SUDBURY – The staple of any club’s success is solid goaltending and a trio of Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League netminders were recognized for their stellar play between the pipes as Joel Horodziejczyk of the Soo Thunderbirds, Sylvain Miron of the Abitibi Eskimos and Joakim Jutras of the Espanola Rivermen have been named the latest “3 Stars” of the week.
JOEL HORODZIEJCZYK, (G) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – The Thunderbirds netminder was recognized for a third straight week for his continued impressive run in the Sault Ste. Marie net.
Taking on the two nearest teams to the T-Birds in the NOJHL standings, Horodziejczyk was equal to the task allowing only two goals against on 51 shots fired his way helping the T-Birds extend their winning streak to 10 straight games.
The 18-year-old Sudbury product began his latest effort Saturday stopping all but one attempt he faced in a 2-1 triumph over second place Kirkland Lake.
Sunday afternoon he continued to shine kicking out another 29 pucks in a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the visiting Espanola Rivermen.
Horodziejczyk, who last week was one of five NOJHLers invited to attend next week’s Canada East selection camp in Oakville, has won his last six starts allowing only four tallies against posting an impressive 0.67 goals-against average and a equally solid .970 save percentage.
SYLVAIN MIRON, (G) ABITIBI ESKIMOS – No NOJHL stopper has played more minutes (726:44) or faced more shots (439) than Abitibi’s Sylvain Miron.
His latest efforts in the Eskimos crease saw 18-year-old from Iroquois Falls turn aside 27 of 28 attempts he faced in backstopping his hometown team to 3-1 victory over visiting North Bay on Saturday night.
Miron has gone 3-1 in his last four starts with the only blemish coming at the hands of the red-hot Soo Thunderbirds.
JOAKIM JUTRAS, (G) ESPANOLA RIVERMEN – Making his NOJHL debut over the weekend the 19-year-old native of Sorel-Tracy, Que., certainly impressed giving the Rivermen a chance to win both games he appeared in.
He began with a 35-save performance Saturday in a 7-2 triumph at Blind River in the first start in the league since being acquired by Espanola.
Sunday afternoon he was just as solid making another 37 stops, including a number of remarkable stops, in a narrow 2-1 setback to surging Sault Ste. Marie giving Jutras a noteworthy .947 save percentage after two starts.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)