Hepler, Holt, Castagna & Ryckman Named January’s NOJHL Players of the Month

The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Thursday February 4th its respective Gongshow Gear Inc., player, defenceman, goaltender and rookie of the month for January.

Gongshow Gear Player of the Month – Cole Hepler (F) Elliot Lake Wildcats: January was an impressive month for Hepler as the 20-year-old Sarver, Pennsylvania, product recorded points in each of the nine games he suited up in for the Wildcats.

Hepler scored 10 times and doled out nine assists in the span for Elliot Lake helping them go 6-2-0-1. He also supplied one game-winning goal.

He is also riding a current NOJHL-high 18-game point streak having amassed 22 tallies and 19 helpers for 41 points.

Hepler is presently pacing the Wildcats in offensive production with 57 points on 29 goals and 28 assists.

Honourable Mention: Logan Fredericks, (F) Kirkland Lake Gold Miners; Jordan Rendle, (F) Timmins Rock

Previous recipients
September: Hunter Atchison, (F) Cochrane Crunch
October: Tyler Peters, (F) Powassan Voodoos
November: Ryan Erickson, (F) Rayside-Balfour Canadians
December: Matthew Caruso, (F) Soo Thunderbirds

Gongshow Gear Defenceman of the Month – Andrew Castagna, Timmins Rock: Hailing from North Vancouver, British Columbia, the 19-year-old Castagna averaged just over a point-per-game for the Rock while also bolstering the Rock’s back-end.

In nine outings Castagna scored six times, which included a pair of game-winning markers, and added four assists for a 10-point month.

He nearly doubled his overall point total in January as well raising his season totals to 23 on nine goals and 14 helpers.

Honourable Mention: Nathan Campbell, Elliot Lake Wildcats; Dylan Holt, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

Previous recipients
September: Nicky Grose, Powassan Voodoos
October: Kyle Fransen, Rayside-Balfour Canadians
November: Caleb Boman, Soo Thunderbirds
December: Blake Anderson, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

Gongshow Gear Goaltender of the Month – Connor Ryckman, Soo Thunderbirds: Ryckman’s first month in the NOJHL saw him help the league-leading Thunderbirds register 11 of a possible 12 points in the standings.

After an overtime setback in Kirkland Lake back on January 9th, Ryckman reeled off five consecutive victories, including his initial league shutout.

January saw the 19-year-old from Minesing, Ontario, post a 1.97 goals-against average along with a .911 save percentage.

Honourable Mention: Aaron Mackay, Elliot Lake Wildcats; Victor-Olivier Courchesne, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners

Previous recipients
September: Brett Young, Cochrane Crunch
October: Nathan Warren, Soo Thunderbirds
November: Tyler Mazzocato, Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
December: Mario Culina, Soo Thunderbirds

Gongshow Gear Rookie of the Month – Dylan Holt (D) Kirkland Lake Gold Miners: The 18-year-old Andover, Minnesota, native produced on both ends of the ice for Kirkland Lake helping the Gold Miners go 8-1-0-0 in January.

Holt skated in all nine games for Kirkland Lake last month and averaged a point-per-game.

He tallied twice and set-up seven others for nine points while also playing strong defensively for the Gold Miners.

Since joining the team in early November, Holt has three goals and supplied 18 assists in 25 outings.

Honourable Mention: Bain Cunningham, (F) Timmins Rock; Stuart Harley, (D) Iroquois Falls Eskis

Previous recipients
September: Darian Pilon, (F) Soo Thunderbirds
October: Jeran Knorr, (F) Cochrane Crunch
November: Bradley Chenier, (F) Rayside-Balfour Canadians
December: Bain Cunningham, (F) Timmins Rock

Source: NOJHL

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