SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Monday that goaltenders Brandon Gordon of the Soo Thunderbirds and Artem Bortovskiy of the Hearst Lumberjacks along with forward Max Khull of the Blind River Beavers have been named as its initial Eastlink TV 3 Stars of the week for the 2017-18 season.
BRANDON GORDON, (G) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Gordon was stellar in net for Sault Ste. Marie as the club opened up the campaign with a three-game road trip.
Getting the nod in the Thunderbirds’ season opener at Hearst, Gordon only allowed one goal against and finished with 38 saves in a low-scoring shutout setback against the Lumberjacks.
The 20-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., was even better Sunday afternoon as he kicked out all 26 shots fired his way as the T-Birds slipped past Timmins 1-0.
Now in his third year in the league, Gordon has been one of the top netminders in the 12-team NOJHL posting an impressive 40-16 record with a 2.14 goals-against average and a .913 save mark in that span while recording 10 shutouts in 58 overall appearances.
ARTEM BORTOVSKIY, (G) HEARST LUMBERJACKS – It couldn’t have been a better NOJHL debut for Bortovskiy and the Hearst Lumberjacks Friday as he posted the club’s first win and shutout in their opening league contest.
The 19-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., native turned aside all 30 shots he faced in Hearst’s 2-0 triumph over the Soo Thunderbirds in that outing.
In blanking the T-Birds, it marked Bortovskiy’s initial NOJHL shutout through his first 30 appearances.
One night later he made 36 more stops on 38 attempts in a narrow low-scoring defeat at Timmins in a match-up that was not decided until the late going.
MAX KHULL, (F) BLIND RIVER BEAVERS – In Blind River’s pair of victories over Espanola on the weekend, the soon to be 18-year-old Echo Bay, Ont., product registered four points for the Beavers helping them start the season 2-0 for a second straight year.
Khull opened up with a goal and two assists in his club’s 6-4 triumph at Espanola Friday.
He then followed that up by notching the game-winning marker as Blind River won their home opener vs. the Express Saturday by a 4-1 count.
Through his first 111 NOJHL contests, Khull has 104 points to his credit on 39 tallies and 65 helpers.
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Eastlink TV 3 Stars
Brandon Gordon, (G) Soo Thunderbirds
Artem Bortovskiy, (G) Hearst Lumberjacks
Max Khull, (F) Blind River Beavers