| “GOLD MINER’S NEWS” ‘
October 25, 2013
Wow!! What a difference a week makes!!
The Gold Miners who have earned the respect and love of their local fans still struggle for respect outside of Kirkland Lake. After a brilliant start to the season with an 11-1 record the KL squad suffered two tough road losses last week-end. After beating Elliott Lake on Thursday night the team suffered a double-overtime loss to the ever improving third place Espanola Rivermen. This was followed by a tough loss against the Soo Thunderbirds by a close 2-1 score. The Gold Miners record now sits at 11-2-0-1 after last weeks action. Going in to last weekend the team was ranked 11th in Canada and after the weekend fell out of the top 20 weekly ranking. The Soo Thunderbirds are arguably the hottest team in Canada with 10 wins in a row and an overall record of 15-2. The Thunderbirds jumped from being 8th ranked before the weekend to 4th. Their ranking is well deserved and reflective of the overall strength of the teams in the NOJHL.
Interesting to note when the Soo was sitting at 11-2 they were ranked 8th in Canada.
The above is presented as an illustration of how tough it is for a small community like Kirkland Lake to earn respect in hockey circles without several years of successful history. It also illustrates what a great job all of the coaches, staff and executive have done to get the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners on the “map”. It is always more difficult for a town like KL to attract players to a small community and create a successful program both on and off the ice. Small town teams are faced with many unique challenges; limited local talent, smaller number of sponsorship opportunities, smaller population from which to draw fan support as well as higher operational costs.
It is incredible that in less than 2 years the Gold Miners have accomplished so much to date. Arguably the best coaching staff in the league, arguably the best fans in the league, arguably the best team management in the league and a town that is going crazy for “Gold Miner Hockey”.
The rest of the hockey community in Canada may yet not fully respect or appreciate our Gold Miners, but every week more and more support grows for the team.
Ask the players on the KL squad what they think of the people and fans in Kirkland Lake and it will make you feel proud to be part of this community and appreciate what is being accomplished.
This week`s player of the week is Steven Babin (#11) who continues to be one of the league scoring leaders. Steven is recognized as one of the top players in the league and was the player of the month for September. Steven has been invited as one of only five NOJHL players to the Team Canada East tryouts next week. As a second year Gold Miner he provides leadership in a quiet way through his actions and performance on the ice.
Local fans will get their first opportunity to see the newest Gold Miner in action this weekend. Samuel Wilbur, a 6′ 2″ 200lb forward was obtained in a trade with Blind River in exchange for popular skilled forward Jake Zarzycki. Wilbur, the former Captain of the Blind River team is a proven scorer in the NOJHL and will add some size and depth to the roster. Sam will be wearing #18.
Forward Zach Pease is close to getting back in the line-up after an extended recovery period from a nagging injury. He is now considered “day-to-day”.
The rest of the team is healthy and ready to get back on the winning track Friday night at home against the Elliott Lake Bobcats.
This weekend attend the Friday game and purchase a ticket for half price to attend the Saturday game.
Be a part of “Miner’s Nation”, be a part of the best Junior A action, be a fan, be a supporter……..see you this weekend!!
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