It’s over in North Bay

It’s all over for the North Bay Trappers.

In more ways than one.

The Trappers on Tuesday were eliminated from the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League playoffs, dropping a 6-1 decision to the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners.

Kirkland Lake won the first-round, best-of-seven series in four straight games, by scores of 3-1, 5-2, 5-2, 6-1.

Regular-season and playoffs included, the Trappers finished the 2013-2014 campaign with a record of 0-12-1.

Tuesday’s Game 4 of the playoffs– a home contest for North Bay — was again played in nearby Mattawa.

Trappers owner David Beauchamp told Baytoday.ca in North Bay that he is optimistic the team will be playing full-time out of Mattawa next season.

Meantime, Trappers general manager Chris Dawson has confirmed he will not be returning to the team next season.

The respectable Dawson has been a part of the Trappers organization for three seasons.

NOJHL award winners

NOJHL Press Release

The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Saturday a number of its award recipients for the 2013-14 season and leading the way were the Soo Thunderbirds, the NOJHL regular season title holder and the top ranked club in the entire 128-team Canadian Junior Hockey League, as they garnered six honours.

Highlighting the award winners is Soo Thunderbirds goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk, who has been named the NOJHL’s most valuable player along with his Sault Ste. Marie teammate Gavin Burbach, who picked up the best overall team player nod.

The following is a rundown on each of the NOJHL award honourees:

CARLO CATTARELLO TROPHY NOJHL MVP – JOEL HORODZIEJCZYK, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Was earlier named a first team NOJHL all-star in net. … Enters the final week of the regular season having had a tremendous 2013-14 campaign helping backstop his team to the league’s regular season crown as well as aiding his team’s effort to earn the nod as the No. 1 ranked squad in the CJHL. … Has not suffered a loss in his past 26 starts posting an impressive 25-0-1-0 record in that span. … Leads all NOJHL goaltenders in goals-against average and save percentage at 1.77 and .933 respectively while going 28-2-1-0 overall. … Sits second in shutouts with three. … Presently boasts the third-best average in the CJHL and tied for fourth in save percentage among all CJHL goalkeepers, who played a minimum of 1,000 minutes this season. … Represented the NOJHL at the CJHL Prospects games, the Canada East evaluation camp, the Central Canada Challenge Cup event and the Summer Select Showcase. … Was the winning goaltender when CJHL East won the President’s Cup Prospects Games title. … Has played more minutes than any goalkeeper in the league at just over 1,932. The 19-year-old goaltender hails from Sudbury.

NOJHL TROPHY BEST OVERALL TEAM PLAYER GAVIN BURBACH, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Enters the final weekend of the season leading all NOJHL skaters in offensive production with 84 points. … Also leads the league in goals with 47. … Goal and points totals are a career single season highs as he tops the T-Birds in scoring. … Has scored 20% of his club’s goals so far this season. … Tied for third overall in game-winning markers with six. … Sits knotted for fourth in the NOJHL in both power play markers and shorthanded efforts with 11 and four respectively. … At one point this season scored in 10 consecutive games. … Suited up for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Challenge Cup over the holidays. … The Thunderbirds captain is from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

NOJHL TROPHY BEST DEFENSEMAN – TYLER JONES, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The veteran blueliner has been a force on the Thunderbirds’ back-end all season long. … Leads all Sault Ste. Marie rearguards in offensive production with 38 points in 52 outings entering the T-Birds final two games of the regular season. … Four of his 10 tallies have been game-winners. … His club has gone 24-2-1-0 in games where he has recorded at least one point. … Hails from Mason, Mich.

JOHN GRIGNON TROPHY ROOKIE OF THE YEAR – OWEN HEADRICK, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – As a first-year player Headrick stepped right into the Sault Ste. Marie line-up and was solid both defensively and offensively. … The 16-year-old defenceman, who hails from nearby Garden River was second in team scoring among D-men scoring eight times while doling out 21 assists. … The Thunderbirds were 22-0-0-1 in games in which he registered at least one point.

MITCH TETREAULT MEMORIAL TROPHY TOP DEFENSIVE FORWARD – BRAD EDWARDS, ESPANOLA RIVERMEN – Persevering from a season-ending broken leg that prematurely ended his 2012-13 campaign, Edwards returned this year and has seen action in 41 games and was solid in going against the other team’s top players on a nightly basis. … Also contributed by putting the pressure on his opponents with some solid offensive numbers by tallying 12 times, including a pair of game-winners, and dishing out 17 assists for 29 points. The 20-year-old forward is a native of Napanee, Ont.

GILLES LAPERRIERE TROPHY MOST IMPROVED PLAYER – KHADYN BUTTERFLY, SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS – The defenceman was recognized for his efforts that saw him dramatically improve his offensive numbers from a year ago. … After picking up five assists in 41 outings in 2012-13, the 18-year-old Moosenee, Ont., product has scored 10 times this season and set-up 20 others for the Nickel Barons. … Leads all Sudbury blueliners in scoring and is also fourth overall on the team. … Is tied for fourth overall in points among NOJHL defencemen. … Played for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge in late December.

ONAPING FALLS HUSKIES TROPHY MOST GENTLEMANLY PLAYER – BRETT WAGNER, ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – Was named a second team NOJHL all-star. … A stellar 2013-14 campaign has seen Wagner figure in on an impressive 38% of his teams goals on the season with either a tally or helper. … Sits fifth overall in the league scoring with 74 points. …Is second in the NOJHL in goals scored with 41. … His nine shorthanded tallies are the most in the league. … Nine of his tallies have been game-winners, which ties him for the most in the entire league. … Represented the NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge. Calls Centennial, Colo., home.

RED MCCARTHY MEMORIAL TROPHY COACH OF THE YEAR – JORDAN SMITH – SOO THUNDERBIRDS – In his first year behind the Thunderbirds bench has guided his team to the best record in the NOJHL along with already having secured the league’s regular season title. … His efforts have helped his hometown Sault Ste. Marie squad boast being the No. 1 ranked club in the Canadian Junior Hockey League the past five weeks, including earning the No. 1 nod in the final CJHL rankings of the season. … His team had a 25-game winning streak earlier this season. … Smith’s team boasts the fewest regulation time losses of any team in the entire 128-team CJHL with five. … Was an assistant coach at the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

JOE DRAGO TROPHY DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR – KEVIN CAIN, SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Named after the former NOJHL Commissioner and current Hockey Canada executive vice-chair, Cain garnered the Joe Drago award for building the top team in both the NOJHL and the CJHL. … He compiled a solid roster of home grown talent and players from the surrounding area and hired coach of the year Jordan Smith to guide the Thunderbirds fortunes behind the bench. … The line-up he brought together has set multiple franchise records for consecutive wins, home victories and triumphs in a season.

NOJHL all-stars

NOJHL PRESS RELEASE

The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced today their respective first and second all-star teams for the 2013-14 season.

Each all-star squad consists of one goaltender, two defencemen and three forwards earning the laurels during the campaign with one player being chosen at the centre, left wing and right wing positions for both teams.

Also earning all-star accolades for the first and second teams were a coach, manager and trainer.

NOJHL 1ST ALL-STAR TEAM

GOALTENDER: JOEL HORODZIEJCZYK, SOO THUNDERBIRDS — Entering the final week of the regular season the 19-year-old Thunderbirds netminder has had a remarkable campaign in helping backstop his club to the NOJHL to the top record in the league as well as aiding his team’s effort to earn the nod as the top ranked side in the 128-team Canadian Junior Hockey League. … Has not suffered a loss in his past 26 starts posting an impressive 25-0-1-0 record in that span. … Leads all NOJHL goaltenders in goals-against average and save percentage at 1.77 and .933 respectively while going 28-2-1-0 overall. … Sits second in shutouts with three. … Represented the NOJHL at the CJHL Prospects games, the Canada East evaluation camp, the Central Canada Challenge Cup event and the Summer Select Showcase. … Has played more minutes than any goalkeeper in the league at just over 1,932.

DEFENCE: JEREMY PICARD-FISET, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS — Marks the second consecutive year Picard-Fiset has been named a NOJHL first team all-star. … Leads all league defencemen in assists with 37 and points with 46. … Five of his nine tallies this season have come on the power play in helping anchor the Gold Miners defensive corps. … Played for the NOJHL at the Summer Select Showcase and the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

DEFENCE: TYLER JONES, SOO THUNDERBIRDS — The veteran blueliner has been a force on the Thunderbirds’ back-end all season long. … Leads all Sault Ste. Marie rearguards in offensive production with 38 in 52 outings entering the last weekend of the regular season. … Four of his 10 goals have been game-winners. … His club has gone 24-2-1-0 in games where he has recorded at least one point.

CENTRE: GAVIN BURBACH, SOO THUNDERBIRDS — Entering the final weekend of the season leading all NOJHL skaters in offensive production with 84 points. … Also leads the league in goals with 47. … Goal and points totals are a career single season highs as he leads the T-Birds in scoring. … Has scored 20% of his club’s goals so far this season. … Tied for third overall in game-winning markers with six. … Sits knotted for fourth in the NOJHL in both power play markers and shorthanded efforts with 11 and four respectively. … At one point this season scored in 10 consecutive games. Suited up for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Challenge Cup over the holidays.

LEFT WING: BRADY CLOUTHIER, ABITIBI ESKIMOS — The 19-year-old from Arnprior, Ont., leads Abitibi with 66 points in 50 games. … Sits eighth overall in NOJHL scoring. … Scored the game-winning goal in nine of his team’s 29 victories. … Is tied for the league lead in game-winners. …Is tied for the league lead in game-winning goals with nine. … 15% of the Eskimos goals so far have been scored by Clouthier. … Has 19 multi-point nights on the season. … Played for the NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

RIGHT WING: BRENNEN DUBCHAK, ESPANOLA RIVERMEN — Veteran winger in his final year of Jr. A hockey leads Espanola in points with 81 entering the last weekend of the regular season. … Sits tied for second in NOJHL scoring with 81 points. …Third in the league in goals with 35. … Is fourth in the league in assists with 46. … Tied for fourth overall in power play tallies with 11. … Shares second in shorthanded markers with five. … At one point this season had points in 27 straight games he competed in.

COACH: JORDAN SMITH, SOO THUNDERBIRDS — In his first year behind the Thunderbirds bench has guided his team to the best record in the NOJHL along with already having secured the league’s regular season title. … His efforts have helped Sault Ste. Marie boast being the No. 1 ranked club in the Canadian Junior Hockey League the past five weeks, including earning the No. 1 nod in the final CJHL rankings of the season. … His team had a 25-game winning streak earlier this season. … Smith’s squad boasts the fewest regulation time losses of any team in the entire 128-team CJHL with five.

MANAGER: KEVIN CAIN, SOO THUNDERBIRDS — Architect of the top team in both the NOJHL and the CJHL. … Has formulated a solid roster of home grown talent and players from the surrounding area. … Built the line-up that has set multiple franchise records for consecutive wins, home victories and triumphs in a season.

TRAINER: CARLA VINE, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS — Honoured for her tireless efforts on behalf of the club. … Marks the second straight year earning league honours after picking second team all-star laurels in 2012-13. … Served as one of the trainer’s for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge in December.

NOJHL 2ND ALL-STAR TEAM

GOALTENDER: EVAN CORMIER, NORTH BAY TRAPPERS — As the youngest player in the league the rookie netminder, on most nights, has given his club the chance to win. … The 16-year-old Bowmanville, Ont., native has faced more shots against than any goaltender in the league at 1,310. … Is fifth in the NOJHL in save percentage at .910. … Has played the second most minutes of any goaltender in the league at just over 1,915. … Played for the NOJHL at the Summer Select Showcase and the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

DEFENCE: BRADLEY BELL, SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS — The 17-year-old blueliner has helped bolster Sudbury’s defensive corps on both ends of the ice. … Has scored 11 times and doled out 11 assists for 22 points in just 37 games. … His tally total ties him for the most in the league scored to date by a defenceman. … Was named to Canada East roster for the CJHL Prospects games in Nova Scotia in November. Attended both the Canada East Selection Camp and the Summer Select Showcase… Has committed to attend RPI of the ECAC and play NCAA division 1 hockey for the Engineers.

DEFENCE: MAX GLASHAUSER, ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS — Glashauser, who turned 20, last month, has turned in a solid 2013-14 campaign, his first in the NOJHL, for Elliot Lake. … Scored five times and set-up 22 others for 27 points. …The Bobcats went 12-5-0-1 in games he registered a point. … Played for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Challenge Cup in December.

CENTRE: STEVE BABIN, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS — Enters the final week of the regular season fourth in NOJHL scoring with 78 points. … Leads all skaters in the league in assists with 54. … Started the 2013-14 campaign with a 10-game point streak. … Had two other point streaks this season of five games or more. … The Gold Miners have gone 36-3-0-1 in games in which he recorded at least one point this season. Represented the NOJHL at the Canada East Selection Camp and the Summer Select Showcase.

LEFT WING: CORBIN BEAN, ESPANOLA RIVERMEN — A solid season sees the St. Thomas, Ont., native having amassed 73 points in 53 games, including 30 goals. … Sits seventh overall in NOJHL scoring. … Is fifth in the league in assists with 43. … Tied for second overall in shorthanded tallies with five. …. Bean’s six game-winning markers put him in a tie for third most in the league.

RIGHT WING: BRETT WAGNER, ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS — A stellar 2013-14 campaign has seen Wagner figure in on an impressive 38% of his teams goals on the season with either a tally or helper. … Sits fifth overall in the league scoring with 74 points. …Is second in the NOJHL in goals scored with 41. … His nine shorthanded tallies are the most in the league. … Nine of his tallies have been game-winners, which ties him for the most in the entire league. … Represented the NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge.

COACH: MARC LAFLEUR, KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS — Has guided Kirkland Lake to franchise records in both wins and points this season. … Second straight Lafleur has earned NOJHL all-star accolades claiming the first team nod in 2012-13. … Served as head coach for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge. … Was an assistant coach this past November for Canada East at the World Jr. A Challenge in Nova Scotia.

MANAGER: OSCAR CLOUTHIER, SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS — Veteran hockey man helped build and stabilize a Sudbury roster that hails mostly from the Greater Sudbury area along with a few key additions from other parts of Ontario.. … Served as Director of Operations for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge showcase in Quebec over the Christmas holidays.

TRAINER: LISA PARISE, SUDBURY NICKEL BARONS — Earned second team all-star laurels in her first season with the Nickel Barons. …. Serves an as instrumental part of Sudbury’s off-ice staff. …. Was one of the trainers for Team NOJHL at the Central Canada Cup Challenge in December.

Top-seeded T-Birds will be in tough

Okay, we know that Soo Thunderbirds have clinched first place in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League standings and will meet the Blind River Beavers in the first round of the playoffs.

NOJHL playoffs are slated to begin sometime during the week of March 10.

Before that, the Thunderbirds have two games left to play in the regular season, both at home this weekend.

With 95 points from a record of 46-5-3, the Thunderbirds have set franchise and league standards for regular-season victories.

As the Thunderbirds will finish first and Blind River will end up in last, there will be three other first-round playoff matchups in the eight-team league.

The Thunderbirds are a team without an apparent weakness, though as head coach Jordan Smith is fond of repeating, plenty of hard work and commitment went into the Soo’s first-place finish.

“We have pride in our work ethic and as a team I think we showed that throughout the entire course of the season,” Smith said on a recent edition of the Thunderbird Hockey Show on ESPN 1400 Radio.

Their amazing regular-season record aside, the Thunderbirds have plenty more work ahead of them once the playoffs get underway.

Second-place Kirkland Lake Gold Miners are a force to be reckoned with and should finish the regular season with 90-plus points of their own.

And below Kirkland Lake, the Abitibi Eskimos and Espanola Rivermen both have records well over the .500 mark.

To be sure, the Thunderbirds will be considered favourites headed into the playoffs — though definitely not by a clear-cut margin with Kirkland Lake, Abitibi and Espanola lurking in the shadows.

KL coach, F-bombs

Did anyone happen to catch the Kirkland Lake-Espanola game on Fasthockey.com from last night?

Well, the offensive language that came out of the mouth of Kirkland Lake coach Marc Lafleur was simply atrocious.

F-bombs galore directed at his players.

Multiple, multiple use of the F-word in just about every way, shape and form.

If I hadn’t heard it myself, I never would have believed it.

Shame on you, Marc.