Finalists Now Set for all 10 CJHL Leagues for 2017

They are now down to the finalists in each of the 10-member leagues that comprise the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

Those 20 clubs, along with host Cobourg Cougars, remain in contention to win the 2017 RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship, which goes May 13th – 21st, at the Cobourg Community Centre.

Here’s a run-down of the each of the respective 10 CJHL league finals: (All start times local)

BCHL Fred Page Cup
The Chilliwack Chiefs and Penticton Vees will commence the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup finals April 14th in Chilliwack.

The Chiefs have gone a solid 12-4 in postseason play to date after recording series wins over the Langley Rivermen, the regular season champion Wenatchee Wild and the Victoria Grizzlies.

After a first-round bye, the Vees went the distance in each of their first two playoff rounds coming out on top in seven exciting games against both the Merritt Centennials and Vernon Vipers.

Jordan Kawaguchi of Chilliwack has been impressive for Chilliwack offensively, leading the BCHL point parade with 28 as the University of North Dakota commit has notched a BCHL-best 12 goals and 16 assists.

Teammate Kohen Olischefski is tied for third in league postseason numbers with Penticton’s Nicholas Jones with 17 points apiece.

Olischefski, who will attend school and play NCAA hockey at the University of Denver, has scored eight times and helped set-up nine others while Jones, will join Kawaguchi at North Dakota, has seven tallies and 10 helpers to his credit.

Pacing their respective clubs in net are Chilliwack’s Mark Sinclair and the Vees’ Mathew Robson.

Sinclair, who previously committed to Alabama-Huntsville, leads the BCHL in playoff wins with 12 and is second in goals-against average at 2.02 and fifth in save percentage at .927.

Robson meanwhile will attend the University of Minnesota and sports the fifth-lowest average at 2.22 along with a .921 save mark, which puts him sixth in the league in that department.

As the Vees are also hosting the Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup, April 29 through May 7, then both BCHL finalists will compete in that event regardless of the outcome of the league championship.

As the hosts of the 2017 Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup, Penticton as well as Chilliwack will welcome the champions of the AJHL, SJHL and MJHL to the South Okanagan Events Centre for nine-day event.

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

Chilliwack Chiefs vs. Penticton Vees
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, April 14 @ Chilliwack 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 15 @Chilliwack 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 18 @ Penticton 7:00 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 19 @ Penticton 7:00 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 22 @ Chilliwack 7:00 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 24 @ Penticton 7:00 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 25 @ Chilliwack 7:00 p.m.
*if necessary

AJHL Gas Drive Cup
The AJHL’s Gas Drive Cup league championship series will feature the No. 1 seeded Brooks Bandits taking on the No. 3 overall Whitecourt Wolverines. Brooks has gone an impressive 8-1 to date in the playoffs. They swept the Olds Grizzlys in division semifinal play before knocking off the Okotoks Oilers in five outings.

Whitecourt meanwhile started off with a three-game sweep of the Grand Prairie Storm before needing a full seven to prevail over the Spruce Grove Saints prior to upending the North Division regular season-winning Fort McMurray Oil Barons in six to advance.

Both clubs are also dominating AJHL player scoring as the top 13 point getters either skate for the Bandits or Wolverines. The Whitecourt duo of Justin Young and Joseph Nardi lead the way with 21 points apiece. Young has notched a league-high 13 goals, while Nardi is tops in assists with 15.

Set to attend Colgate on scholarship, Josh McKechney leads Brooks offensively with 19 points, including a half dozen tallies. He is followed by Spencer Foo, as the Union College D-I commit, has supplied 17 playoff points on nine markers and eight helpers.

Netminder Mitchel Benson of the Bandits boasts a solid 8-1 postseason record in 2017 heading into the AJHL final and leads the league in both goals-against average and save percentage at 1.31 and .946 respectively. His three shutouts are also tops.

Backstopping the Wolverines fortunes is Pierce Diamond. His 11 victories lead the league and he sits fourth overall in average at 2.13 as well in save percentage at .913, among those who have seen a minimum of 300 minutes of playing time.

Brooks Bandits vs. Whitecourt Wolverines
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, April 14 @ Brooks 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 15 @ Brooks 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: Monday, April 17 @ Whitecourt 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 18 @ Whitecourt 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 21 @ Brooks 7:00 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 23 @ Whitecourt 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 25 @ Brooks 7:00 p.m.
*if necessary

SJHL Canalta Cup
First overall Battlefords North Stars will take on the Flin Flon Bombers for the Canalta Cup.

Battlefords has yet to lose in the SJHL playoffs going a perfect 8-0 so far heading into Game 1 vs. Flin Flon on April 14th.

The North Stars swept both the Weyburn Red Wings and Estevan Bruins to book their finals berth while the Bombers stopped the Notre Dame in five games before rallying from a 3-1 deficit to knock off the Nipawin Hawks in a seven-game set.

Coby Downs and Layne Young of Battlefords are one-two in playoff scoring with 20 and 18 points respectively. Downs has tallied twice and doled out 18 assists while Young has six goals and 12 helpers. Greyson Reitmeier and D-man Eric Sinclair lead Flin Flon in scoring with a dozen points each while Rylee Zimmer is right behind them with 11.

Brenden Newton came on to start the last three games for the Bombers and won them all to lead their rally over the Hawks. He has a 1.14 playoff average and a .965 save mark. Taryn Kotchorek is 6-0 for the North Stars with a 2.36 AVG. and a .907 SV%.

Battlefords North Stars vs. Flin Flon Bombers
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, April 14 @ Battlefords 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 15 @ Battlefords 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 18 @ Flin Flon 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, April 19 @ Flin Flon 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Friday, April 21 @ Battlefords 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 23 @ Flin Flon 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Tuesday, April 25 @ Battlefords 7:30 p.m.
*if necessary

MJHL Turnbull Cup
The OCN Blizzard have been mighty impressive in the MJHL playoffs so far.

OCN began the postseason by defeating the Winnipeg Blues in five games in quarter-final play before sweeping the Winkler Flyers in four outings in semifinal action. The Blizzard also took the first two contests of the Turnbull Trophy league championship series against the defending champion Portage Terriers to improve to 7-0 on home ice and 10-1 overall.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven MJHL final goes tonight in Portage la Prairie.

OCN standout defenceman Brady Keeper leads OCN in playoff scoring and shares to spot overall in the league with Jeremey Leipsic of Portage, who also led the MJHL in offensive production with an impressive 100 points.

Keeper, who has committed to attend the University of Maine on scholarship, and Leipsic both have scored four times and assisted on 10 others heading into Game 3 this evening. Elie Tristan of the Blizzard and Chase Brakel of the Terriers are next in scoring with 13 points each.

OCN’s Brett Epp has been stellar between the pipes and leads all MJHL netminders in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts at 10, 1.53, .951 and four respectively. Kurtis Chapman and Brock Aiken have both gone 4-3 in net for Portage in the playoffs.

OCN Blizzard vs. Winkler Flyers
OCN leads best-of-seven series 2-0
Game 1: OCN 8 Portage 3
Game 2: OCN 6 Portage 0
Game 3: Wednesday, April 12 @ Portage 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, April 13 @ Portage 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Sunday, April 16 @ OCN 7:00 p.m.
Game 6*: Wednesday, April 19 @ Portage 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Saturday, April 22 @ OCN 7:00 p.m.
*-if necessary

SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup
As the No. 1 seed in the SIJHL playoffs, the Dryden GM Ice Dogs will host the No. 3 English River Miners in the 16th edition of the Bill Salonen Cup final.

Dryden swept past the rival and three-time defending champion Fort Frances Lakers to advance to the SIJHL final while English River upended the Thunder Bay North Stars in five outings, including winning the final two contests late in the first overtime of both.

Three of the top five scorers so far in the league playoffs are with the Miners. Sidney Gladue leads the way with nine points while Michael Di Lullo and Jamie Driedger are right behind him with eight points apiece.

SIJHL most valuable player and 53-goal man during the regular season, in Braeden Allkins, co-paces the GM Ice Dogs offensively along with Kris Hamlin as the pair have seven points apiece in four outings.

Dryden’s Patrick Zubick is 4-0 in the playoffs and leads all league netminders in goals-against average at 1.62 and save percentage at .935. Michael Lenko has started every game for English River and sports a 4-1 record along with a 3.54 AVG. and .904 SV%.

No. 1 Dryden GM Ice Dogs vs. No. 3 English River Miners
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, April 14 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 15 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 18 @ English River 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, April 20 @ English River 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 22 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Monday, April 24 @ English River 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 26 @ Dryden 7:30 p.m.
*-if necessary

NOJHL Copeland McNamara Cup
The quest for the NOJHL’s Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy features a pair of first-time finalists in the Powassan Voodoos and Blind River Beavers.

Powassan claimed the regular season title in the league and have yet to lose in the playoffs boasting an 8-0 record. Upstart Blind River meanwhile has gone 8-4 so far. The Voodoos (46) and Beavers (32) also set franchise records for wins in the regular season.

The teams boast five of the top six point producers in the playoffs. Blind River’s Yianni Liarakos leads the way with 19 points in 12 games while Powassan’s Gary Mantz and Parker Bowman are next with 16 and 15. Beavers’ D-man Cole Peck and forward Max Khull have 14 points apiece.

NOJHL MVP Nate McDonald is a perfect 8-0 in the postseason along with a league-best 1.76 average. He’s third in save percentage at .935. The Blind River tandem, of Myles Hektor and Aidan Doak, both have four wins. Hektor is second in average and first in save percentage at 2.07 and .952 while Doak is third in GAA at 2.17 and second with a .944 save mark.

Powassan Voodoos vs. Blind River Beavers
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Friday, April 14 @ Powassan 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 15 @ Powassan 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: Thursday, April 20 @ Blind River 7:00 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, April 21 @ Blind River 7:00 p.m.
Game 5*: Sunday, April 23 @ Powassan 7:00 p.m.
Game 6*: Tuesday, April 25 @ Blind River 7:00 p.m.
Game 7*: Thursday, April 27 @ Powassan 7:00 p.m.
*if necessary

OJHL Buckland Cup
Game 1 of the OJHL’s Buckland Trophy final goes Thursday as the No. 1 Georgetown Raiders take on the No. 2 and defending champion Trenton Golden Hawks.

Both clubs have been impressive all season. Georgetown sports a 12-3 playoff record while Trenton has gone 12-2.

OJHL leading scorer and most valuable player Jack Jacome leads the league in postseason numbers as well, with 20, followed closely by teammate Josh Dickinson with 19.

Pacing the Golden Hawks offensively is Liam Morgan, who boasts 18 points so far.

Trenton’s Chris Janzen has been the top goalkeeper in the OJHL playoffs. He’s tied for first in wins with 10 and leads the way in goals-against average and save percentage at 1.38 and .949 respectively.

Among those who have seen 300 or minutes of playoff hockey, the Raiders’ Josh Astorio sits fourth in average at 2.25 and eighth in save percentage at .924.

With the Golden Hawks also set to host the Dudley-Hewitt Central Canada Jr. A Championship, May 2-6, both OJHL finalists will compete in that four-team event, no matter which side claims the OJHL title. Trenton also captured both the OJHL and Dudley-Hewitt Cup crowns last season.

Georgetown Raiders vs. Trenton Golden Hawks
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Thursday, April 13 @ Georgetown 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 15 @ Trenton 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 18 @ Georgetown 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Thursday, April 20 @ Trenton 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Saturday, April 22 @ Georgetown 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Sunday, April 23 @ Trenton 7:00 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 26 @ Georgetown 7:30 p.m.
*-if necessary

CCHL Bogart Cup
No stranger to the CCHL’s Bogart Cup finals, the Carleton Place Canadians are making their fourth consecutive appearance and have won the past three league titles. CPC are taking on the Ottawa Jr. A Senators, who they defeated in last year’s league championship series in seven hard-fought contests before Carleton Place took the finale 3-2.

The Canadians were first overall in the 12-team CCHL amassing 100 points while Ottawa was third best with 89.

Quarter-final competition saw Carleton Place handle the Nepean Raiders in five games before doubling up the Kemptville 73’s 4-2 in the semifinals. Ottawa meanwhile defeated the Brockville Braves in five games before taking care of the No. 2-ranked Cornwall Colts in a surprising sweep.

Leading their respective clubs in playoff scoring is the Senators’ Jaren Burke and the Canadians duo of Connor Merkley and Andrew Dodson as they all have a dozen points each.

Both teams boast stalwart netminding as Ottawa’s Ian Andriano and Connor Hughes of Carleton Place are pacing the league in playoff victories with eight each. Andriano is also tops in average and save percentage at 1.36 and .949 respectively while Hughes is tied for second in GAA at 2.11 and third with a .924 save mark.

Carleton Place Canadians vs. Ottawa Jr. A Senators
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Saturday, April 15 @ Carleton Place 7:00 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 16 @ Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, April 19 @ Carleton Place 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, April 21 @ Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Sunday, April 23 @ Carleton Place 3:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Tuesday, April 25 @ Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 26 @ Carleton Place 7:30 p.m.
*if necessary

LHJAAAQ Coupe NAPA
It’s no real surprise that the top two squads in the LHJAAAQ standings are getting set to face-off for the Coupe Napa.

Both the Cobras de Terrebonne and Collège Français de Longueuil were highly listed in the CJHL Top 20 rankings all season long. Each team had 88 points during the course of the regular season with the Cobras getting first overall via a tie-breaker.

After dropping their first postseason match-up vs. the Montagnards de Sainte-Agathe, Terrebonne reeled off four straight triumphs to win that series in five before getting past the Inouk de Granby in a best-of-seven that went six. Collège Français de Longueuil began the playoffs by sweeping the Titan de Princeville then needing just five games to eliminate the Inouk de Granby.

Vincent Lavoie leads the Cobras in points with 22 with William Gignac next on the club with 20. Pacing Collège Français de Longueuil is Jean-Philippe Beaulieu, who has 21 points in nine games, including eight tallies. Defenceman Jonathan Fillion is next with 18 on four markers and 18 helpers.

Collège Français de Longueuil netminder Stefano Cantali leads the LHJAAAQ in wins (8), average (1.84) and save percentage (.924). Jérémy Bélisle of the Cobras sits second in wins (7) GAA (3.16) and third in save percentage (.903).

Cobras de Terrebonne vs. Collège Français de Longueuil
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Saturday, April 15 @ Terrebonne 2:30 p.m.
Game 2: Sunday, April 16 @ Collège Français de Longueuil 3:00 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, April 18 @ Terrebonne 7:00 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, April 21 @ Collège Français de Longueuil 7:30 p.m.
Game 5*: Sunday, April 23 @ Terrebonne 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Tuesday, April 25 @ Collège Français de Longueuil 7:30 p.m.
Game 7*: Thursday, April 27 @ Terrebonne 7:00 p.m.
*if necessary

MHL Championship
Awaiting the start of the MHL championship, which gets underway April 15th, are the Miramichi Timberwolves and the Truro Bearcats.

Miramichi opened the playoffs by handing the St. Stephen Aces in the minimum four outings, then the Timberwolves went on to do likewise to the Summerside Western Capitals. After disposing of the Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners in five opening round contests, Truro then earned their way to the finals by defeating the Amherst Ramblers, who upset defending champion Pictou County, in another series that required five games to end it.

Of the two remaining MHL clubs, the Bearcats Kyle Tibbo is the highest point producer with 15 in 10 games on eight goals and seven assists. The Timberwolves’ Campbell Pickard is one back with 14 as he’s scored seven times and set-up just as many.

Truro’s Brandon Hughes has 13 points, featuring 12 assists and Miramichi’s Makail Parker has a dozen points, including seven goals.

In terms of goaltenders, the Timberwolves’ Michael Botiz is a spotless 7-0 and leads in goals-against average at 1.43 and save percentage at .951. Next to him is the Bearcats’ Jason Rioux, who sports a 2.21 GAA and a .919 save mark. He also leads in playoff victories with eight.

Miramichi Timberwolves vs. Truro Bearcats
Best-of-seven series tied 0-0
Game 1: Saturday, April 15 @ Miramichi 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: Tuesday, April 18 @ Truro 7:00 p.m.
Game 3: Thursday, April 20 @ Miramichi 7:30 p.m.
Game 4: Saturday, April 22 @ Truro 7:00 p.m.
Game 5*: Monday, April 24 @ Miramichi 7:30 p.m.
Game 6*: Wednesday, April 26 @ Truro 7:00 p.m.
Game 7*: Friday, April 28 @ Miramichi 7:30 p.m.
*if necessary

Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup
April 29th – May 7th
Penticton, British Columbia
Competing teams
Penticton Vees (BCHL) (HOST)
Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
AJHL champion
SJHL champion
MJHL champion

Dudley-Hewitt Cup
May 2nd – 6th
Trenton, Ontario
Competing teams
Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (HOST)
Georgetown Raiders (OJHL)
NOJHL champion
SIJHL champion

Fred Page Cup
May 3rd – 7th
Terrebonne, Quebec
Competing teams
Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) (HOST)
Collège Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ)
MHL champion
CCHL champion

RBC Cup
May 13th – 21st
Cobourg, Ontario
Competing teams
Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (HOST)
Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion
Fred Page Cup champion
Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup champion
Sunlife Financial Western Canada Cup runner-up

Source: CJHL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *