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Blizzard bring back two; add two new faces to fold


With the coaching staff in place, the OCN Blizzard are going about the task of rebuilding their roster and two familiar faces are coming back into the fold to help with that.
Netminder Noah Giesbrecht and forward James Maxwell are coming back to the team according to a statement issued by the club on Saturday. Giesbrecht was the team’s starting netminder for a large portion of last season before being traded to the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. In 35 games for OCN, Giesbrecht was 15-15 with a 3.23 goals against average and a .919 save percentage while adding one shutout. He kept producing at a high level after the trade, going 6-2 in 10 games with the Mustangs with a .912 save percentage and a 2.95 goals against average.
In 13 post-season games, Giesbrecht went 8-5 with a 2.98 goals against average and a .912 save percentage as the Mustangs made the league final before losing in five games to the Battlefords North Stars.
The 20-year-old Giesbrecht is likely to resume as the starter for OCN, with Dorian Laganiere-Labranche, who filled in after Giesbrecht left, now aged out.
Maxwell meanwhile finished as the team’s second leading scorer despite playing just 34 games for the club. He picked up 16 goals, also second on the team, and 31 points in that span before also being traded at the deadline to the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
Maxwell had two goals and 10 points in 15 games after the trade and added two goals in six playoff games for the Blues.
Maxwell, who doesn’t turn 20 until December, will be the top returning scorer for OCN this year.
The team also announced the results of two other trade deadline deals. Tony Apetagon, the teams’ top scorer last year, and blueliner Darren Gisti were also sent to the Blues at the deadline for future considerations and the club announced what those considerations were.
OCN will regain the rights to Gisti and also picked up the rights to a pair of 18-year-old forwards, Jayson Szun and Luke Seremet.
Last year Szun played in 50 games for the Blues, compiling 14 goals and 32 points. Standing 5’10, 155 lbs, it was Szun’s first full season in the league after getting into five games for the Blues in 2017-2018.
Seremet meanwhile managed 46 games for Winnipeg, scoring four goals and eight points. It was also the first full season for the Winnipeg native who stands 5’9, 168 lbs.
OCN figures to have most of last season’s team set to return for 2019-2020 and are looking to build on a rough year last season. Having Giesbrecht and Maxwell back will help. In 2018-2019, OCN was 3-25 in games in which Giesbrecht did not get a decision.

Trent Allen