Only 15 Left on the Road to Brooks for the 2019 RBC Cup

from Junior Hockey Network

In September 2018, 133 Canadian Junior Hockey League franchises stepped on the ice for their quest to Brooks, Alberta in May 2019 for the chance to hoist the Royal Bank Cup national championship trophy.

On April 15th, 20 teams were remaining in the hunt for their league championships for the chance to represent their respective league in the nation’s regional championships this spring across Canada to join the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits. As of April 22nd, there are only 15 junior ‘A’ franchises that remain in their quest of the national championship.

Dudley Hewitt Cup (Central)
Oakville Blades (OJHL
Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL)
Cochrance Crunch (NOJHL-Host)
NOJHL Champion

NOJHL
Monday, April 22nd (7:30 p.m)
Soo Thunderbirds @ Hearst Lumberjacks
Hearst Lumberjacks lead series 3-2

Fred Page Cup (East)
Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL)
Yarmounth Mariners (MHL)
Amherst Ramblers (MHL-Host)

Tuesday, April 23rd (7:30 p.m)
Titan de Princeville vs Cobras de Terrebonne

Doyle Cup (Pacific)
Prince George Spruce Kings vs Brooks Bandits

ANAVET Cup (West)
Battlefords North Stars vs MJHL Champion

MJHL
Monday, April 22nd (7:30 p.m)
Swan Valley Stampeders @ Portage Terriers
Series tied 3-3

Down to 20 on the Road to Brooks

from Junior Hockey Network

In September 2018, 133 Canadian Junior Hockey League franchises stepped on the ice for their quest to Brooks, Alberta in May 2019 for the chance to hoist the Royal Bank Cup national championship trophy.

On April 8th, 34 teams were remaining in the hunt for their league championships for the chance to represent their respective league in the nation’s regional championships this spring across Canada to join the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits. As of April 15th, there are only 20 junior ‘A’ franchises that remain in their quest of the national championship.

ROAD TO THE NATIONAL JUNIOR A CHAMPIONSHIP
Total Teams – 133
*Teams Remaining – 20

CENTRAL REGION
NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Blind River Beavers
Cochrane Crunch
Elliot Lake Wildcats
Espanola Express (missed playoffs)
French River Rapids (missed playoffs)
*Hearst Lumberjacks
Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Powassan Voodoos
Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Soo Eagles
*Soo Thunderbirds
Timmins Rock

ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Aurora Tigers
Brampton Admirals
Brantford 99ers (missed playoffs)
Buffalo Jr. Sabres
Burlington Cougars
Cobourg Cougars
Georgetown Raiders
Kingston Voyageurs (missed playoffs)
Lindsay Muskies (missed playoffs)
Markham Royals
Mississauga Chargers (missed playoffs)
Newmarket Hurricanes
North York Rangers
*Oakville Blades
Pickering Panthers (missed playoffs)
St. Michael’s Buzzers
Stouffville Spirit (missed playoffs)
Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Toronto Patriots
Trenton Golden Hawks
*Wellington Dukes
Whitby Fury

SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Dryden Ice Dogs
Fort Frances Lakers
Minnesota Iron Rangers
*Red Lake Miners
Thief River Falls Norskies
*Thunder Bay North Stars

EAST REGION
CENTRAL CANADA HOCKEY LEAGUE
Brockville Braves
*Carleton Place Canadians
Cornwall Colts
Hawkesbury Hawks
Kanata Lasers
Kemptville 73’s
Navan Grads
Nepean Raiders
*Ottawa Jr. Senators
Pembroke Lumber Kings
Rockland Nationals
Smiths Falls Bears

LIGUE DE HOCKEY JUNIOR AAA DU QUÉBEC
Forts de Chambly
L’Everest de la Côte-du-Sud (missed playoffs)
Flames de Gatineau (missed playoffs)
Inouk de Granby
Revolution du Lac St-Louis (missed playoffs)
Collège Français de Longueuil
Rangers de Montréal-Est (missed playoffs)
Arctic de Montréal-Nord (missed playoffs)
*Titan de Princeville
Prédateurs de Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon
Panthères de Saint-Jérôme
*Cobras de Terrebonne
Braves de Valleyfield

MARITIME HOCKEY LEAGUE
Amherst Ramblers
*Campbellton Tigers
Edmundston Blizzard
Grand Falls Rapids
Miramichi Timberwolves
Pictou County Crushers
St. Stephen Aces
South Shore Lumberjacks
Summerside Western Capitals
Truro Bearcats
Valley Wildcats
*Yarmouth Mariners

PACIFIC REGION
ALBERTA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Bonnyville Pontiacs
*Brooks Bandits
Calgary Canucks
Calgary Mustangs
Camrose Kodiaks
Canmore Eagles
Drayton Valley Thunder
Drumheller Dragons
Fort McMurray Oil Barons
Grande Prairie Storm
Lloydminster Bobcats (missed playoffs)
Okotoks Oilers
Olds Grizzlys (missed playoffs)
Sherwood Park Crusaders
*Spruce Grove Saints
Whitecourt Wolverines

BRITISH COLUMBIA HOCKEY LEAGUE
Alberni Valley Bulldogs
Chilliwack Chiefs
Coquitlam Express
Cowichan Valley Capitals
Langley Rivermen
Merritt Centennials
Nanaimo Clippers
Penticton Vees
Powell River Kings
*Prince George Spruce Kings
Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Surrey Eagles (missed playoffs)
Trail Smoke Eaters
*Vernon Vipers
Victoria Grizzlies
Wenatchee Wild
West Kelowna Warriors

WEST REGION
MANITOBA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Dauphin Kings
Neepawa Natives (missed playoffs)
OCN Blizzard (missed playoffs)
*Portage Terriers
Selkirk Steelers
*Steinbach Pistons
Swan Valley Stampeders
Virden Oil Capitals
Waywayseecappo Wolverines
Winkler Flyers (missed playoffs)
Winnipeg Blues

SASKATCHEWAN JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
*Battlefords North Stars
Estevan Bruins
Flin Flon Bombers
Humboldt Broncos
Kindersley Klippers
La Ronge Ice Wolves (missed playoffs)
*Melfort Mustangs
Melville Millionaires (missed playoffs)
Nipawin Hawks
Notre Dame Hounds
Weyburn Red Wings
Yorkton Terriers

Miners Take 1-0 SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup Series Lead with Win Over North Stars

from Saultsports.com

The Red Lake Miners stormed out to an early three-goal lead and never looked back in skating to a well-deserved 6-1 victory over the Thunder Bay North Stars Saturday, April 13th in game one of the Superior International Junior Hockey League Bill Salonen Cup Final at the Fort William Gardens.

It was the visiting Miners would strike first in the series, breaking out of their own zone with a long stretch pass from Michael Di Lullo that found Stratton Pickett, who in turn waited for Morgan Venne to outrace a backchecking North Stars forward before feeding him for a quick release that beat Thunder Bay starter Brock Aiken seven minutes into the contest.

Red Lake used the long breakout feed to add another as Matt Krawiec sent one up to Kyle Uzelman who came in and used a North Stars defender as a screen and whipped a high-rising attempt that eluded Aiken.

It was more Miners on the quick transition as they extended their early lead with Pickett finishing off a two-on-one with Venne.

They then chased Aiken 4:30 into the second stanza as they outworked a couple of North Stars that resulted in Liam Stalwick knocking in the rebound off a Tucker Evans opportunity.

With Dougie Newhouse entering in relief, the North Stars did get one back later in the session as Maxime Fortin lifted one airborne towards the goal that saw Ryan Mignault eventually stuff one in from close range past Red Lake netminder Zach Willms.

However, the Miners put the game away in the third with two more tallies to finish off the one-sided result.

Ethan Stuckless found defenceman Dante Tisi coming in undetected via the back door as he buried a cross-crease pass at 5:12.

Liam Stalwick then scooped up a giveaway by a Thunder Bay defender and skated in untouched and put in a second attempt past Newhouse at 12:24 to round out the night’s scoring.

Red Lake captain Di Lullo dished out a pair of assists to aid the cause for his side.

Willms was solid when called upon in the Miners net finishing with 45 stops to record the win.

Aiken was saddled with the loss for the North Stars, allowing four against on 20 attempts, while Newhouse eight of 10 in nearly 34 minutes of work.

Game 2 in this best-of-seven affair goes Sunday back at the Gardens at 7:30 p.m.

SIJHL Playoffs Bill Salonen Cup Final
Thunder Bay North Stars vs. Red Lake Miners
Miners lead best-of-seven series 1-0
Game 1: Red Lake 6 Thunder Bay 1
Game 2: Sunday, April 14 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
Game 3: Wednesday, April 17 @ Red Lake 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 4: Thursday, April 18 @ Red Lake 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 5*: Saturday, April 20 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
Game 6*: Monday, April 22 @ Red Lake 6:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 24 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (To be determined)
(* if necessary)

SIJHL Announces 2018/19 AllStar Teams

from Junior Hockey Network

The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Thursday, April 11th its first and second all-star teams, for the 2018-19 season.

These annual awards recognize the individual accomplishments of six forwards, four defencemen and two goaltenders during the course of regular season play in the SIJHL.

The first and second all-stars were selected, in conjunction with voting done by each of the SIJHL’s member clubs.

“For the recipients of the respective all-star team awards, we congratulate each of them for their significant contributions and achievements during the 2018-19 regular season,” stated SIJHL Commissioner Bryan Graham.

“They are to be commended for their on-ice efforts and accomplishments,” added Graham.

The following are the first and second all-star team recipients for the 2018-19 SIJHL season:

1ST ALL-STAR TEAM
FORWARD: BRYCE YOUNG, RED LAKE MINERS – The 19-year-old The Pas, Manitoba product, had a tremendous campaign in the SIJHL, while also leading Red Lake in offensive production. … His 60 goals during the regular season were the second-most markers in a single campaign by any skater in league history. … He also went on to add 41 assists for 101 total points. … Young topped all SIJHL skaters in both power play and shorthanded tallies with 15 and seven respectively while chipping in with five game-winning markers. … Among his other notable accomplishments in 2018-19 were registering a point on over 36% of his team’s tallies during the year; topping the league in shorthanded points with nine and being named to compete in the SIJHL All-Star Game where he dished out a pair of assists. … He was earlier named the SIJHL Rookie of the Year as well for his contributions on the ice with Red Lake.

FORWARD: KEIGHAN GERRIE, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – The 17-year-old Thunder Bay product was rated 140th (6th highest Canadian Junior Hockey League forward) by NHL Central Scouting in their mid-term draft rankings for the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver. … Gerrie captured the SIJHL scoring title with a league-best 102 points, in just 54 games, by notching 41 goals and adding 61 assists. … He also supplied seven game-winning goals, which were just two off the league-lead. … Gerrie is committed to attend Bowling Green State University (WCHA) on NCAA Division I scholarship in 2020. … Was named SIJHL Rookie of the Year in 2017-18. … Has 153 points in 107 career contests, including 65 tallies. … Skated for Team West at the 2019 CJHL Prospects Game in Okotoks, Alta. … Was named to participate in the SIJHL All-Star Game.

FORWARD: RYAN MIGNAULT, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – The Thunder Bay captain finished second in the league in goals scored with 49. … Was fourth in overall SIJHL offensive production with 90 points. … Also in the Top 10 in assists with 41. … Mignault led all skaters in game-winning goals with nine. … His 10 power play tallies tied him for second-best in league play. … Knotted for second in shorthanded markers with three. … In 99 career SIJHL games, he has scored 73 times, including 14 game-winners, and assisted on 71 others for 144 points.

DEFENCE: CONNOR BOWEY, THIEF RIVER FALLS NORSKIES – In just 48 contests, Bowey finished second in scoring among SIJHL defencemen with 62 points as he notched 16 goals and dished out 46 assists. … The 20-year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba was third in power play assists among defensemen with 11 and was second in game-winning goals with three. … In his productive three-year career in the SIJHL, Bowey played at close to a point-per-game pace for the Norskies with 118 in 129 outings as he scored 30 times and doled out 88 helpers.

DEFENCE: KYLE AUGER, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – Auger was a unanimous selection in voting for SIJHL Top Defenceman honours. … The 20-year-old Thunder Bay product had a tremendous campaign leading all SIJHL defencemen in goals (33), assists (69), points (102), game-winning goals (8), power play tallies (8) and man advantage assists (19). His overall point total established a league record for the most in a single season by a blueliner. … His overall offensive totals saw him finish in a tie for top spot, but was credited as the runner-up due to less goals scored; eight less than teammate Keighan Gerrie. … Auger was selected to take part in the SIJHL All-Star Game and was named a league 1st Team All-Star on defence in 2018-19.

GOALTENDER: – BROCK AIKEN, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – The 20-year-old Thunder Bay native led all SIJHL netminders in goals-against average (2.12), save percentage (.931) and shutouts (8) during the course of the campaign, while posting an impressive 23-2-1-0 overall record. … With the honour, Aiken is the SIJHL’s nominee for the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Top Goaltender honour. … Of note, Aiken’s league-best eight shutouts were just two off the SIJHL single-season record of 10 set by another Top Goaltender Award honouree, in current Buffalo Sabres netminder Carter Hutton, who back during the 2005-06 season helped lead the North Stars to a Bill Salonen Cup crown, a Dudley-Hewitt Cup title and a semifinal berth at the Canadian National Jr. A Championship.

2ND ALL-STAR TEAM
FORWARD: ERIC STOUT, DRYDEN GM ICE DOGS – Earns second-team accolades for a second straight season. … The veteran forward led Dryden in offensive production and finished seventh in SIJHL scoring with 77 points. … Stout’s 40 goals were the fourth-most supplied in the league in 2018-19. The 21-year-old from Brainerd, Minnesota was tied for second overall in power play assists with 14. … Stout wraps up his SIJHL career with 199 points to his credit as he notched 99 markers in total and hit the century-mark in assists with 100.

FORWARD: BOE BJORGE, THIEF RIVER FALLS NORSKIES – In 56 outings during the course of the 2018-19 regular season, the 20-year-old Grand Forks, North Dakota product racked up 81 points on 29 goals and 52 assists to lead the Norskies in scoring and also finish sixth overall among all league skaters. … This marked an impressive 66-point improvement for Bjorge from the 2017-18 campaign with Thief River Falls. … Among his efforts was a 19-game point streak that ran from October 31 through to January 9 while also producing a SIJHL season-best 16-game point run in road match-ups for his club. … His efforts earned him league Most Improved Player laurels for 2018-19. … In 90 career SIJHL contests, Bjorge produced at over a point-per-game clip with 96 on 38 tallies and 58 helpers.

FORWARD: JOEL WILLAN, THUNDER BAY NORTH STARS – Willan had a solid regular season for the North Stars, amassing 87 points in just 55 outings while scoring 22 times and doling out 65 assists. … His assist total was the second-highest amount in the league. … The 19-year-old forward hails from Nipigon, Ont. … He sported point streak of seven games or more on three different occasions in 2018-19.

DEFENCE: KEILAN TOEWS, RED LAKE MINERS – A solid presence on both ends of the ice for the Miners, Toews was a rock for Red Lake this season. … Not only was he a distinct contributor for his squad in the defensive zone, he also finished up third in scoring among all SIJHL blueliners. … In all, the 19-year-old Langley, British Columbia product notched three goals and helped set-up 37 others for 40 points. … Toews was also pivotal on special teams for the Miners during the campaign as he dished out 14 power play assists and had six more while his club was shorthanded.

DEFENCE: RYAN BRANDT, DRYDEN GM ICE DOGS – After being recruited by Dryden in late November, Brandt helped the GM Ice Dogs turn their fortunes around in the second half of the season. … In the 23 games in which he registered at least one point, Dryden went sported a solid 15-5-3 record. … In all, the 18-year-old from Maple Grove, Minnesota produced 33 points in 37 contests and was a strong contributor in bolstering the GM Ice Dogs back-end.

GOALTENDER: ZACH WILLMS, RED LAKE MINERS – Willms was second in the SIJHL in wins with 25 helping Red Lake finish in second spot in the league standings. … Despite missing a number of games due to injury, the 19-year-old from Camrose, Alberta topped all SIJHL netminders in minutes played at 2,086. … Willms was also third overall in saves with 1,160 as well as in save percentage at .921 while being knotted for fourth in shutouts with two.

HONOURABLE MENTION
FORWARD
Michael Di Lullo, Red Lake Miners
Blake Nelson, Thief River Falls Norskies
Jacob Brown, Thunder Bay North Stars

DEFENCE
Dante Tisi, Red Lake Miners
Alec Severson, Thief River Falls Norskies

GOALTENDER
Dougie Newhouse, Thunder Bay North Stars

SIJHL Laker Forward to Join NCHA College of St. Scholastica Saints for Fall of 2019

from Junior Hockey Network

21-year-old veteran Fort Frances Laker forward Jaedin Ness has committed to the College of St. Scholastica hockey program for the fall of 2019. The Wayzata, Minnesota native will join the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) Saints after playing the last two seasons in the Superior International Junior Hockey League with the Lakers in Fort Frances, Ontario.

In 97 regular season games from 2017 – 2019, the 5’10” and 170 lbs forward scored 52 goals and 28 assists along with accumulating a total of 47 minutes penalties. In 97 games with the Lakers, Ness registered seven powerplay regular-season goals in Fort Frances. In 12 postseason games with the Fort Frances junior ‘A’ franchise, Jaedin added three goals and three more assists for the Lakers.

Jaedin Ness told the Junior Hockey Network that “I hope that my hard work and dedication both on and off the ice will be seen as an asset to the Saints Hockey program. Graduating from a Catholic college prep school and spending the last two years playing junior hockey in Canada I feel both physically and mentally ready for the challenge. I am looking forward to spending the next four years at The College of St. Scholastica.”

Laker coach Wayne Strachan said that “we are extremely proud for Jaedin. He came to us last season with a goal he wanted to further his career and education and he set out to do that. This season he was hindered by injury and I don’t think we saw his true level of play come to the for the front. He was huge for us down the stretch, can shoot the puck and plays at a high-intensity level.”

“The Saints program is getting a hard worker, a player that has passion, respects the game and someone who wants to succeed to help the team,” said Strachan.

SIJHL Names Miner Stratton Pickett 2018/19 Scholastic Player of the Year

from Junior Hockey Network

The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday, April 9th that Stratton Pickett of the Red Lake Miners has been named the SIJHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season.

With the honour, Pickett also becomes the SIJHL’s nominee for the Hockey Canada/Canadian Junior Hockey League Scholastic Player of the Year Award, which will be announced at the Canadian National Jr. A Championship this May in Brooks, Alberta.

An Honour Roll student in high school, Pickett has been accepted to attend the University of Victoria where he will be enrolled in the Engineering Program at the school, in B.C.’s provincial capital.

The 20-year-old Gem, Alberta product also had a solid campaign on the ice for Red Lake registering a career single-season-high 49 points on 24 goals and 25 assists.

Pickett was earlier selected as the SIJHL’s Top Defensive Award recipient for the 2018-19 season.

The following is the list of all-time SIJHL Scholastic Player of the Year recipients

2018-19: Stratton Pickett, Red Lake Miners
2017-18: Joe Newhouse, Thunder Bay North Stars
2016-17: Jesse Talakoski, Thunder Bay North Stars
2015-16: Kyle Pouncy, Dryden GM Ice Dogs
2014-15: No recipient
2013-14: Daniel Del Paggio, Thunder Bay North Stars
2012-13: Joel Bogacki, Fort Frances Lakers
2011-12: Mason Prout, Thunder Bay North Stars
2010-11: Morgan McNeill, Fort Frances Lakers
2009-10: Andrew Childs, K&A Wolverines
2008-09: Michael Thibert, Thunder Bay Bearcats
2007-08: Graeme Harrington, Dryden Ice Dogs
2006-07: Jacob Cahoon, Thunder Bay Bulldogs
2005-06: Jeff Herringer, K&A Golden Hawks
2004-05: Andrew Fernandez, Fort William North Stars
2003-04: No recipient
2002-03: Rylan Vesa, Thunder Bay Bulldogs
2001-02: Tony Sikich, Northwest Wisconsin Knights

Photo: Patrick Boucha

SIJHL Ice Dog Trey Palermo Takes Home Multiple 2018/19 Team Awards

from Junior Hockey Network

The 2018/19 Dryden GM Ice Dogs hockey season came to an official end after Monday, April 8th Awards Banquet. A total of twelve awards were handed out to the team’s top performers. As well, outgoing 20-year-old players had the opportunity to share their parting comments about this past season what it meant to be a Dryden GM Ice Dog.

Local player and team Captain, Trey Palermo, led the way earning three awards: Top Defensive Forward, Top Local Player, and Fan Favourite. Veteran player, Eric Stout, picked-up the Top Scorer and Most Valuable Player, while Rookie of the Year was awarded to Rayman Bassi. Jacob Siebenga was named the team’s Most Sportsmanlike player, and Evan Pakkala took home Most Improved Player. Maple Grove, Minnesota player, Ryan Brandt, secured the Defenseman of the Year title and the Coach’s Award was won by Curtis Magas. Goaltender Jacob Anthony was honoured with the Playoff MVP award. Co-winners of the Community Service Award were Dryden’s Graham Oliphant and Ear Falls player, Dylan Winsor.

Seven 20-year old players were thanked for their contributions to the team and wished the best of luck in their future plans. The following players completed their Junior A career in a Dryden GM Ice Dogs jersey: Cordell Boyko, Cameron Coutre, Trygve Many Guns, Trey Palermo, Kyle Sargent, Braden Shea, and Eric Stout.

Dr Adam Moir was on hand to present Trey Palermo with the Dryden GM Ice Dogs bursary.

The Awards Banquet capped off the 2018/19 season and the Dryden GM Ice Dogs are already making plans for 2019/20. The team’s annual general meeting is being held on Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m, Holiday Inn Express. Election of officers will take place at the AGM and the meeting is open to the public.

Here’s a complete list of the winners:

Top Scorer – Eric Stout
Rookie of the Year – Rayman Bassi
Most Sportsmanlike – Jacob Siebenga
Playoff MVP – Jacob Anthony
Top Defensive Forward – Trey Palermo
Top Local – Trey Palermo
Most Improved – Evan Pakkala
Defenceman of Year – Ryan Brandt
Community Service Award – Graham Oliphant & Dylan Winsor
Most Valuable Player – Eric Stout
Coach’s Award – Curtis Magas
Fan Favourite – Trey Palermo

Source: Dryden Ice Dogs

SIJHL Announces Miners vs North Star 2019 Bill Salonen Cup Schedule 04/18/19

from Junior Hockey Network

The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Monday, April 8th the game schedule for the upcoming Bill Salonen Cup Final between the Thunder Bay North Stars and the Red Lake Miners.

All contests in this best-of-seven affair will feature 7:30 p.m. starts.

On-ice action will commence Saturday as the North Stars host game 1 at the Fort William Gardens.

Thunder Bay will also serve as the home side for game 2, which goes Sunday back at the Gardens.

From there, Red Lake will host games 3 and 4 at Cochenour Arena on Wednesday, April 17th and Thursday, April 18th respectively.

Should a game 5 be required, it will be held on Saturday, April 20th, back at the Gardens.

Cochenour Arena would be the site for game 6, if necessary, on Monday, April 22nd.

Then should the match-up go the distance, the North Stars would host in on Wednesday, April 24th.

However, due to the TELUS Cup Canadian National Midget Hockey Championship taking place at the Gardens that week, game 7 of the Bill Salonen Cup Final would be held at an arena to be determined.

The SIJHL winner will then advance to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship, April 30 – May, in Cochrane, Ontario.

There they will go up against the host Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL) as well as the title holders from the Ontario Junior Hockey League (Wellington Dukes or Oakville Blades) and the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (Hearst Lumberjacks or Soo Thunderbirds/Rayside-Balfour Canadians) with a berth to the Canadian National Jr. A Championship, May 11th – 19th, in Brooks, Alberta on the line.

SIJHL Playoffs – Bill Salonen Cup Final
Thunder Bay North Stars vs. Red Lake Miners
Best-of-seven series
Game 1: Saturday, April 13 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
Game 2: Sunday, April 14 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
Game 3: Wednesday, April 17 @ Red Lake 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 4: Thursday, April 18 @ Red Lake 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 5*: Saturday, April 20 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (Fort William Gardens)
Game 6*: Monday, April 22 @ Red Lake 7:30 p.m. (Cochenour Arena)
Game 7*: Wednesday, April 24 @ Thunder Bay 7:30 p.m. (To be determined)
(* if necessary)

Photo: Patrick Boucha

A day and a week after his team was eliminated from the NCAA West Regional by American International, former St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadians. 04/06/19

By Eric Burton

“First impressions are the most lasting,”  Proverbs.

A day and a week after his team was eliminated from the NCAA West Regional by American International, former St. Cloud State forward Ryan Poehling made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadians.

Let’s just say, Poehling had a fabulous night.

The Habs had to be impressed. Poehling would score a hat trick and the game-winning goal in the shootout to lead the Canadians to a 6-5 victory.

Maybe it’s only fitting that Poehling would make his NHL debut during Bob Cole’s final Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.

“What an unbelievable start to a career,” Cole said.

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So, on Saturday night, we welcomed a new player to the NHL and said good bye to a Hall of Fame hockey play-by-play announcer.

“You have to feel the game – breathe it – the timing, the sounds you’re creating,” Cole said in the night’s taped opening. ”When you get 20,000 (fans) roaring after a play, it’s perfect.”

“The great players are special people,” he added. ”I’ve enjoyed that over the years. It’s a great privilege.”

The Ryan Poehling File

Poehling’s debut with the Bleu Blanc Rouge may be a preview of things to come next season. According to the Globe and Mail, Poehling, became the fifth Canadiens player in franchise history to score at least two goals in his NHL debut.

The Lakeville, MN native was drafted 25th overall by the Canadiens in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. In three season with the Huskies, Poehling scored (29g-46a—75pts), he was also a plus-eight.

Next season, the Huskies lose five of their top-six scorers (Patrick Newell, Blake Lizotte, Robby Jackson, Jimmy Schuldt and Poehling)

Let There Be 34 on the Road to Brooks

from Junior Hockey Network

In September 2018, 133 Canadian Junior Hockey League franchises stepped on the ice for their quest to Brooks, Alberta in May 2019 for the chance to hoist the Royal Bank Cup national championship trophy.

On April 1st, 43 teams were remaining in the hunt for their league championships for the chance to represent their respective league in the nation’s regional championships this spring across Canada to join the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits. As of April 8th, there are only 34 junior ‘A’ franchises that are still remaining in their quest of the national championship.

ROAD TO THE NATIONAL JUNIOR A CHAMPIONSHIP
Total Teams – 133
*Teams Temaining – 34 

CENTRAL REGION
NORTHERN ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Blind River Beavers
Cochrane Crunch
Elliot Lake Wildcats
Espanola Express (missed playoffs)
French River Rapids (missed playoffs)
*Hearst Lumberjacks
Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Powassan Voodoos
*Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Soo Eagles
*Soo Thunderbirds
Timmins Rock

ONTARIO JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Aurora Tigers
Brampton Admirals
Brantford 99ers (missed playoffs)
Buffalo Jr. Sabres
Burlington Cougars
Cobourg Cougars
Georgetown Raiders
Kingston Voyageurs (missed playoffs)
Lindsay Muskies (missed playoffs)
Markham Royals
Mississauga Chargers (missed playoffs)
Newmarket Hurricanes
North York Rangers
*Oakville Blades
Pickering Panthers (missed playoffs)
St. Michael’s Buzzers
Stouffville Spirit (missed playoffs)
Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Toronto Patriots
Trenton Golden Hawks
*Wellington Dukes
Whitby Fury

SUPERIOR INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Dryden Ice Dogs
Fort Frances Lakers
Minnesota Iron Rangers
*Red Lake Miners
Thief River Falls Norskies
*Thunder Bay North Stars

EAST REGION
CENTRAL CANADA HOCKEY LEAGUE
Brockville Braves
*Carleton Place Canadians
Cornwall Colts
Hawkesbury Hawks
Kanata Lasers
Kemptville 73’s
Navan Grads
Nepean Raiders
*Ottawa Jr. Senators
Pembroke Lumber Kings
Rockland Nationals
Smiths Falls Bears

LIGUE DE HOCKEY JUNIOR AAA DU QUÉBEC
Forts de Chambly
L’Everest de la Côte-du-Sud (missed playoffs)
Flames de Gatineau (missed playoffs)
*Inouk de Granby
Revolution du Lac St-Louis (missed playoffs)
*Collège Français de Longueuil
Rangers de Montréal-Est (missed playoffs)
Arctic de Montréal-Nord (missed playoffs)
*Titan de Princeville
Prédateurs de Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon
Panthères de Saint-Jérôme
*Cobras de Terrebonne
Braves de Valleyfield

MARITIME HOCKEY LEAGUE
Amherst Ramblers
*Campbellton Tigers
Edmundston Blizzard
Grand Falls Rapids
Miramichi Timberwolves
Pictou County Crushers
St. Stephen Aces
*South Shore Lumberjacks
*Summerside Western Capitals
Truro Bearcats
Valley Wildcats
*Yarmouth Mariners

PACIFIC REGION
ALBERTA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Bonnyville Pontiacs
*Brooks Bandits
Calgary Canucks
Calgary Mustangs
Camrose Kodiaks
Canmore Eagles
Drayton Valley Thunder
Drumheller Dragons
*Fort McMurray Oil Barons
Grande Prairie Storm
Lloydminster Bobcats (missed playoffs)
*Okotoks Oilers
Olds Grizzlys (missed playoffs)
Sherwood Park Crusaders
*Spruce Grove Saints
Whitecourt Wolverines

BRITISH COLUMBIA HOCKEY LEAGUE
Alberni Valley Bulldogs
Chilliwack Chiefs
Coquitlam Express
Cowichan Valley Capitals
Langley Rivermen
Merritt Centennials
Nanaimo Clippers
Penticton Vees
Powell River Kings
*Prince George Spruce Kings
Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Surrey Eagles (missed playoffs)
Trail Smoke Eaters
*Vernon Vipers
*Victoria Grizzlies
*Wenatchee Wild
West Kelowna Warriors

WEST REGION
MANITOBA JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Dauphin Kings
Neepawa Natives (missed playoffs)
OCN Blizzard (missed playoffs)
*Portage Terriers
Selkirk Steelers
*Steinbach Pistons
Swan Valley Stampeders
Virden Oil Capitals
Waywayseecappo Wolverines
Winkler Flyers (missed playoffs)
Winnipeg Blues

SASKATCHEWAN JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
*Battlefords North Stars
Estevan Bruins
Flin Flon Bombers
Humboldt Broncos
Kindersley Klippers
La Ronge Ice Wolves (missed playoffs)
*Melfort Mustangs
Melville Millionaires (missed playoffs)
Nipawin Hawks
Notre Dame Hounds
Weyburn Red Wings
Yorkton Terriers