Week in Review
The Gold Miners only had a single game this past week when they faced-off against the Elliott Lake Bobcats on Friday night in a home tilt. The KL squad entered the game on a five game unbeaten streak and were sitting in first place in the 8 team NOJHL with a record of 5-0. The Miners had their hands full with the visitors from Elliott Lake and in spite of outshooting the Bobcats in the contest they suffered their first defeat of the young season by a score of 3-1. Unfortunately, the game was subject to fogging conditions due to the unusual warm weather outside and the fans were “treated” several times to the players on both sides needing to circle the ice trying to clear out the fog.
The game featured the first game in a Gold Miner uniform for new defenseman Dylan Rosen who was an imposing presence on the ice at 6’5″ and 210 lbs. Rosen is expected to help solidify the Defence core and not only looks to be able to shut down the top players from other teams but adds some size and toughness to the line-up.
In recognition of their early season success the Gold Miners were rewarded with being ranked 8th in Canada as reported this week by the Canadian Junior Hockey League which consists of over 120 Junior A teams in the country. This is the first time for such recognition for the team and illustrates the increasing respect not only for the team but also for the NOJHL. The Soo Thunderbirds who are tied with KL with an identical 5-1 record also made the top ten and are currently ranked ninth.
Comments from the Coach
Head Coach / GM, Marc Lafleur in a post game interview stated, “The team came out flat right from the opening whistle and we never really were able to find our stride. Credit goes to Elliott Lake who came out hard and demonstrated they wanted the victory more than we did. They played well defensively and shut down our offense. As stated last week there are no easy teams in this league and if you don’t come to play every night the results will speak for themselves. We now need to regroup and focus on the games coming up this week.”
On a positive note Lafleur was pleased to advise that rugged defenseman Ryan Scherer who was a mainstay on the blueline last year has decided to rejoin the team and is expected to be in the line-up for Friday’s home game. Scherer at 6′ 1″ 190 lbs was well respected in the league last year and was one of the Gold Miner assistant captains. Adding Ryan to an already impressive group of Defenseman arguably gives KL one of the strongest rosters of “D” in the league and possibly the country. Scherer is a 20 year old from Elgin, Illinois, USA.
The team is back on the ice for two tilts this week against teams KL have not yet seen or played. It starts with a Friday game against the Blind River Beavers at home; game time is set for 7:30. The week concludes with an away game in North Bay on Monday night starting at 7:00 P.M. Coach Lafleur has been cautiously optimistic about his team this year but again stresses that no teams can be taken lightly. The fan response to the Gold Miners continues to increase; each home game so far has seen a larger crowd than the previous game. The team is hoping to see this trend continue as it contributes to the success of the team both on and off the ice.
This Friday will see the first of several scheduled “featured” nights. In honour of long time hockey fan the game is being promoted as “Judy Zwanko Noise Maker Night”. All fans are being asked to bring out their pots, pans or whatever and make as much noise as possible. One lucky fan will go home with a new set of pots and pans valued at $800.00.
The featured player of the week for the Gold Miners is Jeremy Picard-Fiset (#7). As a returning veteran from last year Jeremy was recognized for his outstanding play in 2011-2012 by being named as a first team all-star in his inaugural season in the NOJHL. Fiset was recognized for his leadership ability when he was selected to be an Assistant Captain for this year’s Gold Miners. He has continued his excellent play this year and was already named as one of the three stars for the league in week two of league action. His point production is near the top of the league and he continues to be a reliable two way player that the coaching staff can count on.
The sponsor for this Friday night’s game is Goldbelt Tire Supply Ltd. The team is very grateful for the support it receives from the community and our local businesses. In order to continue to be successful we are always looking for additional support and anyone interested is encouraged to contact a member of the team executive.
Continue to follow the KL Gold Miners for all of their information updates on both Twitter and Facebook or visit the team website. Season passes and special ticket packages are available at the box office during home games.