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Sudbury news: NOJHL champions advanced to Centennial Cup

Sudbury news: NOJHL champions advanced to Centennial Cup

After dealing with the stomach flu and the attendant bumps and bruises that come with a run to a championship, the Greater Sudbury Cubs junior ‘A’ hockey team is determined to succeed at the Centennial Cup.

For coach Darryl Moxam, the inability to win it all last year only pushed him and the other coaching staff to raise the bar even higher.

“Mentally they’re ready to go, every time we step on the ice, whatever we throw at them, they’re ready,” Moxam said.

“It’s like they haven’t missed a beat.”

Technology aside, the big question for Moxam and his staff revolves around preparation, when you’re about to play against teams you don’t know much about.

“It’s about us. We will prepare, we have scouting reports, but we have to realize that we can compete with anyone and go there with a lot of confidence,” the coach said.

There is no shortage of confidence from the Cubs after shutting down Blind River and Powassan with a combination of excellent goaltending, defense, pace and scoring.

For goalkeeper Noah Metevier of Sault Ste. Marie, it’s a second chance at a title, one he hopes to make happen with what he calls a “special group of teammates.”

“It’s like family to me, these guys. They’re all my brothers in that room and I know they would go to war and fight for me,” Metevier said.

“And I would do exactly the same for them.”

A newcomer to the team, Hudson Chitaroni, recorded 22 points in 16 playoff games after a huge regular season in which he scored 31 goals.

The Marathon resident, who played hockey at a higher level in the Sault, said winning the NOJHL title was surreal and his teammates are ready for Game 1 against the Collingwood Blues at the national tournament.

“Obviously they’re a really good team…I just want to win, I just want to beat them, just do everything we can to beat them,” Chitaroni said.

The road to the Centennial Cup won’t be easy as they face the Blues, one of the top-ranked teams in Canada, on Friday.

They will then play the winner from Eastern Ontario, the Navan Grads, followed by a match with the champions from Western Canada, the Calgary Canuks, before finally playing College Français de Longueuil from Quebec.