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Gold Miners Newsletter – October 17, 2013

  “GOLD MINER’S NEWS”  ‘
October 17, 2013

  Statistics, Statistics, Statistics
  The Gold Miners have now completed roughly 20% of their league games and it is a good time to reflect on the first portion of the season. The team achieved a significant milestone by being selected as one of the CJHL top 20 ranked teams. The rankings are issued on a weekly basis and the Gold Miners have been a fixture each week on the strength of their exceptional 10-1 record to start the season. The most recent rankings have Kirkland Lake at 11th out of the 130 Junior A teams in Canada. However, the Miners sport the second best winning percentage in the country at .909. Only the top ranked Fort McMurray Oil Barons are winning at a better clip with a .933 percentage.

Steven Babin has been the league scoring leader for most of the season and currently sits second with 22 points (4 goals, 8 assists) in 11 games and is averaging 2.00 points per game. Gavin Burbach of the Soo Thunderbirds is leading with 23 points in 14 games but is averaging “only” 1.64 points per game. The KL squad is currently sitting second in the league standings 4 points behind the Soo but the Miners have 3 games in hand.

It is interesting to compare some key statistics with the other NOJHL teams to emphasize how well the Miners have performed year to date. KL leads the league with a winning percentage of .909 followed by the Soo at .857 and Espanola at .615. The Miners lead the league in power play success scoring at 24.6% clip with a man advantage. Espanola is second at 23.2% and the Soo third at 19.3%. The league average for all 8 teams is just over 18%. When a man short; KL again leads, killing off 88.2% of their short handed situations followed by the Soo at 83.3% and Espanola at 83.1% The league average is just over 81% proficiency.

The Gold Miners are the stingiest team to date giving up only 23 goals in their 11 games. The three goaltenders from KL; Marc Audet, Kenny Fitzgerald and Jessie Morin are all near the top of the league in save percentage and goals against average. 

Statistics are always fun to look at but with over 80% of the league schedule still to play the Gold Miners will face the challenge of trying to meet the high standards set in the early going.

Players

Last week`s player of the week was Patrick Picard. Patrick is from Hearst, Ontario. He can best be described as a  “player’s player”. He was seen blocking a shot in the third period of a game when the team was ahead by 6 goals. He comes to practice every day and works hard which carries over to his play in games. Players like Patrick are important to a team because they accept their role and work to continually improve. The 19 year old has been a welcome addition to the team.

The league selects 3 stars every week and in the first 6 weeks KL has been represented 4 times. In addition, Steven Babin was selected as the player of the month for September. Babin was also recently honoured by being invited to the Team Canada East tryout camp. He is one of only 5 players invited from the NOJHL.   

In breaking news the Gold Miners have completed a major trade sending well-liked and highly skilled forward Jake Zarzycki to the Blind River Beavers in exchange for theier captain and leading scorer Samuel Wilbur. It is always tough to see a player like Jake traded but to get a quality player like Wilbur you have to give up a good player in return.

Dan Morin is back in the line-up after serving his 1 game suspension. Everett Thompson is expected back from injury but Zach Pease continues to recuperate from his injury.

Upcoming

The Gold Miners are currently on a 5 game win streak but face their toughest test of the season as they start an important 3 game road trip. Thursday the team is in Elliott Lake to play the Bobcats, who are the only team to beat the Miners this season. The week-end continues with a tough Friday game against the third place Espanola Rivermen. On Saturday the team continues their journey to take on the Soo Thunderbirds on Saturday night which is shaping up to be a classis early season battle. Both the Soo and KL are fighting for the privilege of being the top team in the NOJHL.

Attendance and community support continues to grow but the Miners still trail Abitibi and Espanola in fan support. Bring a friend, bring a co-worker, bring yourself; be a part of the Gold Miner “team”. 
   
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