Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League: Wikis


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Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League
Northern Ontario Junior.jpg
Head Office North Bay, Ontario
Official Web site NOJHL
Temporary Chairman Hector Seguin
COO Hector Seguin
Founded 1978
Regional Champions 3
National Champions 0
2008-09 Champion Soo Thunderbirds

The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League is a Junior A ice hockey league under the supervision of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, the Northern Ontario Hockey Association, and Hockey Canada. The winner of the NOJHL playoffs competes for the Dudley Hewitt Cup with the winners of the Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Superior International Junior Hockey League. The winner of the Dudley Hewitt Cup then moves on to compete for the Royal Bank Cup.


The Modern NOJHL

The current incarnation of the NOJHL comprises six Ontario teams, one Quebec team and one American team. With teams in North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Michigan, Blind River, Iroquois Falls, and Manitoulin Island, and Temiscaming, Quebec the league is spread across the southern region of Northeastern Ontario and corresponding sections of Quebec and Michigan.

The story of the current NOJHL began in 1972. The NOJHL was not on stable footing and was competing as a Junior "A" league. In Southern Ontario, the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League was looking to expand North. The league's two top teams, the Sudbury Wolves and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, accepted an invitation from the OMJHL to compete in the high octane league. The next best team, the North Bay Trappers chose not to stick around either and jumped to the Ontario Hockey Association's new Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League. With the top tier of talent sheared off, the only remaining team in the league was the Chelmsford Canadiens. A season before, the Espanola Screaming Eagles had been a member of the league, but opted to drop to the NOHA Jr. B Hockey League in 1971; the Canadiens joined them in 1972.

The NOHA Jr. B Hockey League came into prominence in the late 1960s. In 1970, the Capreol Hawks joined and won a championship in their first year. In 1971, Espanola jumped on board, followed by Chelmsford in 1972. In 1973, the Canadiens moved to Rayside-Balfour and became the Canadians. The Onaping Falls Huskies joined in 1974, and the Nickel Centre Native Sons joined in 1976.

In 1978, the top teams of the NOHA Jr. B Hockey League created the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and were promoted to Tier II Junior "A". With the five former Jr. "B" clubs and the Sudbury Cubs, the league was back in action. In 1981, the Elliot Lake Vikings jumped into the fold. In 1983, the Onaping Falls Huskies dropped out despite winning three league titles in the past four seasons. After a one season hiatus, they came back for two more years and then folded for good. In 1986, Rayside-Balfour went on hiatus and Capreol folded, dropping the league down to four teams. The Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League, also down to four teams, operated with the NOJHL as essentially two divisions of the same league. With an interlocking schedule, the NOJHL survived the 1986-87 season, the OPJHL did not and folded after the season concluded. Also, after 8 years of trying and failing, an NOJHL champion defeated an OPJHL champion for the Ontario Hockey Association championship. The Nickel Centre Power Trains defeated the Owen Sound Greys 4-games-to-2 for the right to compete for the Dudley Hewitt Cup -- the Central Canadian Junior "A" Championship. The next year, the Canadians were back and a new team known as the Thessalon Flyers entered the league. In 1988, the Haileybury 54's joined the league and in 1989 so did the Rouyn-Noranda Capitales. Thessalon folded in 1990, Haileybury moved to Powassan in 1991 and the Timmins Golden Bears joined as well. A season later, Sudbury became Nickel Centre and then later folded. In 1994, Powassan moved to Sturgeon Falls and the Parry Sound Shamrocks joined the league. In 1996, Rouyn-Noranda folded to make way for a new Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team that was moving to their town. In 1999, Timmins moved to Iroquois Falls, Elliot Lake moved to Nickel Centre, and the Soo Thunderbirds were founded. Also in 1999, Parry Sound moved to a new OPJHL (founded in 1993). A year later, Nickel Centre moved to Blind River and the Sudbury Jr. Wolves were founded. In 2002, Sturgeon Falls moved to North Bay. A season after that, a team from Manitoulin joined and Espanola jumped over to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Finally, in 2005, the league's most dominant team in history and the last remaining shred of the original NOJHL, Rayside-Balfour, folded. They did not go without leaving their mark. From 1996 until 2002, the team won 7 straight NOJHL Championships, three Dudley Hewitt Cups, and once came within one win of winning the Royal Bank Cup as national champions.

There were six teams in the NOJHL as of 2007. The 2006–07 league champions, the Soo Indians, took a year off in an attempt to sell. A year later they came back as the Soo Eagles. Also, in the summer of 2008 the Temiscaming Royals jumped from the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League to the NOJHL to expand the league to eight teams. Temsicaming is the second Québécois team in NOJHL history, after the Rouyn-Noranda Capitales who were in the league from 1989 to 1996.

The Teams

2009-10 Team Locations in Northeastern Ontario
Eastern Division
Team Centre 2009-10 Record Points
Abitibi Eskimos Iroquois Falls 40-7-0-3 83
North Bay Trappers North Bay 34-14-0-2 70
Sudbury Jr. Wolves Copper Cliff 19-27-0-4 42
Temiscaming Royals Temiscaming, QC 14-32-0-4 32
Western Division
Team Centre 2009-10 Record Points
Soo Thunderbirds Sault Ste. Marie, ON 33-14-0-3 69
Blind River Beavers Blind River 29-14-0-7 65
Soo Eagles Sault Ste. Marie, MI 27-18-0-5 59
Manitoulin Islanders Little Current 4-45-0-1 9

2009-10 McNamara Trophy Playoffs

For the next round of the playoffs, please go to the Dudley Hewitt Cup.
For the National Championship, please go to the 2010 Royal Bank Cup.
  Quarter-finals Semi-finals McNamara Trophy Finals
  E1  Abitibi 4  
E4  Temiscaming 1  
  E1  Abitibi  
    E3  Sudbury  
E2  North Bay 1
  E3  Sudbury 4  
  W1  Soo Thunderbirds 4  
W4  Manitoulin 0  
W1  Soo Thunderbirds
    W3  Soo Eagles  
W2  Blind River 1
  W3  Soo Eagles 4  

Copeland-McNamara Trophy and Division Champions

Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy - NOHA Jr. A Championship.
Frank L. Buckland Trophy - OHA Championship, competed for by NOJHL champions from 1979 until 1997. Won in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1997.
William T. Ruddock Trophy - OHF Championship, competed for by NOJHL champions since 1994. Won in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2006.
Dudley Hewitt Cup - Regional Championship, competed for by NOJHL champions since 1979. Won in 1997, 2000, and 2002.

In 2008-09, the NOJHL instituted divisions. Overall champions are bolded.

Year Champion Finalist
1979 Nickel Centre Native Sons
1980 Onaping Falls Huskies
1981 Onaping Falls Huskies
1982 Onaping Falls Huskies
1983 Elliot Lake Vikings Onaping Falls Huskies
1984 Rayside-Balfour Canadians Elliot Lake Vikings
1985 Sudbury Cubs Capreol Hawks
1986 Onaping Falls Huskies Sudbury Cubs
1987 Nickel Centre Power Trains Sudbury Cubs
1988 Sudbury Cubs Elliot Lake Vikings
1989 Sudbury Cubs Rayside-Balfour Canadians
1990 Sudbury Cubs Rouyn-Noranda Capitales
1991 Sudbury Cubs Rayside-Balfour Canadians
1992 Powassan Hawks Rayside-Balfour Canadians
1993 Powassan Hawks Timmins Golden Bears
1994 Powassan Hawks Rouyn-Noranda Capitales
1995 Timmins Golden Bears Rouyn-Noranda Capitales
1996 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Sturgeon Falls Lynx
1997 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Sturgeon Falls Lynx
1998 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Parry Sound Shamrocks
1999 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Parry Sound Shamrocks
2000 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Sturgeon Falls Lynx
2001 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Soo Thunderbirds
2002 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Soo Thunderbirds
2003 North Bay Skyhawks Sault Ste. Marie Jr. Greyhounds
2004 North Bay Skyhawks Soo Thunderbirds
2005 North Bay Skyhawks Northern Michigan Black Bears
2006 Sudbury Jr. Wolves North Bay Skyhawks
2007 Soo Indians Sudbury Jr. Wolves
2008 Sudbury Jr. Wolves Abitibi Eskimos
East West
2009 North Bay Skyhawks Soo Thunderbirds

Dudley Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Champions

Year Champion Finalist Host (if applicable)
1997 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Milton Merchants (OPJHL) --
2000 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Brampton Capitals (OPJHL) --
2002 Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Dryden Ice Dogs (SIJHL) --

NOHA Jr. B 1970-1978

In 1972, the old Northern Ontario Junior Hockey Association folded as the Sudbury Wolves and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds left for the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League and the North Bay Trappers left for the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League. What was left were local Sudbury team in what would be known as the NOHA Jr. B League. In 1978, the league was promoted to Jr. A and became the NOJHL.

Year Champion Finalist
1971 Capreol Hawks
1973 Coniston Cubs
1974 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
1975 Onaping Falls Flyers

Former Member Teams

Former Teams
Team Centre Joined Exited Status
Capreol Hawks Capreol, Ontario 1978 1986 Folded
Nickel Centre Native Sons Nickel Centre, Ontario 1978 1987 Folded
Onaping Falls Huskies Onaping Falls, Ontario 1978 1986 Folded
Parry Sound Shamrocks Parry Sound, Ontario 1994 1999 Joined OPJHL
Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats Rayside-Balfour, Ontario 1978 2005 Folded
Rouyn-Noranda Capitales Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec 1989 1996 Folded
Sudbury Cubs Sudbury, Ontario 1978 1993 Folded
Thessalon Flyers Thessalon, Ontario 1987 1990 Folded

League records

Team Season

  • Best Record, One Season:
40-0-0 - Sudbury, 1989-90
40-0-0 - Rayside-Balfour, 1999-00
  • Worst Record, One Season:
1-47-0 - Elliot Lake, 1991-92
  • Most Goals Scored, One Season:
482 - Rayside-Balfour, 1991-92
  • Least Goals Scored, One Season:
97 - Rayside-Balfour, 2003-04
  • Least Goals Against, One Season:
80 - Rayside-Balfour, 1999-00
  • Most Goals Against, One Season:
708 - Elliot Lake, 1991-92

Team Game

  • Largest margin of victory:
Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats 30 - Elliot Lake Vikings 3 on January 28, 1992

Individual Season

  • Most Goals, One Season:
97 - Denis Castonguay, Rayside Balfour, 1983-84
  • Most Assists, One Season:
106 - John Stos, Rayside Balfour, 1991-92
  • Most Points, One Season:
196 - Denis Castonguay, Rayside Balfour, 1983-84
  • Most Penalty Minutes, One Season:
384 - Andy Hodgins, Espanola, 1991-92
  • Lowest Goals Against Average, One Season:
1.99 - Justin Dumont, Rayside-Balfour, 1999-00
  • Most Shutouts, One Season:
5 - Frank Novello, Soo, 2000-01
5 - Martin Perrault, North Bay, 2003-04

Individual Career

  • Most Games Played, Career:
224 - Matt Brunet, Abitibi/Soo, 2002-07
  • Most Goals, Career:
197 - Denis Castonguay, Rayside-Balfour, 1979-84
  • Most Assists, Career:
237 - Brian Verreault, Rayside-Balfour, 1979-84
  • Most Points, Career:
409 - Brian Verreault, Rayside-Balfour, 1979-84
  • Most Penalty Minutes, Career:
919 - Dean Bowles, Elliot Lake, 1986-91

See also

External links


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