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NOJHL names its Players of the Month for February

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Friday its respective player, defenceman, goaltender and rookie of the month for February.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – MAX GRIFFIOEN, (F) HEARST LUMBERJACKS: In nine outings during the time frame, Griffioen etched his name on the score sheet in all of them helping Hearst move to the top of the NOJHL East Division standings.

The 19-year-old London, Ont., native scored seven times in February, including potting a pair of game-winners, and dished out 10 assists for the Lumberjacks.

Entering the final week of the NOJHL’s regular season, Griffioen is presently riding a 13-game point streak and sits tied for second in league scoring with 70 points on 29 tallies and 41 assists, which are all personal single-campaign bests for the Hearst forward.

Honourable Mention: Noah Minns, (F) Elliot Lake Wildcats; Will Frustaglio, (F) French River Rapids

Monthly recipients
September: Cade Herd, (F) Powassan Voodoos
October: Derek Seguin, (F) Timmins Rock
November: Nick Smith, (F) Soo Thunderbirds
December: Jake Desando, (F) Hearst Lumberjacks
January: Jake Desando, (F) Hearst Lumberjacks
February: Max Griffioen, (F) Hearst Lumberjacks

DEFENCEMAN OF THE MONTH – BRENDAN BLAIR, (D) SOO EAGLES: Suiting up six contests for the Eagles, Blair registered nine points on four goals, including a game-winner, and five assists.

Hailing from the Missouri town on Fenton, the 19-year-old Sault Ste. Marie captain currently leads his club in offensive production with 42 points in 48 games, including 17 markers.

Heading into a weekend home-and-home with the rival Soo Thunderbirds, Blair is riding a five-game assist and point streak.

In his second year in the NOJHL, he has 101 appearances to his credit and has scored 21 times while assisting on 38 others for the Eagles.

Honourable Mention: Tristan Cicchello, (D) Soo Thunderbirds; Josh Anderson, (D) Timmins Rock

Monthly recipients
September: Steven Bellini, (D) Soo Thunderbirds
October: Steven Bellini, (D) Soo Thunderbirds
November: Alec Johnson, (D) Hearst Lumberjacks
December: Josh Anderson (D) Timmins Rock
January: Alec Johnson, (D) Hearst Lumberjacks
February: Brendan Blair, (D) Soo Eagles

GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH – JOE VRBETIC, (G) POWASSAN VOODOOS: The rookie netminder turned in a solid February going 4-1 for the Voodoos while posting a stingy 1.57 goals-against average along with a .955 save percentage while also registering his first NOJHL shutout.

The 16-year-old from Dunvegan, Ont., has gone 8-1 in his past nine appearances for Powassan and currently leads all league goalkeepers with his overall save mark of .932.

Honourable Mention: Nicholas Tallarico, (G) Hearst Lumberjacks; Colin Ahern, (G) Soo Thunderbirds

Monthly recipients
September: Gregory Brassard, (G) Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
October: Tyler Masternak, (G) Timmins Rock
November: Tyler Masternak, (G) Timmins Rock
December: William Anderson, (G) Soo Thunderbirds
January: Nicholas Tallarico, (G) Hearst Lumberjacks
February: Joe Vrbetic, (G) Powassan Voodoos

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH – HUNTER HALCROW, (D) ESPANOLA EXPRESS: Halcrow was a point-per-game player for Espanola on defence last month.

The 18-year-old blueliner from Thompson, Man., tallied three times for the Express in February and went on to dole out five assists in eight outings for his club.

In this his first year in the NOJHL, Halcrow sits third in league numbers among rookie defencemen with 22 points on six markers and 16 helpers.

He is also currently on a season-high four-game point streak.

Honourable Mention: Noah Minns, (F) Elliot Lake Wildcats; Gabinien Kioki, (F) Powassan Voodoos

Monthly recipients
September: Justin Mauro, (F) Blind River Beavers
October: Philippe Daoust, (F) French River Rapids
November: Philippe Daoust, (F) French River Rapids
December: Noah Minns, (F) Elliot Lake Wildcats
January: Noah Minns, (F) Elliot Lake Wildcats
February: Hunter Halcrow, (D) Espanola Express