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The Greater Metro Jr. A Hockey League

Road to the Russell Cup: Bradford Rattlers

 March 20th, 2024 at 12:37AM  March 20th, 2024 5:39AM

Last year was a dream scenario for the Bradford Rattlers, they had a team full of players bought in to the goal of winning a championship and achieved that by winning the National Championship in Temiscaming.


No one would have blamed the Rattlers if they came off a season where they advanced 6 of their players to Professional, College, or Major Junior teams if they took a step back to restock the cupboard.


They took no such step back.


For the second season in a row the Rattlers were the GMHL regular season champions and have won the North Division Championship on the back of a dominant regular season and playoff run to the tune of a 38-3-1 record, and a perfect 7-0 record in the playoffs.


Backstopping the Rattlers all year-long was the duo of North Division Goalie of the Year Maxim Ivanov and his partner and Runner-Up for the Award Oliver Balazs. The duo were 3rd and 1st in the division in wins with 13 and 19 respectively and left opposing teams frustrated and struggling to find the back of the net. Offensively, the Rattlers were led by division MVP Blake Anderson, Forward of the Year Runner-Up Blake Keller, and Best Defensive forward Runner-Up Arvid Malm who all had 80 points or more, with Anderson leading the way with 101 points and a league leading 51 Goals. Meanwhile Marat Nugumanov who was 16 for most of the season, scored 13 Goals with 22 Assists in his rookie year to take home league honors in that category as well. On the backend the team was led by veterans Richard Kucsma, who was the divisions choice for top blue liner, as well as veteran Rattlers Tyler Baxter and Pavel Rozhkov.


Since Bradford finished first, that meant they skipped the GMHL North Division quarterfinals and headed straight to the semis, where it downed the Temiscaming Titans in three straight games — scoring seven goals in Games 1 and 3. It then faced the West Nipissing Lynx for the North Division Championship.


The Rattlers once again made quick work of their opponent outscoring the Lynx 29-7 in the four-game set as they swept their win into the GMHL Championship series.


The Rattlers look to become the first team to go back-to-back since 2013, will they end their season the same way they did last year, hosting the cup? Tune in to find out.





North Division Playoffs

1st Round: Bye

North Division Semi-Finals: defeated Temiscaming Titans 3-0 (7-0, 6-2, 7-2)

North Division Finals: defeated West Nipissing 4-0 (10-3, 7-1, 4-2, 8-1)

Player Information:

Average Age: 18.64 Years (2nd youngest out of 15 teams in the GMHL)

Average Height: 182.97cm (2nd tallest out of 15 teams in the GMHL)

Average Weight: 174 Lbs (6th lightest out of 15 teams in GMHL)

Regular Season:

Record (W-L-OTL): 38-3-1 (1st in North Division, 1st in GMHL)

Goals for: 294 (1st in North Division, 1st in GMHL)

Goals against: 101 (1st in North Division, 1st in GMHL)

Power play: 57 out of 198 (28.8%, 1st in North Division, 1st in GMHL)

Penalty killing: 218 of 252 (86.5%, 2nd in North Division, 6th in GMHL)

Longest winning streak: 14 (Nov 30th to Jan 26th)

Top 3 scorers:

• Blake Anderson – 51G 50A 101P (2nd in North Divison, 3rd in GMHL and Leading goal scorer in GMHL)

• Blake Keller – 36G 55A 91P (5th in North Division and 6th in GMHL)

• Arvid Malm – 30G 50A 80P (7th in North Division and 9th in GMHL)


Award Winners:

GMHL North Division MVP Blake Anderson

GMHL North Division Defenseman of the Year Richard Kucsma

GMHL North Division Goalie of the Year Maxim Ivanov

GMHL North Division Rookie of the Year Marat Nugumanov

GMHL North Division Goalie of the Year Runner-Up Oliver Balazs

GMHL North Division Rookie of the Year Runner-Up Artyom Borisov

GMHL North Division Coach of the Year Runner-Up David Mooney

GMHL North Division Forward of the Year Runner-Up Blake Keller




Record: 7-0

Goals for: 49

Goals against: 11

Top 3 scorers:

• Isac Karlsson – 4G 16A 20P

• Arvid Malm– 8G 8A 16P

• Blake Keller – 5G 8A 13P




Sixth Appearance (Previously in 2023, 2014, 2013, 2008 and 2007)

Four Russell Cup Championships (2023, 2013, 2008, 2007)



GMHL Power Rankings


November – 2nd

December – 2nd

January – 1st

February – 1st

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