LNAH Kicks Off 18th Season; Cornwall wins in shootout, Mirasty fights in Sorel

lnahThe Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey kicked off its 18th season last night and it started off with a bang. Jonquiere toppled Trois Rivieres 6-5 and Riviere-Du-Loup knocked off Thetford Mines with a 7-4 win but the big stories for the start of the season were shown in the other two games being played on Friday night.

The fans of Sorel-Tracy were in for a huge treat as legendary enforcer Jon Mirasty signed on for the opening game against the newest LNAH addition, the Valleyfield Braves. With just 18 seconds into the first period, Mirasty dropped the mitts with former Cornwall River King, Mario Joly.

42Not one of his better fights but Mirasty gave the much larger Joly a run for his money. However, even with all the fisticuffs Sorel was no match for the upstart Braves. Karl Fournier had an impressive 3 points in the first period en route to a 6-5 victory for Valleyfield.

Of course most people were looking to the Cornwall River Kings and their first regular season game. Amidst all the drama that unfolded the River Kings brass have managed to select a tough yet play making team. Yesterday’s lineup was as follows:

Forward
Bourret – Kavanagh – Chiasson
Corbeil –  Filion –  Faubert
Lessard – Pittarelli – Mazerolle1150223_10201663866259521_1465469022_n

Defence
Cloutier – Caron
Andress – Reid
Sigouin – Barker
Jasper – Sullivan

Goal
Lacasse – Murphy

Clearly we have seen much better improvement and play since the preseason match-ups now that Cornwall has solidified a core. The River Kings and St. Georges played tight and evenly into the shootout where Cornwall’s Alex Bourret came out on top with the game winner. Chris Clouthier dropped the gloves a few times to keep the crowd on its feet.

Looks like it’ll be a tight race between all 8 teams this year for the LNAH. Which is great for us hockey fans; nothing like the good ol’ hockey game in the dead of winter.

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Q&A With Former KHL Enforcer Jon Mirasty

mirasty-yablonski-590x445Jon “Nasty” Mirasty is one player you’d rather have on your team then to be playing against him. In his 10 year professional career which has seen him play all over the globe, he has racked up a total of 2571 penalty minutes.

Case in point: He’s not one to be messed with.

Jon Mirasty is a native of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan and got his start in the WHL. He turned pro in 2003 with the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL and the legend was born. I was intrigued by his style and his brief foray into the MMA world.

March Hockey: You’ve played in numerous leagues but the one I’m most intrigued by is the KHL. How does the game over in Russia compare to that of North America?? Different atmosphere??

Jon Mirasty: Russia was a great experience. The game is a lot different. You play on a bigger ice surface which opens things up. On the physical aspect, guys there shy away from the rough stuff. Instead of booing, fans whistle. You don’t know if they are cheering for you or against you. It was very hard for me because I love to fight, and there I’d get into only 4 or 5 fights a season. All in all, it was a great time!

MH: I’ll ask right off the bat too, who’s the toughest guy you’ve ever fought?

JM: The toughest guy I ever fought is a pretty hard question to ask. I’ve fought so many guys that were very tough in different ways. Memorable guys that stand out to me would be guys like Steve MacIntyre, Derek Boogard, Jeremy Yablonski. I have to admit, Steve Bosse hit pretty hard too! But like I said, all the guys I fought were pretty tough and I respect them for doing one of the harder jobs in the game.

MH: You’ve spent some time in the LNAH. How does that league compare to other ones you’ve played in? Do you think it’s changed since you’ve left?

42JM: I had a great time playing in the LNAH. Obviously the skill level wasn’t on par with the KHL or AHL, but I feel that a lot of people under estimate the league. From what I remember, there were some very good players, along with some very tough men. I love old school hockey but sometimes the fights/brawls got a little carried away. It was a very exciting league where fans got a little bit of everything. I haven’t played there in over 6 years so things may have changed.

MH: Growing up as a kid, who was your biggest influence on your game and why?

JM: A lot of people helped me get to where I got, but the biggest influence would have been my dad, Gary.

MH: Any chance will see you in an MMA ring again?? What was that experience like??

JM: MMA was awesome. I have a lot of respect for those athletes. It is completely different than fighting on skates. I did not prepare properly and was not ready to compete. It takes a lot of devotion and time to train. With my new business adventures, I doubt I’ll have the time to ever attempt to compete again. I will train though.

Jon-Mirasty

MH: If you could play (or fight haha) against anyone, past or present, who would it be and why??

JM: I’ve had great battles against many guys and would look forward to doing it again against any one of them. Let my son put a few years on, and maybe I’ll try him.

LNAH 2013 Draft: Sorel-Tracy HC Carvena

HC_Carvena_de_Sorel-Tracy_2011The team who hosted the draft is up next on our look at the team’s faired.

HC Carvena wasted no time and drafted a player who is well known in LNAH and hockey circles, Jon Mirasty. “Nasty” Mirasty has been with Sorel-Tracy years ago when it was know as the Sorel-Tracy Mission. He then made it to the show with the Columbus Blue Jackets and spent sometime in the AHL with the Peoria Rivermen and Syracuse Crunch before making his way over to the KHL.

Yes. The KHL.

Mirasty was signed by Vityaz Chekhov and played a total of 30 games. He was suspended for 15 of them for things like this:

And this:

Yes, that’s minor for North American standards but I guess they don’t take fighting in the KHL too lightly.

Anyway, HC Carvena did draft a couple other guys, like Danny Masse and Steve Label but…..Mirasty is the only one you should be worried about. I am.