Sudbury Kal Tire Jr. Wolves coach Bryan Verreault recently gave all of his players a full weekend off — a chance to enjoy a little extra time with family and friends. For year-old rookie Jason Lacroix, the break provided a welcomed chance to catch his breath and take stock of all that had occurred over the past three months. A graduate of the Hearst Elans Midget hockey program and long-time resident of the Hearst area, Lacroix first garnered some attention on the local scene after sending in his application to attend the inaugural Sudbury Wolves free agent camp this past August. Looking to make an impression and find a way to stand out under the watchful eye of Wolves head coach Trent Cull, Lacroix came to Sudbury with an idea of how he might best showcase his particular skill set. Despite the jump in the speed of the game, it was mission accomplished for the soft-spoken teen, who is much more comfortable conversing in French than in English.
Northside Toyota entered the NOHA playdowns this weekend being considered the underdogs, with the likes of the Hearst Elans and Coppercliffe Redmen also participating in the five-team tournament. In the semi-final, Toyota faced the weekend favourites, the Hearst Elans. The game was a hard hitting, fast paced, back and forth affair, with both teams trading goals. Overtime would be needed to resolve this one, and with left in the first overtime period, Jarret Krancevich took an excellent feed from Jeff Lloyd in the neutral zone, beat two men and slid a hard well placed shot along the ice in the far corner of the net. Toyota was then off to the finals to meet the Sudbury Sharks, who upset the Coppercliffe Redmen in the other semi-final. In the championship game, Toyota jumped out to an early two-goal lead but found themselves in penalty trouble in the second period which allowed the Shark to even things up.
In a rematch of the Ontario Winter Games earlier this season, also won by the Northern Ontario Hockey Association champions, Hearst jumped out to a lead in the opening period on the way to avenging a loss to North York in the OHF final. Jean-Francois Sylvestre set up goals by Travis Paradis and Michel Ouellette just over two minutes apart in the first period to stake the Elans to an insurmountable lead and a sweep of their six games in the five-team tournament that featured champions from four OHF districts. Story continues below. The host Newmarket Redmen put on a credible showing by splitting four round-robin games to finish second in the five-team tournament before bowing to the Knights in semifinal action. You do not have permission to post comments.
After facing each other three times in pre-season exhibition play, the teams faced off for the first time this season and officially opened the Bell Challenge Cup series. The Wolves found themselvesr trailing the Soo for most of the game, however, the Pack managed to come from behind to tie the contest. Unfortunately, they could not complete the comeback and ended up with a 4 — 3 loss in overtime. The Greyhounds jumped out to the early 2 — 0 lead after Corey Durocher and Carson Dubchak scored for the Soo in the first period.