Sault Ste Marie, Ontario native Justin Mauro was selected to represent the Great North Midget League’s (GNML) Soo AAA Minor Midget Thunderbirds at the 2018 OHL Cup in Toronto, Ontario from March 13th – 19th as a member of Team NOHA (Northern Ontario Hockey Association). The 2018 OHL Cup will feature the top 20 Minor Midget AAA teams from Ontario and the United States.
The 5’5” and 135 lbs forward played 21 regular GNML season games with the Thunderbirds in 2017 -2018. As a 15 year old, the Sault Ste Marie, Ontario scored nine goals and added seven assists for the AAA Minor Midgets in 2017 – 2018 along with tallying of eight minutes in penalties for the Thunderbirds.
Thunderbird coach Jamie Henderson said that “first a much deserved congratulations to Justin Mauro and his family on his selection to team NOHA. Justin has really developed his game this year and is a much more rounded player. We are thrilled for Justin.”
“Unfortunately, Justin was the only member of the team selected. Often times these selections are based on team success and while our group battled all season there is much work ahead to continue the development to become more competitive with the other teams. As a staff we take much of that responsibility upon ourselves and we failed no matter how much effort we gave and that falls on our shoulders and specifically mine as coach. Certainly we feel that a couple more of our players are deserving however we take nothing away from the players selected and wish them great success at the OHL cup. There are some great talented players in the north and we hope they represent themselves and our communities with passion and class. We know it is very tough to assemble a team of 19 players and not everyone will be happy in the end and we respect the process. For those players both on our team and other teams who feel the disappointment we share it with you and ask that you use it to fuel your desire to improve even more every day and every opportunity you have. There will be many other opportunities down the road for players who want it bad enough.”
The Soo AAA Minor Midget Thunderbirds will join the Thunder Bay Kings, North Bay Trappers and Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves in just over two weeks at the Northern Ontario minor midget championship here in Sault Ste Marie from March 2nd to March 4th.