TRAPPERS V. THUNDERBIRDS

The no. 5 team in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League is going to the big dance with the no. 1 squad.

The upstart North Bay Trappers, who finished 18 points back of the regular-season champion Soo Thunderbirds, are four wins away from completing a magic carpet ride.

North Bay upset the Abitibi Eskimos in five games in the first round of the playoffs before stunning the high-octane Sudbury Cubs in seven games in the second round to advance to the finals against the Thunderbirds.

The Thunderbirds have barely broken a sweat in this spring’s playoffs with seven wins in eight outings, including a four-game sweep of the reigning champion Soo Eagles in the second round.

North Bay, to be sure, is going to have to play to its utmost if it hopes to continue its peak playoff performance.

The Trappers are a well-coached team but lack the depth and junior hockey experience of the Thunderbirds.

Still, North Bay has balance of its own, especially up front with Brad Gehl, Matthew Salituro, Danny Desrochers, Brandon Janke and Corbin Bean leading the way.

In goal, North Bay product Mitchell Knight is the flavour of the moment but it remains to be seen if he can out-tend John Kleinhans of the Thunderbirds.

Led by lamplighters Micky Sartoretto, Matt Amadio and Brett Campbell, the Thunderbirds have four lines that can roll and a blueline led by Corey Jackson that is high grade.

PREDICTION: The Soo should win this series in six but I will not be surprised in the least if North Bay prevails.

56 thoughts on “TRAPPERS V. THUNDERBIRDS

  1. Trapperfan

    Agreed Randy, however I will predict Trappers in 7. This club can and has beat the T-Birds. What they lack in Jr. playoff experience is made up in well conditioned and determined young men. Here’s hoping for the defence to be healthy.

  2. northernlites

    Pete
    will you quit your crying, my God if and if and if, The semi is over so please you get over it. If the refs, if the ice, if the goal judge, if and if and if, Trappers are playing the T birds should be a good series, I just want the team representing us in the Dudley to put their best forward

  3. Bartolucci

    @Pete;

    The refs in the last 2 games were all from Sudbury. Nice try though.

    Mcarthy has the Trappers playing an excellent team game. They walked away from Sudbuy’s antics and made them pay dearly for them.

    They outscored the Cubs, 11-3 in the last two games, enough said about that.

    The Trappers have proven to be resilient beyond expectation this season.

    Welcome to North Bay, the Gateway to Sudbury.

  4. guest

    The Trappers will come back from the Soo on Sunday with a one out of two wins. Put them on home ice and with the fans behind them, the Trappers will win both home games next week before heading back to the Soo for game 5. I say Trappers in 7.

  5. Hawks_96

    T-Birds in 5 they are the better team by far. I would rather them win they are a little bit more of a Northern Ontario team as 70% of there players come from the Soo

  6. Bartolucci

    @Hawks so by default the Eagles should have never gone to the Dudley?

    Do you think the majority 70% of the players that play in the NHL come from the city in which they play.

    It is your opinion and you’re entitled to it,no matter how lame.

  7. Cubs Fan

    congrats to the Trappers on your second series win wow ! nice job boy’s ! all the best in the Soo ! as for cubs bummer boy’s all best to the graduating players thanks for memories fellas all the best in your future endeavors. well next stop for me is the DHC can’t wait ! I had a blast in 07 in the Falls great hockey fans up there I tell ya that man. !

  8. Jean Guy Pec Pec

    Wow Pete, are you serious? Maybe Cubs shoulda put more effort into the forecheck and less into the whining at the refs which painted targets on their backs.

  9. eskimos

    NB has beaten the soo in Nb after a 3 game road trip, always on sunday after they played the eskis and KL.
    Soo will be too strong for NB , I say in 6 games for Soo.

  10. Pete

    5 penaltys in first 10 minutes of game seven ? Carroll gets a hitting penalty? Since when is he a dirty hitter ? All from the same ref. two 5 on 3′s in opening 6 minutes. ? The cubs beat the trappers 3-1 but the refs and the trappers beat the cubs 4-0 in first half of first period.

  11. Hawks_96

    I don’t understand how the NHL came into play but who is on top of the NOBHL, GNML for the past 10 years the Soo. I don’t see North Bay there also as RR has said in past post that John Kleinhans is the best goalie in the NOJHL. Also NB will be a little tired as they just played a 7 game series with the Cubs and the T-Birds played the Eagles who are better than the Trappers in 4. Regardless to what anyone say the Soo haas been better untill now but NB came back from a 2-0 series lead to beat the Cubs so it will be an interesting series.

  12. northernlites

    waaaaa waaaaa waaaa get over it Pete if you cant put any positive comments on here then please don’t put anything, frig gen crybaby

  13. Eskisfan

    Are the Traps that good or were the Cubs that disfunctional? The Eskimos seemed to lose cemistry and thier play dropped further as the season progressed, throw in the injuries, they just couldn’t or wouldn’t battle and were ripe for the picking.

    I think the Soo should prevail, but if the stars continue to line the way up they have for the trappers, anything is possible. I bet that the Eskis, then Sudz would knock em off so i’m just gonna let this one play out without a guess.

    Bartolucci says it best “The Trappers have proven to be resilient beyond expectation this season”

  14. TBird fan

    TBirds in 5…
    Bantam AAA Soo Thunder finished 2nd overall in the round robin at the Ontario Championships tied Elgin Middlesex Chiefs 4-4 this afternoon – Play the Chief’s again tomorrow in the Semi’s – great performance Boys – keep it up!!!

  15. LeJib

    Who or what is ‘Pete’? Northernlites and Bartolucci said it all. In my 40 years as a subscriber to North Bay Jr. hockey, I can’t recall ever seeing the Bay getting the benefit of biased officiating. (Although, working with Bert Templeton, I’ve seen our guys get ‘jobbed’ the odd time or two.)
    Trappers really have their work cut out for them if they hope to get past the Soo powerhouse. I expect a darn good series, and just hope the winner fares well in the DHC. Good luck, guys!

  16. ABITIBIAN

    I always cheer for the under-dogs. Good job Trappers best of luck vs the T-birds.
    May the best team represent us (NOJHL)well at the Dudley.

  17. Sec2RowP

    Hoping that whoever represents the NOJHL at the DHC isn’t humiliated like so many times in the past. In some past tournaments the Nogie rep never won even one game.

  18. Bartolucci

    Best of luck to the Trappers.

    It has come to my attention that Sudbury no longer has any team competing in junior hockey playoffs. Based on this fact and that the referies are against the teams in my area, I have come to the very difficult decision that the OHL and NOJHL be divested and that the only parts to be salvaged are the Cubs and the Wolves.

    This will ensure championships in perpituaty for these clubs, and help me personaly as well.

    North Bay, Gateway to Sudbury

    Have a good day all.

  19. eaglefan

    Another reason to not like the Birds. They stick around Soo Michigan, likely hoping to run into a few Eagle fans, players or coaches so they can ‘rub in’ the ‘big SWEEP’. They then get caught up in a pile of sh!t and proceed to point the finger at the Eagles’ players, who (‘are angels, you know’) were likely drinking also. And better yet, let’s blame the bad bars, who may have served underage players. How about, get a grip!! Me thinks the Birds would have flown north, if they had lost.

    Those players should have been brought straight back to Canada, spoken to about team rules and monitored. It seems the player in question is taking the brunt of the Shite storm. He is a very good athlete and deserves a better fate. This was a road trip and should have been treated as such.

    For those who don’t know the lay of the land in Soo Mich., there are about 6 bars a stones throw apart. They are all popular hangouts for many partiers. One of them is a very strong sponsor of the Eagles. It is obnoxious for the Birds to bring their celebration to this bar or this street. They knew full well they would be stirring a hornets nest and it appears karma occurred.

  20. FormerEskimo#31

    Bartolucci – Are you the very same Rick Bartolucci that is the MP for the Sudbury riding? Are you the same person that is currently the Minister of Northern Development and Mines? Are you the same person that recently helped screw over Northern Ontario by cutting the ONTC from Ontario Northland? If so, I only have one thing to say to you. This blog is about the good sport of hockey which has a lot of very passionate people associated with each team, weather it be part of an organization or just fans. Therefore, your petty anti-political antics are not welcome here.

    In the words of the old TV, show the weakest link host. “Rick Bartolucci you ARE the weakest link…good bye“.

  21. fanman

    This years Dudley may only have one team back from last years tournament. Wellington was knocked out early while the Soo Eagles and Huntsville are no longer members of their respective leagues. Only Wisconsin might be back if they win their league finals.

  22. Bartolucci

    @Eskimo#31

    As you can well understand, Sudbury is the capital of Northern Ontario and as such we will make the rules when it comes to hockey as we sit fit. We will allow who we want in the league (Manitoulin/Kirland Lake) so that our players can have lofty stats and further their careers via scholarships or through semi-pro hockey overseas.

    We will not consult with other hockey communities in Northern Ontario as their contributions and opinions are of little value to us.

    I admit that Paul Gagne is the best coach in junior hockey and in time we will work with him and have him behind one of junior hockey benches before you know it.

    My predicition, Trappers in 7.

    North Bay- Gateway to Sudbury.

  23. bayinfo

    NOJHL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME DATES
    NOJHL CHAMPIONSHIP – GAME 1
    NORTH BAY @ SAULT STE. MARIE
    FRIDAY, MARCH 30th, 2012
    Game Time: 7:30 pm
    The North Bay Trappers Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club are pleased to announce
    the NOJHL Championship series game dates between the North Bay
    Trappers & the Soo Thunderbirds.
    1. North Bay @ SOO Friday, March 30th 7:30 pm
    2. North Bay @ SOO Saturday, March 31st 7:30 pm
    The North Bay Trappers would like to give all kids attending game one in
    North Bay an early Easter present by providing free admission to the
    Trappers first home game of the NOJHL Championship for all kids
    wearing their North Bay Trappers and house league team jerseys
    3. Tbirds @ North Bay Friday, April 6th 7:00 pm
    4. Tbirds @ North Bay Saturday, April 7th 7:00 pm
    5. North Bay @ SOO Tuesday, March 10th 7:30 pm
    6. Tbirds @ North Bay Thursday, April 12th 7:00 pm
    7. North Bay @ SOO Friday, April 13th 7:30 pm

  24. Golden Bear

    Eaglesfan–Stay tuned I understand more news may be comming out in the next few weeks

  25. FormerEskimo#31

    Bartolucci – I can understand you have power being an MP of Ontario and have an important job on parliament hill but I would like to know how in the hell is the city of Sudbury the capital of Northern Ontario? Absolutely no province or territory in Canada is dived like what you claim so how can you say that Northern Ontario does. True Sudbury does have a team in the NOJHL and the OHL and yes that is where the league headquarters is located but that is it. I would love to hear your comments.

  26. Hawks_96

    Wait Sudbury still has a Midget AAA team alive. Also GNML Round 1 Soo swept NB 3-0, NOBHL Semi Finals Soo swept NB 3-0 Will we see a 3rd sweep by the Soo. Only time will tell.

  27. upfront

    Good game tonight glad the Birds won they definitely out shot them If it wasn’t for Knight that score would have been alot worse
    Should be a barn burner tomorrow

  28. LeJib

    Wow! Well done Trappers. Third game in 4 days, 2 regular D out of the lineup, took the Soo, with 6 days rest, to the second O/T.
    Tomorrow (Sat) will be their fourth game in 5 days. I would expect this very unfavourable schedule was agreed to due to travel costs, arena availability, the usual dictates. It will surely be a real acid test of the Traps’ physical and mental conditioning.Looks to be shaping up as a top-notch series.
    As an aside, we commend the Soo hockey system for their well-coordinated organization. We understand they work as a unit from novice, all the way up to Jr, which obviously helps explain their consistent success at each level. Well done.
    North Bay is very unlikely to achieve similar results, until they too start to work in a spirit of greater cooperation among the different factions. We don’t see that happening any time soon. Too bad.

  29. David Harrison

    An excellent game for the first game.
    Mitchell Knight was definitely the difference in the game. Officials let the players play and the game went right down to the wire.
    Hopefully more fans will show up tonight and then back in North Bay next weekend.
    Hats off to all the players for putting on a great show and some excellent hockey.

  30. Randy Russon Post author

    Effective immediately, I ask that all comments made on this blog be hockey-related.

    (Peachy will be the grandfather-clause exception to the rule.)

    Regards,

    RR

  31. HUH

    U can’t make a statement like that and that have an exception. But then again, Peachy is RR’s alter ego so I guess its ok

  32. Randy Russon Post author

    HUH,

    Not only can I make such a statement, I have. If you don’t like the rules or the exception, you do have alternatives. Like you, I woke up in a free country this morning.

    Regards,

    RR

  33. tbirdfan

    Hi Randy,

    It is about time that you step in and sensor some of the posting. This site should be about hockey. The game last nite was great hockey. To bad the Sault Star does not get it.

    The Soo Thunderbirds should not allow Peter Ruicci in the rink. Those writers only can write negative comments. The Sault Star should fire the Sports Editor, Bill Montague. IMO.

    I see the Birds had a full ad in the Sault Star no doubt they had to pay for it since they get little coverage. The Birds were rated as high as 8th in Canada and the Sault Star made no mention of it at all.

    Great game last nite. The refs really let them play. The pace did not stop. It was great hockey.

    Go Birds Go

  34. kenadian

    http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3521615

    “Scott Ginson has been fired as president and general manager of the Sudbury Kal Tire Cubs.

    While no official announcement has yet been made by the NOJHL team, when reached on Friday, Ginson said he had been let go on Thursday.

    “It is what it is, it’s disappointing,” Ginson said. “I haven’t really had time for all of this to sink in yet.”

    Ginson said he was told by team owner Bill Scott, a day after Wednesday’s season-ending loss to the North Bay Trappers, the team was going in a different direction.

    As of Friday, the future of interim head coach Rod MacKenzie was also in doubt.

    “I was notified by ownership (Thursday afternoon) the team was heading in a different direction,” MacKenzie said. “I understood that I was no longer part of their future plans.”

    Sounds like the purge (and HOPEFULLY the sale to local ex OHL/NHLers) has begun…….

  35. upfront

    Well that’s more like it Birds solved Knight tonight The game got very chippy after 5 goals NB certainly diid not like getting there …. handed to them
    Should have been a few more penalties on the Birds alot was let go both ways
    NB can’t seem to skate with the Birds and yes NB played alot of games this week but this is the playoffs so that excuse is out the window
    Should be fun to watch next weekend still say Birds in 6 maybe 5 if we steal one in NB

    Go Birds Go

  36. Hawks_96

    What happened to the Trapps Double OT loss to a thrashing. I believe they should have gave them more time off.

  37. Scott Kell

    on the box score for tonights game it says febbraro played 8 minutes..was this just cuz the game was getting a bit chippy at the end and the birds didn’t want to risk anything happening to johnny k so they put febbraro in?..or was there an injury to johhny k?

  38. hockey Dad

    Well the TBirds are a very good hockey team – fast – tough and hardworking. They are hands down the best team in this league. They will be hard to beat in a 7 game series. Birds in 4-5!

  39. TBirdsOnTop

    Great game tonight for the Birds. They showed their dominance tonight, opening up the floodgates with goals in the 3rd. North Bay has no answer for the Sartoretto & Amadio line. A little disappointing in the 3rd with the lack of actual hockey. Late in the game it turned into a cheap shot fest and unnecessary penalties. North Bay looked like they were out for blood when they realized the game was out of reach. This series is only going to get nasty-er. I have the Birds in 5 winning it at home. #TBOT

  40. LeJib

    Hey ‘upfront’ – Interesting to see that you have made the medical discovery that physical exhaustion cannot occur in playoff hockey. Now if only there was even a glimmer of truth in such a ridiculous assertion, eh. Soo was full value for the win in game 2, but there’s some hockey yet to be played before the series is over. At least the Traps have a few days rest to work with. We look forward to a couple of good games in the Bay.
    Note to ‘tbirdfan’ – sure can empathize with your alleged frustration with your local newspaper. To the best of my knowledge, our beloved Nugget ‘sports department’ has yet to even acknowledge the fact that North Bay is hosting the DHC in 2013. Bet it would be a different story if the Nipissing politicaLakers were involved in anything similar. (Hell, the Nugget won’t even give more than token space to the second-biggest (fan base and revenue) and fastest-growing sport in N. America. I refer to NASCAR, second only to the NFL.)
    To RR – Really enjoy your blog, and hope you’ll choose to continue it well into the future. Also glad to see you plan to screen the comments a little more closely. Some of them sure do get carried away and a bit out of hand.

  41. upfront

    LeJib
    So if your team would have won it would have been our team is in great shape but when you loose well were tired and exhausted played to many game s blah blah blah I never said it can’t happen but this is the playoffs for all the marbles all teams should be in the best physical shape of the year because this is what happens every year year after year lots of game in a short period of time

  42. bayinfo

    to be fair, the trappers have yet to officially announce the dudley, it has not been announced on baytoday yet either, nor has it been announced at any trappers games, as of yet.

  43. bayinfo

    I also want to commend the announcers on fast hockey in the Soo, I watched game one , and was impressed with the job of both commentators.

  44. Peachy

    PEACHY BLOG

    Cubs fire GM & Coach maybe they hire the Lil Prik but he to short to see ovver bench ahahahahahahahahahaha
    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    Peachy tock hockey ah RR
    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    I go drink Labatt 50 now I old enuf
    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  45. LeJib

    Hi ‘bayinfo’ – I hear you, and of course you’re right (to be fair). However, with word of the DHC being pretty common knowledge, methinks the media (and the team) might have put the ‘gossip’ to rest by offering some information before now. Unless, in fact, it isn’t going to happen. And I guess some official word is appropriate in that case, too. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed.

  46. Randy Russon Post author

    LeJib,

    As we were first to report here, league sources confirmed to us a while back that the 2013 Dudley Hewitt Cup playdowns will be held in North Bay, rather than Sudbury.

    Regards,

    RR

  47. Bartolucci

    @ Peachy are you talking about me or the other Lil Prik from Subury, who used to own the Hawks,

    Doesn’t matter though,all the great hockey minds come from our area.

    The Trappers will rise again.. 4-2 Friday.

    They played a lot of games last week, the rest will no doubt let some of the injuries.

    North Bay just North enough not be South.

  48. stick

    Bartolucci a great fake web name. MP Bartolucci killing the north should move to southern ontario. Randy I know this is not hockey related but had to get it off my chest.

  49. LeJib

    RR – Thanks for the confirmation. It was you that I first heard it from weeks ago. Now where the heck are our locals?
    Carry on with the good stuff.
    Regards right back,
    LeJib

  50. Rack

    Chris wanted to make a big splash with the news of the Dudley once he had completed certain negotiations and had his ducks in order but the news came out on this site.

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