Monday, February 24, 2014

NOJHL announces three stars of the week

Press Release

SUDBURY – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Monday that goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk of the Soo Thunderbirds along with forwards Erik Robichaud of the Abitibi Eskimos and Brandon Janke of the Espanola Rivermen have been named the 3 Stars of the week for the period running Feb. 17-23.

JOEL HORODZIEJCZYK, (G) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – In a pair of road starts last week the Sault Ste. Marie stopper was solid once again helping his side pick-up three points with an overtime victory along with a double OT tie allowing the Thunderbirds to move ever closer to the NOJHL’s regular season title.

The 19-year-old Sudbury product began by making 24 stops, including a number of big saves in OT, as the T-Birds skated to the first draw in league play in over a year, a 3-3 result at Kirkland Lake vs. the second place Gold Miners Friday evening.

The following night he stopped 28 of the 30 attempts he saw backstopping the Sault to a 3-2 OT triumph at Iroquois Falls against the Abitibi Eskimos. 

Horodziejczyk has gone an impressive 25-0-1-0 in his past 26 starts for the front-running Thunderbirds, who are top ranked team in all of the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

On the season, last year’s NOJHL rookie of the year leads all netminders in the league in goals-against average at 1.74 and save percentage at .934 while sitting second in shutouts with three.

ERIK ROBICHAUD, (F) ABITIBI ESKIMOS – Competing in two games last week the 20-year-old Timmins native amassed six points helping the Eskimos secure three points in the standings and maintain their slim lead for third place in the NOJHL standings.

Robichaud began by his efforts last Monday by matching a season-high five points, which included his fifth hat-trick of the season as Abitibi blasted North Bay 8-1 at Jus Jordan Arena. He also notched his first game-winning goal of the campaign in that contest.

Saturday night he scored for the 28th time in a hard-fought 3-2 overtime setback to first place Sault Ste. Marie.

In 2013-14 Robichaud sits third in the NOJHL in point-per-game average at 1.59 accumulating 51 points in just 32 outings for the Eskimos.

He also had a 15-game stint earlier this season with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.

BRANDON JANKE, (F) ESPANOLA RIVERMEN – A model of consistency all season long for Espanola, Janke picked up another three points helping the Rivermen earn a pair of victories as they hit the home stretch trying to secure both third place in the overall standings as well as home ice advantage in the opening round of the upcoming playoffs.

In a home-and-home set vs. Blind River last week he picked up the 100th assist of his NOJHL career in a 4-2 triumph in the opener Friday and followed that up by setting up the game-winner and adding a goal of his own after that in a 4-0 win over the Beavers Sunday afternoon.

On the season the 20-year-old forward, who hails from Huntsville, is presently tied for sixth in league offensive production with teammate Corbin Bean with 67 points.

Janke has tallied 26 times while doling out 41 assists with his helper total knotting him for the fourth-best mark in the NOJHL.

One more goal before the regular season concludes will also give him a personal single-season high 27 surpassing the 26 he had in 2011-12.

(Nathan can be reached at

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