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NOJHL names its Players of the Month for January

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

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – JAKE DESANDO, (F) HEARST LUMBERJACKS: Desando garners monthly laurels for a second straight occasion after racking up 20 points in 10 games during the time frame.

In all, the 19-year-old from London, Ont., tallied nine times and doled out 11 assists in January helping Hearst finish off with eight consecutive victories.

Among his efforts was a game-winning goal, assisting on three more difference makers and a half dozen multi-point affairs.

Currently riding a six-game point streak, Desando leads all NOJHL skaters in offensive production with 63 points on 26 goals and 37 assists.

Honourable Mention: Noah Boman, (F) Soo Thunderbirds; Eric Conley, (F) Elliot Lake Wildcats

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

DEFENCEMAN OF THE MONTH – ALEC JOHNSON, (D) HEARST LUMBERJACKS: Another solid month on both ends of the ice helped Johnson earn D-man accolades for January.

Suiting up in 10 contests, the 19-year-old Maple Grove, Minn., native scored three goals, including a game-winner, and collected 12 assists for 15 points for the Lumberjacks. He also notched a deciding effort in a shootout triumph.

Johnson registered six multi-point outings as well to complete the opening month of 2019.

Having also claimed league top defenceman honours in November, the Hearst blueliner enters February sitting second in league scoring among NOJHL rearguards with 37 points on 11 markers and 26 helpers.

Honourable Mention: Brendan Blair, (D) Soo Eagles; Steven Bellini, (D) Soo Thunderbirds

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

GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH – NICHOLAS TALLARICO, (G) HEARST LUMBERJACKS: Helping backstop Hearst’s solid January was netminder Tallarico.

After a setback to begin 2019, the veteran goalkeeper, who is in his last season of Jr. A hockey, reeled off six consecutive victories while only allowing eight goals against in that span.

In total, Tallarico sported a 1.82 goals-against average during the month along with a .934 save percentage and one shutout.

He presently sits third in the league in wins, with 19, and is in the Top 6 in average, save mark and shutouts at 2.54, .920 and two respectively.

Honourable Mention: Shane Brancato, (G) Soo Eagles; William Anderson, (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

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH – NOAH MINNS, (F) ELLIOT LAKE WILDCATS: Repeating as the NOJHL’s monthly rookie honouree is Elliot Lake’s first-year forward Noah Minns.

Hailing from Baxter, Ont., the 18-year-old dressed in seven contests for the Wildcats in January and collected points in each of them as he notched six goals, with a game-winner, and added seven assists for a 13-point-run. He also picked a deciding effort in a shootout victory.

Minns hits February on a nine-game point streak and has also etched his name on the score sheet in 11 of his past 12 outings.

His contributions for Elliot Lake see him tied for the lead in NOJHL scoring among rookies with 42 points while notching 15 tallies and helping set-up 27 others.

Honourable Mention: Riley Jensen, (F) Soo Eagles; Giordano Biondi, (F) Rayside-Balfour Canadians

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