CENTRAL REGION: The Fort William First Nation North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) lost only twice in the regular season and just once in 12 playoff contests. The North Stars qualified for the 2006 RBC Royal Bank Cup with a 7-6 overtime victory over the Sudbury Jr. Wolves (Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League) in the final of the Dudley-Hewitt Cup. Offensively, the trio of Kory McEwan, Joey Nigro and Dennis Morrison finished 1-2-3 in team scoring during the regular season and playoffs. McEwan was the SIJHL scoring champion with 119 points in 50 games and was also the top point-getter in the post-season with 22 points in eight games. Nigro recorded 93 points in 46 regular season games, while Morrison added 71 points in 45 games. Captain Ryan Baird was the team’s highest scoring defenseman in the regular season with 54 points in 45 games, while goaltender Carter Hutton posted a 1.57 goals against average in the playoffs and 1.90 goals against in the regular season.
Regular Season Record: 50-2-0-0 (1st in SIJHL)
During the 2005-06 campaign Fort William rolled to its third straight Superior International Junior Hockey League regular season crown with a more than impressive 50-2 record.
The North Stars continued to soar in the postseason going unbeaten in eight games capturing the Bill Salonen Cup SIJHL playoff championship taking home that title for the third year in succession.
The trio of Kory McEwan, Joey Nigro and Dennis Morrison paced the North Stars offensively all season long. McEwan led the way topping the SIJHL in scoring with 119 points including a league and Canadian Jr. A Hockey League-best 69 goals. McEwan again led the way with 22 playoff points.
Team captain Ryan Baird anchors the Fort William defence and he’ll continue his career in the fall playing division one U.S. college hockey for Lake Superior State University of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.
Goaltender Carter Hutton has gone 43-2 overall on the year. He registered 13 shutouts on the year while at one point recording five shutouts in a row during a 362 minute goalless streak.
Long-time hockey man Gary Cook serves as the North Stars general manager. He has five Allan Cup rings from his days in senior hockey with the then Thunder Bay Twins. He also added three more titles with Thunder Bay’s former United Hockey League franchise.
One of the players on that UHL team is current North Stars head coach Todd Howarth. He also skated for the Thunder Bay Flyers that captured a Centennial Cup crown back in 1989 with a team that also featured Canadian Jr. A hockey player of the year and current Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson. That squad was also comprised fully of players from Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.
Add in team equipment manager Darrell Clarke, a 2005 RBC Hockey Leaders awards recipient, who has been along side Cook for championship won and the Fort William North Stars offer a winning combination that looks to add further accolades with a 2006 Royal Bank Cup crown.
For more information:
Ryan Robins Manager, Marketing Services