid a newspaper should rise above local bias and do some honest-to-goodness reporting of an event that’s very relevant to the community.
    Although I dislike seeming so critical – ‘If the shoe fits…’

  80. Hawks_96

    Do the NOJHL proud T-Birds. Bobcats website is looking very good you guys are a great addition to the NOJHL.

  81. Sec2RowP

    Win or lose the final, Birds have represented the league very well and proved that the NOJHL is right there with the best of the others.

  82. Golden Bear

    Good Luck T-Birds show them who’s boss. Goaltender John K.must have his best game of the season, stay focused JK.

  83. sigs_2012

    Good luck T-Birds.
    Indeed, have represented the NOJHL very well; to go to the next level would be great, and long overdue.

  84. Golden Bear

    T-Birds lead 3-2 after 2 periods. Looks like JK playing very well in net so far. Hope T-Birds are video taping this game so if the scouts that could not make the game can see how Jk played.

  85. North Bay Hockey

    Let’s go Birds 4-2! Way to go NOJHL, if any investigation involves the players for “drinking” then f it! It happens everywhere! Represent the NOJHL well at the RBC first time since 2002!!! 10 year too long let’s hope the Trappers Repeat next year way to go Birds!

    Ps if anything involving coaches or beyond drinking that tarnish es our league I hope action is taken…

  86. sigs_2012

    CONGRATULATIONS to the Soo THunderbirds, DHC Winners, and RBC-bound!

    Good job, gentlemen!

    The NOJHL is BACK!

  87. Emms

    So, a few things to consider before bashing the team and the coaches.

    A) Most of the guys are over 19, if not 21. They don’t need their coach to supply them with booze if they want it. It isn’t difficult for kids in the 17 – 18 yr old bracket to get ahold of it either, whether they are hockey players or not.

    B) A lot of the guys are actually from the Sault and not billeting. Parents need to be responsible too.

    C) Agreed, the management and coaches could probably take a more disciplinarian role – but this isn’t the OHL. People need to chill out and realize that just because they play hockey, does not mean they have to be perfect. They aren’t getting huge benefits for playing (though it could lead to that), so who are we to dictate their behaviour?

    D) Way to go T-Birds!!!

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