CJHL Down to 39 teams in the Quest for the 2017 RBC Cup

They are down to the final four teams within each of the 10-member leagues that comprise the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

Those 40 clubs all still have visions of hoisting their respective league championship trophies at the end of their playoffs as well as winning the RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship this May in Cobourg, Ont.

Some of the favourites across the country have held serve to date and look to continue their postseason success while a number of upsets across the CJHL have also taken place.

Here’s a coast-to-coast breakdown on each of the 10 leagues and 40 squads that are still competing: (All start times local)

BCHL Fred Page Cup Playoffs
One BCHL semifinal features the Chilliwack Chiefs, who bounced the league’s regular season winner, the Wenatchee Wild, in four games in quarter-final play, taking on the Victoria Grizzlies.

The other match-up has the Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup-host Penticton Vees going up against long-time rival, the Vernon Vipers.

Both best-of-seven series will commence Friday.

Of the four remaining teams, Jordan Kawaguchi (Chilliwack Chiefs) paces the BCHL in offensive numbers.

The University of North Dakota (NCHC) commit has registered 15 points in 10 outings on seven tallies and eight helpers.

Next is Cole Pickup (Victoria Grizzlies) among clubs still in contention as he’s picked up 14 points in 12 contests by scoring five and helping set-up nine others.

Matthew Galajda (Victoria Grizzlies) is tied with Mark Sinclair (Chilliwack Chiefs) among BCHL netminders in playoff victories with eight apiece.

Galajda also leads the way in both goals-against average and save percentage as well as 1.85 and .943.

Darion Hanson (Vernon Vipers) is next in average at 1.97 and is tied with Sinclair for second in save percentage at .927.

As the hosts of the 2017 Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup, Penticton will welcome the champions of the BCHL, AJHL, SJHL and MJHL to the South Okanagen Events Centre April 29 through May 7.

Should the Vees ultimately prevail as BCHL Fred Page Cup champions then the league finalist will also advance to the nine-day event.

Two berths to the RBC Cup will be on the line there.

Victoria Grizzlies vs. Chilliwack Chiefs
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31@ Chilliwack 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Chilliwack 7 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 4 @ Victoria 7 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 5 @ Victoria 7 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Chilliwack 7 p.m.
Game 6*: Saturday, April 8 @ Victoria 7 p.m.
Game 7*: Monday, April 10 @ Chilliwack 7 p.m.
* if necessary

Vernon Vipers vs. Penticton Vees
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Penticton7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Penticton 6 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, April 3 @ Vernon 7 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4 @ Vernon 7 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Penticton 7 p.m.
Game 6*: Saturday, April 8 @ Vernon 7 p.m.
Game 7*: Monday, April 10 @ Penticton7 p.m.
* if necessary

AJHL Gas Drive Cup Playoffs
Postseason play in the AJHL has pretty much stayed on course heading into that league’s final four.

Both the top seeds in the respective Viterra Divisions are though with the top seeded Brooks Bandits set to meet the Okotoks Oilers, who finished tied for second in the AJHL South in one match-up while the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, the first place side in the AJHL North, ready to tangle with the Whitecourt Wolverines, who finished second in the division.

Joseph Nardi (Whitecourt Wolverones) currently leads in AJHL playoff scoring with 16 points, including a dozen assists, in 10 games played.

Justin Young (Whitecourt Wolverines) and Parker Foo (Brooks Bandits) sit second and third in league postseason production with 13 and 11 points respectively.

Okotoks Oilers netminder Riley Morris is a perfect 7-0 to begin the playoffs and sports a stingy 0.80 goals-against average along with an impressive .971 save percentage.

Mitchel Benson (Brooks Bandits) meanwhile is 4-0 with a 0.75 GAA and a .966 save mark.

Okotoks Oilers vs. Brooks Bandits
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Brooks 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Brooks 7 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, April 3 @ Okotoks 7 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4 @ Okotoks 7 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Brooks 7 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 9 @ Okotoks 7 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Brooks 7 p.m.
* if necessary

Whitecourt Wolverines vs. Fort McMurray Oil Barons
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Fort McMurray 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Fort McMurray 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, April 3 @ Whitecourt 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4 @ Whitecourt 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Fort McMurray 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 9 @ Whitecourt 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Fort McMurray 7:30 p.m.
*-if necessary

SJHL Canalta Cup Playoffs
Each of the top four clubs throughout the regular season in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is still in the hunt for the Canalta Cup.

The regular season title holders, the Battlefords North Stars, are ready go up against the Viterra Division-winning Estevan Bruins in one SJHL semifinal while the rival Flin Flon Bombers and Nipawin Hawks, who both had 83 points to pace the Sherwood Division will renew acquaintances in the other semifinal.

Coby Downs (Battlefords North Stars) leads SJHL scorers in the playoffs, among those teams still alive, with a point-per-game. He has nine is as many outings on nine assists in just four outings. Teammate Layne Young is next with seven points.

The remaining clubs sees Kristian Stead (Nipawin Hawks) having gone 4-0 with a 1.75 average and a solid .947 save percentage. Flin Flon’s Zac Robidoux (1.85GAA – .917SV%) and Battlefords’ Taryn Kotchorek (2.00GAA – .926SV%) are also both 4-0 to date.

Estevan Bruins vs. Battlefords North Stars
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Battlefords 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Battlefords 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, April 3 @ Estevan 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4 @ Estevan 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Thursday, April 6 @ Battlefords 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Saturday, April 8 @ Estevan 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Monday, April 10 @ Battlefords 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

Nipawin Hawks vs. Flin Flon Bombers
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Flin Flon 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Nipawin 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, Apr 4 @ Flin Flon 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 5 @ Nipawin 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Flin Flon 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 9 @ Nipawin 6 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Flin Flon 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

MJHL Turnbull Trophy Playoffs
They are nicely into the semifinal stage in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League with the two lower seeds in each series currently holding the upper hand.

The No. 5 Portage Terriers, the two-time defending Turnbull Trophy MJHL champions, are presently leading the regular season winner and No. 1 seeded Steinbach Pistons 2-1 through three games, which featured a triple overtime thriller won by the Terriers in Game 2.

Action in the other semifinal has the No. 4 OCN Blizzard on the verge of a berth in the MJHL final as they lead the No. 2 Winkler Flyers 3-0 with a chance to close out the series tonight at home.

There is a three-way tie for the league lead in playoff numbers at the moment.

OCN defenceman Brady Keeper, who will be off to play NCAA D-I hockey at the University of Maine (Hockey East) on scholarship, has 10 points through eight games.

Jeremey Leipsic (Portage Terriers) and Josh Martin (Portage Terriers) also have 10 points, with the trio all scoring three times and assisting on seven others to date.

Brett Epp (OCN Blizzard) is a stellar 7-1 in the playoffs and tops the MJHL in average (1.48) and save percentage (.952).

Portage Terriers vs. Steinbach Pistons
Portage leads best-of-seven series 2-1
Game 1: Steinbach 5 Portage 4
Game 2: Portage 4 Steinbach 3 (3OT)
Game 3: Portage 3 Steinbach 2
Game 4: Friday, March 31 @ Portage 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: Sunday, April 2 @ Steinbach 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Tuesday, April 4 @ Portage 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 5 @ Steinbach 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

OCN Blizzard vs. Winkler Flyers
OCN wins series 4-0
Game 1: OCN 2 Winkler 0
Game 2: OCN 3 Winkler 2 (OT)
Game 3: OCN 3 Winkler 1
Game 4: Winkler 2 OCN 6

SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup Playoffs
One SIJHL semifinal began Wednesday evening with the No. 1 seeded Dryden GM Ice Dogs defeating the No. 5 and three-time reigning Bill Salonen Cup champion Fort Frances Lakers 6-4 in the series opener.

The No. 2 Thunder Bay North Stars and No. 3 English River Miners will square off in the other SIJHL semifinal, beginning Saturday.

Dylan Kooner, Jared Virtanen, Matt Tustin and Maverick Lynes of Fort Frances lead in points among the four remaining teams.

With just one playoff game under their belt, Dryden did possess the top three scorers in the regular season led by SIJHL most valuable player Braeden Allkins, who finished second in the 132-team CJHL in goals with 53.

Fort Frances Lakers vs. Dryden GM Ice Dogs
Dryden leads best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1: Dryden 6 Fort Frances 4
Game 2: Dryden 7 Fort Frances 1
Game 3: Saturday, April 1 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4 @ Fort Frances 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 10 @ Fort Frances
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 12 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

English River Miners vs. Thunder Bay North Stars
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Saturday, April 1 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 2 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5 @ English River 7:30 p.m.
Game 4*: Thursday, April 6 @ English River 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 8 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 10 @ English River 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 12 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

NOJHL Copeland – McNamara Cup Trophy Playoffs
The NOJHL’s two divisional semifinal series will commence Friday. One will feature the top seeded Powassan Voodoos tangling with the Timmins Rock in the East final while a pair of upstarts in the Blind River Beavers and Soo Eagles will face-off in the other.

Powassan won it’s first-ever NOJHL regular season title and swept the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in quarter-final play while Timmins upended the Cochrane Crunch in six games. Meanwhile Blind River continued their turn-around season by edging the Rayside-Balfour Canadians in a thrilling seven-game series and the Eagles shocked the two-time defending champion Soo Thunderbirds by sweeping their cross-border rivals.

Off the four clubs still competing, Yianni Liarakos (Blind River Beavers) is the top point producer with 13 in seven games, including seven goals. Bain Cunningham (Timmins Rock) is next with 12 on three markers and nine helpers.

Myles Hektor (Blind River Beavers) leads in average at 2.15 and save percentage at .950 while Kade Phipps is tops in wins with six. NOJHL MVP Nate McDonald (Powassan Voodoos) is a perfect 4-0 to date and sports a GAA of 2.50 and a save mark of .912.

Timmins Rock vs. Powassan Voodoos
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Powassan 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Powassan 7 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 4 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 5 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Powassan 7 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 9 @ Timmins 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 12 @ Powassan 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

Soo Eagles vs. Blind River Beavers
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 2 @ Blind River 6:30 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5 @ Soo Eagles 7 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, April 7 @ Soo Eagles 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 8 @ Blind River
Game 6*: Monday, April 10 @ Soo Eagles 7 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 12 @ Blind River 7:30 p.m.
*-if necessary

OJHL Buckland Trophy Playoffs
OJHL semifinal action began Wednesday evening with the regular season-winning Georgetown Raiders edging the Oakville Blades 5-4 in the opening match-up of their best-of-seven South-West Conference final.

The other league set begins Friday as the Trenton Golden Hawks entertain the Cobourg Cougars to begin the North-East series.

Regardless of the outcome of the Trenton – Cobourg match-up, both teams know their seasons are not over just yet.

That’s because the Golden Hawks will be hosting the Dudley-Hewitt Cup May 2-6 and the Cougars will be serving as the host side for the RBC Cup May 13-21.

Among the four teams still competing, Liam Morgan (Trenton Golden Hawks) leads the way offensively with 15 points on six goals and nine assists. He is followed by Ryan Ross (Oakville Blades) and Josh Dickinson (Georgetown Raiders) with 13 each.

Chris Janzen (Trenton Golden Hawks) is 8-2 with an OJHL-best 1.27 GAA and .953 SV%. Next is Nicholas Latinovich (Georgetown Raiders) at 1.36 and .935. Teammate and league top goalie award winner Josh Astorio has a 2.11 average and a .922 save mark.

Oakville Blades vs. Georgetown Raiders
Georgetown leads best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Georgetown 5 Oakville 4
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Georgetown 8 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, April 3 @ Oakville 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 4 @ Oakville 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Thursday, April 6 @ Georgetown 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Saturday, April 8 @ Oakville 8 p.m.
Game 7*: Monday, April 10 @ Georgetown 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

Cobourg Cougars vs. Trenton Golden Hawks
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Trenton 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Monday, April 3 @ Cobourg 7 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 4 @ Trenton 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, April 6 @ Cobourg 7 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Trenton 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 10 @ Cobourg 7 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Trenton 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

CCHL Bogart Cup Playoffs
Having won three consecutive CCHL Bogart Cup titles, the Carleton Place Canadians are in pursuit of a fourth.

Finishing first overall in the regular season, CPC begins their best-of-seven semifinal at home Friday vs. the Kemptville 73’s.

The winner there will tangle with the survivor of the Cornwall Colts – Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators series.

CCHL scoring has Kemptville’s Adam Alavi pacing the pack with nine points in six games, including four markers.

A six-way tie for second in points with eight features the likes of Victor Tracy (Kemptville 73’s), Connor Merkley (Carleton Place Canadians), Nick Lalonde (Cornwall Colts), Bobby Dow (Kemptville 73’s) and Andrew Dodson (Carleton Place Canadians).

Ian Andriano (Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators) leads all CCHL netminders in playoff average and save percentage at 1.26 and .954.

Also among those still playing, there’s Liam Lascelle (Cornwall Colts) next in GAA at 2.19 followed by Connor Hughes (Carleton Place Canadians) at 2.21. All three goaltenders are 4-1 in postseason play in 2017 to date.

Kemptville 73’s vs. Carleton Place Canadians
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Carleton Place 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 2 @ Kemptville 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5 @ Carleton Place 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, April 6 @ Kemptville 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 8 @ Carleton Place 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 9 @ Kemptville 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Carleton Place 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators vs. Cornwall Colts
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators 5 Cornwall Colts 1
Game 2: Saturday, April 1 @ Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 4 @ Cornwall 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 5 @ Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Cornwall 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Saturday, April 8 @ Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Cornwall 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

LHJAAAQ Coupe NAPA Playoffs
The last four clubs in the LHJAAAQ features front-running Collège Français de Longueuil and the Fred Page Cup host Cobras de Terrebonne. They are joined by the Arctic de Saint-Léonard and the Inouk de Granby.

Terrebone and Granby kick-off their best-of-seven semifinal tonight while Longueuil and Saint-Léonard commence competition Friday.

Joël Caron (Inouk de Granby) leads the league in scoring among those players still active in the postseason with 16 points in just six contests on five goals and 11 assists.

Next is Vincent Lavoie (Cobras de Terrebonne) with 15, including seven tallies.

Stefano Cantali (Collège Français de Longueuil) is a perfect 4-0 in the playoffs so far. The silver medal- winning netminder for Canada East at the World Jr. A Challenge is first in goals-against average at 1.56 as well as save percentage at .938.

Arctic de Saint-Léonard vs. Collège Français de Longueuil
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, March 31 @ Collège Français de Longueuil 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 2 @ St-Léonard 4 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 4 @ Collège Français de Longueuil 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 5 @ St-Léonard 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 7 @ Collège Français de Longueuil 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 9 @ St-Léonard 4 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Collège Français de Longueuil 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

Inouk de Granby vs. Cobras de Terrebonne
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Inouk de Granby 2 Cobras de Terrebonne 3
Game 2: Friday, March 31 @ Granby 7:45 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 4 @ Terrebonne 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, April 6 @ Granby 7:45 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 8 @ Terrebonne 3 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 9 @ Granby 4 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Terrebonne 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

MHL Championship Playoffs
An upset in the Eastlink South Division semifinal saw the Amherst Ramblers knock off the defending MHL champion and 2016-17 regular season titleist Pictou County Weeks Crushers in overtime of Game 7.

This means Amherst moves on to meet the Truro Bearcats in the South final while the Miramichi Timberwolves will square off against the Summerside Western Capitals in the North match-up.

Helping the Ramblers in their series win over Pictou County was the trio of Jordan King, Matt Lapointe and Julian Makary. King has 13 points so far with eight goals, featuring the Game 7 winner in OT while Lapointe and Makary are knotted with 11 points apiece.

Michael Botiz (Miramichi Timberwolves) leads the way in average at 1.33 followed by Matt Williams (Summerside Western Capitals) at 1.63.

Williams paces the MHL in save percentage at .951 with Botiz close by at .949.

Summerside Western Capitals vs. Miramichi Timberwolves
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Saturday, April 1 @ Miramichi 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Monday, April 3 @ Summerside 7 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5 @ Miramichi 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, April 7 @ Summerside 7 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 8 @ Miramichi 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 10 @ Summerside 7 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 12 @ Miramichi 7:30 p.m.
* if necessary

Amherst Ramblers vs. Truro Bearcats
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Saturday, April 1 @ Truro 7 p.m.
Game 2: Monday, April 3 @ Amherst 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 5 @ Truro 7 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday, April 8 @ Amherst 7 p.m.
Game 5*: Monday, April 10 @ Truro 7 p.m.
Game 6*: Tuesday, April 11 @ Amherst 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Thursday, April 13 @ Truro 7 p.m.
* if necessary

CJHL Regional Championships
Fred Page Cup
May 3th – 7th
Terrebonne, Quebec
Host team
Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ)
Other competing teams
LHJAAQ champion or finalist
MHL champion
CCHL champion

Dudley Hewitt Cup
May 2nd – 6th
Trenton, Ontario
Host team
Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL)
Other competing teams
NOJHL champion
SIJHL champion

Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup
April 29th – May 7th
Penticton, British Columbia
Host team
Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Other competing teams
BCHL champion or finalist
AJHL champion
SJHL champion
MJHL champion

RBC Cup
May 13th – 21st
Cobourg, Ontario
Host team
Cobourg Cougars (OJHL)
Other competing teams
Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion or finalist
Fred Page Cup champion
Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup champion
Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup runner-up

Source: CJHL

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