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Turning fantasy into reality

Almost a decade into their partnership, the Team Canada Alumni Association and KPMG have found a unique way to support the future of the game

Katie Brickman
June 27, 2018

Gord Sherven and Mike O’Neil met like a lot of parents do – at the rink watching their kids.

Since then, Sherven, a former NHLer and Hockey Canada alumnus, and O’Neil, a senior advisor with KPMG in Calgary, have been collaborating on ways to give back to the game.

“We met at the rink when our boys played together,” said Sherven, who serves as chair of the Team Canada Alumni Association (TCAA). “Since then, we partnered together on some major events.”

Nine years ago, Sherven and the TCAA launched the Team Canada Alumni Association Charity Golf Tournament and he invited O’Neil to take part.

“Gord asked if KPMG would like to be involved as a sponsor and we thought it was a good idea,” said O’Neil.

It was during that first golf event that the TCAA held an auction for a fantasy hockey game.

“It was a silent bid process and it turned out that I got the winning bid,” said O’Neil.

At the time, O’Neil didn’t think of his KPMG colleagues, but rather put a call out to friends to see if he could put together a team. He told a couple of colleagues about the fantasy game and they got excited.

“That was the turning point, so to speak,” said O’Neil. “KPMG bought the bid from me and I quarterbacked the event where we invited 15-20 of our clients to come and play.”

Since the first fantasy game in the winter of 2010, KPMG has been back year-after-year with clients enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Hockey Canada alumni. All the money raised in the golf tournament and the fantasy hockey game goes back to the Hockey Canada Foundation, which supports grassroots hockey across Canada.

“It has turned into a fantastic relationship where we raise money for the Foundation and grassroots hockey,” said Sherven. “They are having a top-shelf experience and get the star treatment of what it’s like to play for Hockey Canada.”

Those that participate in the hockey game get the full spread – the Hockey Canada dressing room, Hockey Canada jerseys with their names on the back, a trainer and a pre-game ‘pump-up’ video – and a chance to face off against players the likes of Lanny McDonald, Sheldon Kennedy and Robyn Regehr.

“After the game, we all enjoy some stories, some snacks and usually a couple of players do a hot-stove type of thing or talk about their experience playing internationally for Hockey Canada,” said O’Neil. “It is very exciting to get to play alongside a few Hall of Famers or people they have only ever read about. For some of our clients, this really is a dream come true.”

With such a successful fantasy event in Calgary, Sherven and O’Neil began to work on other opportunities, including bringing the event to Toronto with Toronto-based KPMG clients and alumni.

“Through our Toronto office, we have the same set up as we do in Calgary and it has been a successful and fun event for our clients there,” said O’Neil.

As exciting as it is to play against some of hockey’s greatest male and female players, at the heart of it for both KPMG and the TCAA is giving back to the communities and kids across Canada.

“It is so important to give back,” said Sherven. “Hockey Canada gave us a great opportunity to play for our country. We both believe in giving back to the game and raising money for the Foundation.”

The future of the fantasy game is strong and both parties are hoping to expand to other major cities where KPMG has offices.

“KPMG is proud to be a sponsor of the golf tournament and fantasy game,” said O’Neil. “The money is going back to a good cause, which strengthens the community, and it helps kids across Canada.”

Brian’s life behind the bench

Brian Sugiyama has spent the last three decades coaching his kids, his grandkids, other people’s kids, and even other coaches who – much like he does – just want to make the game better

Chris Jurewicz
May 13, 2024

When you spend decades doing something you love, you evolve.

Brian Sugiyama has been behind the bench, in the dressing room and on the ice helping kids and young adults become better hockey players and people for the past 30 years.

The 72-year-old Nanaimo, B.C., resident maybe hasn’t seen it all, but he has seen quite a bit, more than most, and has a good sense of what it takes to be a great hockey coach.

“When I first started doing the coaching development stuff, I thought it was more the technical and science of coaching,” says Sugiyama. “Now, I think it’s more the art of coaching, that you’re working with young men and women, sometimes they just graduated from playing minor hockey themselves, sometimes they’re parents. They all seem to think it’s about the Xs and Os and the practices, where I think it’s really more the psychology of coaching, working on childhood development, how kids get along and that you have developed within your team that bonding and that whole area of respect within your teams, respect for your opponents and others involved in the game, like the officials.”

Sugiyama is a member of Hockey Canada’s Coaching Program Delivery Group. He is district coach coordinator for Vancouver Island and clinic facilitator for Coach 1, Coach 2 and Development 1 programs within the National Coach Certification Program, teaching hundreds of new and experienced coaches each year. He is also a High Performance 1 coach mentor and Development 1 coach field evaluator.

To attain those credentials requires time, dedication, experience, patience and an incredibly strong and thorough knowledge of Canada’s game.

Sugiyama has all of those traits.

His journey began, as so many Canadian hockey stories do, on backyard and outdoor rinks. Sugiyama was born and raised in Edmonton and got his start outside when his father built a backyard rink.

As his love of the game grew, so did his skill and commitment. Sugiyama played competitively with the Maple Leaf Athletic Club through his teenage years. He got his start in coaching when he helped out with his younger brother’s team. And then, in the early 1980s, Sugiyama did what so many dads do – get involved in coaching with his own’s son’s team. He and wife Karen have four children and all of them grew up playing hockey.

“I started coaching local recreational divisions at the younger age groups and then you get into wanting to be better as a coach, and you start taking some courses,” says Sugiyama. “I coached a competitive U11 team and you encounter the good, bad and whatever. I still got a lot from it. I thought I could contribute to not only my kids’ development, but other kids as well.”

Later in life, the family moved to Vancouver, where they still reside. And the Sugiyama name is perhaps just as well known in Nanaimo as it is in Edmonton, given the years of service and dedication to hockey given by Brian and the rest of the family.

TJ Fisher helped coach a U15 co-ed recreational team during the 2023-24 season with Brian, one that included one of Sugiyama’s granddaughters and one of Fisher’s kids.

“It’s so neat to see a grandpa coaching grandkids. You never see that,” says Fisher. “It’s one of those things for people my age, it’s like the life goal where you have to keep on evolving with the next generation. He stays current and is totally relatable. He’s really up on technology to be able to be current to both teach his clinics and to stay current with the kids on the team.”

Erin Wilson has also been inspired by Sugiyama. Wilson and Sugiyama coached together during the 2021-22 season and have known one another for close to three decades.

“As both a parent and coach, I really value Brian's focus on fair play and sportsmanship,” says Wilson. “His encouragement of every player to be a contributing part of the team is so valuable and important for individual character development, self-worth and team play. This focus on fair play and sportsmanship is something I try and replicate and is a strong value and focus I believe in when I am coaching a team.”

Sugiyama has been on the bench of competitive and recreational teams and believes there is a gap that will need to be filled on the rec side. Often, there are plenty of moms and dads who want to help out with competitive teams, but a shortage of coaches who want to pitch in on the recreational side.

His impact hasn’t just been felt by regular Canadian moms and dads, though. In recent years, Sugiyama has facilitated and led courses attended by some well-known retired former NHLers who want to give back and coach.

“This last season, I’ve had people like Andrew Ladd and Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith take the courses,” says Sugiyama. “They’re coming back and imparting their knowledge back to a hockey academy or a team in their community. They come back supportive of what Hockey Canada is doing with the development of coaching.”

Sugiyama jokes with his course attendees that he’s “getting long in the tooth,” but continues his involvement and will as long as he can. That’s not only good news for kids on the ice, but the men and women who have a chance to learn from Sugiyama.

“It’s special to see that whole family,” says Fisher. “He’s still coaching, his kids are coaching, the grandkids are playing. It’s pretty awesome.”

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A place to belong

Since 2011, the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association has been creating opportunities – and building Team Canada athletes like Auren Halbert along the way

Lee Boyadjian
May 09, 2024

Smiles, laughter and pure joy. The first time getting on the ice for anyone who loves the game quickly becomes a core memory. But for Auren Halbert, it was so much more.

“It was the first time I'd ever had a competitive outlet, and to be among other people with similar disabilities, it was just incredible,” says the 22-year-old, who was born without a femur in his left leg.

Playing at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship on home ice in Calgary is special for Auren. He played the preliminary round in front a sizeable contingent of family and friends, most with a direct connection to the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association (CSHA), the launching point of his career.

“We've had a great run of Team Canada men’s players that have come through our organization: Cody Dolan, Zach Lavin, Auren and Adam Kingsmill,” says Alan Halbert, president of the CSHA and proud dad to Auren. “But we're not here to build everybody into Team Canada players, we’re here to build people into the best versions of themselves.

“We just want to go out and have fun.”

The CSHA has had a presence in the Stampede City since the 1980s, but has grown from about 20 players to more than 80 since officially incorporating in 2011, with more than 20 coaches and volunteers giving support. There are programs for players of any age, skill and ability level.

Teams are divided by age and skill level, with players under 18 years old making up the junior team (Venom) before graduating to the intermediate team (Stingers), though high-performance athletes may transition through the levels more quickly. The senior team (Scorpions) is the highest level available and competes provincially or even nationally.

The senior team wasn’t always the powerhouse it has developed into, and a decade ago Alan had to learn the sport himself to help with the roster.

“At that time, I was naïve. I was like ‘Can I play? It’s kind of a disability sport.’ But now everybody is in there, it’s so inclusive,” he explains, adding that he has seen teams built as able-bodied friends and family support a loved-one with a disability.

“He started a couple years after I did and at first he was definitely a better player than I was,” Auren says of his dad with a laugh. “That definitely helped with my competitiveness; I just had to prove to my dad that I was a better player than he was.”

While there is no question the younger Halbert has become the stronger of the two, it is the dedication of Alan and his wife, Ashley, to the CSHA that has had a major impact on his own commitment to the game.

“It’s honestly unbelievable the amount of effort [my parents] have put into the organization,” Auren says. “It’s just super awesome to be able to have such good support in the city.

“It’s pretty inspiring to see how passionate [my parents] are about this.”

Alan has held just about every role within the association: athlete, coach, board member and treasurer. He took on the presidency in 2017 but shortly after was relocated to Pittsburgh for work. With no one else interested in the position, he remained at the helm, working remotely long before that was the norm. Seven years later, Alan is still president and continues to look for ways to grow the CSHA.

“We are kind of on the forefront of always trying to expand the sport, not only within Calgary, but we help a lot of the surrounding areas and provinces as well,” Alan explains. “We have a really great rapport with a lot of teams that we were playing as Auren was growing up, and they were just creating their programs… so they wanted to do something and we're there to help them or just to play.”

Auren also remains active with the CSHA, practicing and sometimes playing with the senior team. He also hopes to help with a summer camp this year “just to get out and teach people what I know.”

But first, the young defenceman has to close out his fifth season with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team with his fourth Para Worlds, in the same rink where he saw Team Canada play for the first time 13 years ago.

“In Auren’s first season, we kind of got going, hit the ground running and within a couple of months the World Sledge Hockey Challenge was [in Calgary],” Alan remembers. “I think he ended up on the ice as a flag-bearer, so got really exposed and that fueled his fire from a young age.

“It’s kind of come full circle.”

Auren knows this Para Worlds is his opportunity to create that same drive in a young athlete and bring new fans to the game. And while that motivates his play, he is eager to put on a show for the people who have supported him from the beginning.

“I think it'll be the first time a lot of my family have seen me play at this level, so it’s going to be pretty meaningful to be able to show them all I can do,” Auren says. “To have people I know in the stands and to know that they're all cheering for me and maybe hear a couple chants from them in the crowd… this will definitely be one of the greatest moments of all time for me.”

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Miramichi Timberwolves

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Miramichi Timberwolves

After winning their first-ever league championship, the MHL champions have set their eyes on a national title

Shannon Coulter
May 08, 2024

This year’s playoffs are one for the record books for the Miramichi Timberwolves, and now the focus turns to an opportunity to compete for a national title at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons.

When the postseason began, the Timberwolves were in the middle of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) standings, fourth with a 31-16-2 record, scoring the fifth-most goals (211), allowing the fourth-most goals against (182). Special teams were a bright spot for Miramichi, boasting an 82.1% success rate on the penalty kill.

However, when it was time for the playoffs, the Timberwolves kicked things into high gear. After a five-game series with the third-place West Kent Steamers, Miramichi swept the Edmundston Blizzard for a spot in the MHL final against the first-place Summerside Western Capitals.

It was a close matchup with five one-goal games, but the Timberwolves got the job done in six games to win the first MHL championship in their 24th season and advance to the Centennial Cup for the first time.

Ludovic Dufort was a leader on offence, registering 46 goals and 82 points during the regular season. The 21-year-old added three goals and 16 points during the playoffs.

Goaltender Jack Flanagan came off the bench during Game 3 against the Steamers and went on an 11-2 run, posting a 2.86 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. The 19-year-old earned playoff MVP honours for his efforts.

The Timberwolves also have talent behind the bench. Kory Baker played 15 years of pro hockey in the ECHL, Sweden, Denmark and Finland before returning home to Miramichi to become head coach at the start of the 2022-23 season.

It’s been over 20 years since an Atlantic team has won Canada’s National Junior A Championship. The Halifax Oland Exports were the last national titlists, winning on home ice in 2002.


Maritime Junior Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated West Kent Steamers 4-1 (3-5, 5-1, 2-1, 5-4, 4-3 OT)
Semifinal: defeated Edmundston Blizzard 4-0 (3-2, 5-4, 4-3 2OT, 4-2)
Final: defeated Summerside Western Capitals 4-2 (5-6 2OT, 5-1, 4-3, 4-3, 1-2 2OT, 5-4)


Record (W-L-OTL): 31-16-2 (4th in MHL)
Goals for: 211 (5th in MHL)
Goals against: 182 (4th in MHL)
Power play: 43 for 209 (20.6% – 7th in MHL)
Penalty killing: 170 of 207 (82.1% – 3rd in MHL)
Longest winning streak: 7 (Sept. 27-Oct. 22)

Top 3 scorers:
• Ludovic Dufort – 46G 36A 82P (3rd in MHL)
• Hugo Audette – 14G 46A 60P (18th in MHL)
• Jeremy Duhamel – 23G 35A 58P (20th in MHL)


Record: 12-3
Goals for: 59
Goals against: 44
Power play: 11 for 52 (21.2%)
Penalty killing: 42 of 53 (79.2%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Zachael Turgeon – 9G 14A 23P
• David Doucet – 13G 7A 20P
• Hugo Audette – 3G 17A 20P


First appearance


Jeremy Duhamel – Nipissing University (2024-25)


Oct. 2 – not ranked
Oct. 9 – 16th
Oct. 16 – 8th
Oct. 23 – 8th
Oct. 30 – 9th
Nov. 6 – 14th
Nov. 13 – 19th
Nov. 20 – not ranked
Nov. 27 – Honourable Mention
Dec. 4 – not ranked
Dec. 11 – not ranked
Dec. 18 – not ranked
Jan. 8 – not ranked
Jan. 15 – not ranked
Jan. 22 – not ranked
Jan. 29 – not ranked
Feb. 5 – not ranked
Feb. 12 – not ranked
Feb. 19 – not ranked
Feb. 26 – not ranked
March 4 – not ranked
March 11 – 11th

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Greater Sudbury Cubs

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Navan Grads

The CCHL champions finally got over the hump to win their first league crown and move into the national spotlight

Jason La Rose
May 08, 2024

Thirty-two years in the making, the Navan Grads are finally going to play under the brightest lights in Junior A hockey.

The Grads claimed their first-ever Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) championship – and earned a place at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, in the process – by downing the Pembroke Lumber Kings, Rockland Nationals and Smiths Falls Bears.

Amazingly, the three series wins brought the Grads’ all-time total to FOUR since joining the CCHL (then known as the Central Junior A Hockey League) in 1991. The only previous victory? A sweep of the Kanata Stallions in 2003.

Navan was the class of the CCHL in the regular season, finishing 11 points clear of Smiths Falls on the back of a league-best offence (235 goals scored) led by Gabriel Crete (24-50—74) and Devon Savignac (35-31—66), who were third and fourth, respectively in CCHL scoring.

At the other end of the ice, Jaeden Nelson was a workhorse; the 17-year-old rookie was fourth in the CCHL with 2,173 minutes played, and posted top-five finishes in wins (25, first) goals-against average (2.57, fourth), save percentage (.921, third) and shutouts (3, tied for third).

The Grads ran into early adversity in the playoffs, pushed to double overtime in Game 5 of their first-round series against the Lumber Kings with the series even at 2-2. But Sebbie Johnson scored the winner, Navan closed out the series in Game 6 and never trailed in a series again.

It’s been 13 years since Pembroke won the most recent National Junior A Championship by a CCHL team. It has been in the mix over the last decade, though; the Ottawa Jr. Senators reached the semifinals in 2018 , 2019 and 2023, while the Carleton Place Canadians were national runners-up in 2014 and 2015.


Central Canada Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Pembroke Lumber Kings 4-2 (5-1, 2-1 OT, 1-3, 1-5, 5-4 2OT, 4-3)
Semifinal: defeated Rockland Nationals 4-1 (5-4. 1-0 OT, 4-6, 5-3, 1-0)
Final: defeated Smiths Falls Bears 4-2 (3-2 OT, 3-4 OT, 4-1, 3-2, 0-5, 5-2)


Record (W-L-OTL): 41-9-5 (1st in CCHL)
Goals for: 235 (1st in CCHL)
Goals against: 144 (3rd in CCHL)
Power play: 36 for 183 (19.7% - 5th in CCHL)
Penalty killing: 186 of 216 (86.1% - 3rd in CCHL)
Longest winning streak: 9 (Feb. 23-March 16)

Top 3 scorers:
• Gabriel Crete – 24G 50A 74P (3rd in CCHL)
• Devon Savignac – 35G 31A 66P (4th in CCHL)
• Sebbie Johnson – 24G 25A 49P (23rd in CCHL)


Record: 12-5
Goals for: 52
Goals against: 46
Power play: 11 for 60 (18.3%)
Penalty killing: 53 of 61 (86.9%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Colin MacDougall – 10G 11A 21P
• Sebbie Johnson – 6G 12A 18P
• Nicholas Paone – 7G 7A 14P


First appearance


Gabriel Crete – Mercyhurst University (2024-25)
Cristobal Tola – Amherst College (2024-25)
Matthew Roy – Bowdoin College (2024-25)
Devon Savignac – Concordia University Wisconsin (2024-25)


Oct. 2 – not ranked
Oct. 9 – not ranked
Oct. 16 – not ranked
Oct. 23 – not ranked
Oct. 30 – Honourable Mention
Nov. 6 – Honourable Mention
Nov. 13 – 20th
Nov. 20 – 18th
Nov. 27 – 17th
Dec. 4 – 17th
Dec. 11 – 13th
Dec. 18 – 14th
Jan. 8 – 11th
Jan. 15 – 13th
Jan. 22 – 16th
Jan. 29 – 11th
Feb. 5 – 11th
Feb. 12 – 6th
Feb. 19 – 7th
Feb. 26 – 7th
March 4 – 7th
March 11 – 5th

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Melfort Mustangs

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Melfort Mustangs

It was a challenging playoff journey, but the SJHL champions are hungry to bring a national title back to Saskatchewan

Shannon Coulter
May 07, 2024

It’s been quite the playoff run for the Melfort Mustangs, and now their postseason will continue at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons.

The Mustangs finished with a 38-14-4 record in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL)—which placed them second to the Flin Flon Bombers. Defence and goaltending stood out for Melfort, allowing only 158 goals (second in SJHL) and having a strong penalty kill (88.2% - second).

In the playoffs, Melfort wrapped up a five-game series against the Estevan Bruins to set up a semifinal against the Humboldt Broncos. The series pushed both teams to the limit and included seven periods of overtime, ending on Ryan Duguay’s goal 2:55 into overtime in Game 7 that propelled the Mustangs to the league final.

The season came down to the Mustangs and the Bombers—who had spent 15 consecutive weeks in the No. 1 spot of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) rankings. But Melfort began the series with a defiant 9-2 victory and wrapped up the title in six games.

James Venne led the Mustangs in the crease this year. Referred to as the best goalie in Mustangs history by head coach and general manager, Trevor Blevins, Venne led the SJHL with 2,661 minutes played during the regular season, boasting a .912 save percentage and 2.62 goals-against average. In the playoffs, the 20-year-old had a 12-3 record with a 2.50 GAA and a .925 save percentage.

Aidyn Hutchinson was the top skater for the Mustangs, finishing third in SJHL scoring with 33 goals and 78 points during the regular season before adding 15 goals and 32 points in the playoffs.

The Mustangs are hungry for a national title—it has been a decade since the Yorkton Terriers defeated the Carleton Place Canadians 4-3 in overtime to give the Prairie league its most recent National Junior A Championship.


Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Estevan Bruins 4-1 (5-1, 7-4, 3-4, 5-2, 4-2)
Semifinal: defeated Humboldt Broncos 4-3 (4-2, 4-3, 2-3 3OT, 4-3 OT, 2-4, 3-4 2OT, 5-4 OT)
Final: defeated Flin Flon Bombers 4-2 (9-2, 4-1, 4-3 2OT, 3-4 OT, 2-5, 4-1)


Record (W-L-OTL): 38-14-4 (2nd in SJHL)
Goals for: 218 (4th in SJHL)
Goals against: 158 (2nd in SJHL)
Power play: 58 for 268 (21.6% – 5th in SJHL)
Penalty killing: 208 of 250 (88.2% – 2nd in SJHL)
Longest winning streak: 9 (Feb. 16-March 10)

Top 3 scorers:
• Aidyn Hutchinson – 33G 45A 78P (3rd in SJHL)
• Clay Sleeva – 25G 34A 59P (15th in SJHL)
• Chase Friedt-Mohr – 14G 42A 56P (20th in SJHL)


Record: 12-6
Goals for: 74
Goals against: 52
Power play: 14 for 72 (19.4%)
Penalty killing: 60 of 75 (80.0%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Aidyn Hutchinson – 15G 17A 32P
• Ryan Duguay – 14G 10A 24P
• Chase Friedt-Mohr – 9G 15A 24P


2015 – Melfort Mustangs | 4th place | 2-3 | 12GF 19GA
1996 – Melfort Mustangs | runners-up | 5-1 | 35GF 10GA


Chase Friedt-Mohr – University of Regina (2024-25)
Hayden Prosofsky – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (2024-25)
Zackery Somers – University of Maine (2024-25)


Oct. 2 – 6th
Oct. 9 – 4th
Oct. 16 – 7th
Oct. 23 – 11th
Oct. 30 – Honourable Mention
Nov. 6 – not ranked
Nov. 13 – not ranked
Nov. 20 – not ranked
Nov. 27 – not ranked
Dec. 4 – not ranked
Dec. 11 – not ranked
Dec. 18 – not ranked
Jan. 8 – Honourable Mention
Jan. 15 – not ranked
Jan. 22 – Honourable Mention
Jan. 29 – Honourable Mention
Feb. 5 – 15th
Feb. 12 – not ranked
Feb. 19 – not ranked
Feb. 26 – Honourable Mention
March 4 – 12th
March 11 – 11th

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Greater Sudbury Cubs

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Collingwood Blues

The OJHL champions dominated defensively to defend their title and earn a return trip to the national stage

Jason La Rose
May 07, 2024

They’re back!

The Collingwood Blues will be the only returnee at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, after defending their Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) championship with a dominant defensive performance.

The Blues, who were knocked out in the quarterfinals a year ago in Portage la Prairie, lost only seven times in 56 regular-season games and dropped only three of 19 on their playoff run, stifling opponents from the goaltender out.

They allowed just 88 goals in the regular season – a miniscule average of 1.57 per game and 56 fewer than the second-best Trenton Golden Hawks – before giving up 36 in 19 postseason contests.

Noah Pak put up video-game numbers in the Collingwood goal, going 37-5 with a 1.30 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and 12 (that’s right, 12!) shutouts. In his 41 starts, he allowed more than three goals exactly twice, and zero or one a whopping 25 times.

But that’s not to say the Blues can’t put the puck in the net. Exactly the opposite, in fact. They finished second with 284 goals – just five back of Trenton – with Dylan Hudon and his 73 points (29-44—73) leading an offence that featured eight 50-point scorers and seven who reached the 20-goal plateau.

Collingwood was rarely tested as it rolled through the playoffs. It posted sweeps of Brantford and Leamington in the opening round and West Conference final, respectively, and dropped just one game to Oakville, losing Game 4 after winning the first three against the Centennial Cup hosts.

It’s lone bit of adversity came in the league final when Trenton evened the series with wins in Games 3-4, but the Blues retook the advantage with a 7-2 rout in Game 5 and finished things off on the road.

Making the short 144-kilometre trip south to Oakville, the Blues will look to become the first OJHL champion to win Canada’s National Junior A Championship since the Aurora Tigers in 2007.


Ontario Junior Hockey League
Round 1: defeated Brantford 99ers 4-0 (2-1 2OT, 5-1, 4-0, 4-3)
Quarterfinal: defeated Oakville Blades 4-1 (3-2, 4-2, 10-1, 3-5, 3-0)
Semifinal: defeated Leamington Flyers 4-0 (3-0, 2-1 OT, 6-2, 4-2)
Final: defeated Trenton Golden Hawks 4-2 (5-4, 4-0, 4-5, 1-3, 7-2, 3-2)


Record (W-L-T-OTL): 49-6-0-1 (1st in OJHL)
Goals for: 284 (2nd in OJHL)
Goals against: 88 (1st in OJHL)
Power play: 56 for 173 (32.4% - 2nd in OJHL)
Penalty killing: 139 of 167 (83.2% - 6th in OJHL)
Longest winning streak: 14 (Dec. 22-Feb. 11)

Top 3 scorers:
• Dylan Hudon – 29G 44A 73P (13th in OJHL)
• Spencer Young – 39G 33A 72P (14th in OJHL)
• Jack Rimmer – 25G 40A 65P (24th in OJHL)


Record: 16-3
Goals for: 77
Goals against: 36
Power play: 21 for 71 (29.6%)
Penalty killing: 70 of 79 (88.6%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Spencer Young – 12G 18A 30P
• Dylan Hudon – 10G 14A 24P
• Jack Rimmer – 10G 12A 22P


2023 – Collingwood Blues | 5th place | 3-2 | 14GF 11GA


Declan Bowmaster – Merrimack College (2025-26)
Ryan Cook – Wilfrid Laurier University (2024-25)
Cameron Eke – Niagara University (2025-26)
Dylan Hudon – University of Guelph (2024-25)
Marcus Lougheed – Lake Superior State University (2025-26)
Noah Pak – Yale University (2024-25)
Jack Rimmer – Niagara University (2025-26)
Jack Silverman – Middlebury College (2024-25)
Landon Wright – University of Maine (2026-27)
Spencer Young – Niagara University (2024-25)


Oct. 2 – 8th
Oct. 9 – 5th
Oct. 16 – 4th
Oct. 23 – 2nd
Oct. 30 – 2nd
Nov. 6 – 4th
Nov. 13 – 2nd
Nov. 20 – 3rd
Nov. 27 – 3rd
Dec. 4 – 3rd
Dec. 11 – 3rd
Dec. 18 – 3rd
Jan. 8 – 3rd
Jan. 15 – 3rd
Jan. 22 – 3rd
Jan. 29 – 2nd
Feb. 5 – 2nd
Feb. 12 – 2nd
Feb. 19 – 2nd
Feb. 26 – 1st
March 4 – 1st
March 11 – 1st

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Winkler Flyers

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Winkler Flyers

An early-season hot streak put the MJHL champions on the path to their second trip to nationals

Shannon Coulter
May 06, 2024

In 1992, the Winkler Flyers were the runners-up to the Thunder Bay Flyers for Canada’s National Junior A Championship. Thirty-two years later, the Flyers have another chance at national glory at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons.

The road to Oakville was not necessarily an easy one as the Flyers faced tough competition in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) playoffs. After a five-game series win over the Portage Terriers, the Flyers and Virden Oil Capitals had three games go to overtime—including four periods of overtime in the series-deciding Game 6, where Jakob Jones notched the game-winner for Winkler.

Two additional games went to overtime in the MJHL final, but the Flyers were able to pull off a four-game sweep over the Steinbach Pistons to lock up its spot in Oakville.

The Flyers had a strong regular season with a 42-11-5 record—the second-best record in Manitoba and equalling the fourth-most wins in franchise history (which dates back to 1980). They were red-hot from the first drop of the puck in September, winning each of their first nine games and claiming top spot in the CJHL Top 20 rankings for two weeks in late October.

Dalton Andrew and Trent Penner have led the Flyers’ offence. Andrew was the top scorer in the MJHL regular season with 43 goals and 82 points, while Penner – named MJHL MVP – followed closely behind in second with 29 goals and 78 points.

Malachi Klassen earned playoff MVP honours; the 20-year-old had a 12-3 postseason record with a 2.07 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

The Flyers also have talent behind their bench—Justin Falk (283), Ryan White (332) and Eric Fehr (722) have a combined 1,337 games of NHL experience. Falk was hired as assistant general manager and assistant coach in March 2021, before being promoted to GM and head coach three months later. White as added as an assistant coach in August 2021, while Fehr was brought on as the director of player development in June 2022.


Manitoba Junior Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Portage Terriers 4-1 (4-1, 2-3, 5-3, 3-1, 6-3)
Semifinal: defeated Virden Oil Capitals 4-2 (0-4, 2-1, 1-4, 5-4 2OT, 2-1 2OT, 2-1 4OT)
Final: defeated Steinbach Pistons 4-0 (2-1, 3-1, 4-3 OT, 5-4 OT)


Record (W-L-OTL): 42-11-5 (2nd in MJHL)
Goals for: 234 (2nd in MJHL)
Goals against: 122 (2nd in MJHL)
Power play: 63 for 243 (25.9% – 1st in MJHL)
Penalty killing: 225 of 266 (84.6% – 3rd in MJHL)
Longest winning streak: 9 (Sept. 22-Oct. 23)

Top 3 scorers:
• Dalton Andrew – 43G 39A 82P (1st in MJHL)
• Trent Penner – 29G 49A 78P (2nd in MJHL)
• Brody Beauchemin – 13G 53A 66P (4th in MJHL)


Record: 12-3
Goals for: 45
Goals against: 35
Power play: 8 for 43 (18.6%)
Penalty killing: 37 of 49 (75.6%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Trent Penner – 6G 8A 14P
• Dalton Andrew – 4G 10A 14P
• Zach Nicolas – 6G 7A 13P


1992 – Winkler Flyers | runners-up | 3-3 | 24GF 33GA


Malachi Klassen – College of the Holy Cross (2024-25)
Zach Nicolas – Stonehill College (2024-25)
Trent Penner – University of Alaska Fairbanks (2024-25)


Oct. 2 – 5th
Oct. 9 – 3rd
Oct. 16 – 1st
Oct. 23 – 1st
Oct. 30 – 5th
Nov. 6 – 3rd
Nov. 13 – 5th
Nov. 20 – 7th
Nov. 27 – 6th
Dec. 4 – 6th
Dec. 11 – 6th
Dec. 18 – 7th
Jan. 8 – 9th
Jan. 15 – 8th
Jan. 22 – 6th
Jan. 29 – 6th
Feb. 5 – 5th
Feb. 12 – 5th
Feb. 19 – 5th
Feb. 26 – 4th
March 4 – 4th
March 11 – 4th

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Collège Français de Longueuil

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Collège Français de Longueuil

The LHJAAAQ champions got red-hot when it mattered most to return to the national championship for the second time in three years

Jason La Rose
May 06, 2024

There’s something to be said for timing.

Languishing in the middle of the standings in the Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ) as the regular season wound down, Collège Français de Longueuil picked the perfect time to play its best hockey of the season and earn its spot at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons.

Longueuil won its final nine games to close out its schedule before embarking on an epic playoff run that included a seven-game win over the top-ranked Cobras de Terrebonne in the semifinals and another over L’Everest de la Côte-du-Sud in the LHJAAAQ final.

Collège Français played its best games when it mattered most. Facing elimination in Game 7 against the Cobras, it romped to a 5-0 win, backed by a 31-save shutout from Mathis Lacroix-Goulet. It was only the second time in 60 games Terrebonne had been shut out. The other? Game 4, when Longueuil evened the series at two apiece.

In the final, after dropping the first two games to Côte-du-Sud, Longueuil responded by winning the next two by a combined 15-3, and took Games 6-7 by a combined 9-3 to punch its ticket to Oakville.

Collège Français wasn’t overly dominant in any single aspect – it was fifth in the LHJAAAQ in goals scored, fifth in goals allowed, eighth in power play and seventh in penalty kill – but when it came to playoff wins, nobody else got to 12.

Individually, Olivier Denis led the way in the regular season with 58 points (20-38—58), good for 27th in the LHJAAAQ, while Simon Laramée paced the offence in the playoffs with 19 points (10-9—19) in 18 games.

It’s the second time in three years Collège Français will represent Quebec at Canada’s National Junior A Championship; two years ago in Estevan, it reached the semifinals before bowing out to the eventual national champion Brooks Bandits.


Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec
Quarterfinal: defeated VC de Laval 4-0 (5-0, 4-1, 4-2, 2-1)
Semifinal: defeated Cobras de Terrebonne 4-3 (6-3, 2-8, 3-5, 3-0, 6-2, 0-4, 5-0)
Final: defeated L’Everest de la Côte-du-Sud 4-3 (1-6, 2-5, 7-2, 8-1, 1-3, 5-2, 4-1)


Record (W-L-OTL): 30-14-4 (4th in LHJAAAQ)
Goals for: 232 (5th in LHJAAAQ)
Goals against: 185 (5th in LHJAAAQ)
Power play: 46 for 200 (23.0% - 8th in LHJAAAQ)
Penalty killing: 141 of 182 (77.5% - 7th in LHJAAAQ)
Longest winning streak: 13 (Feb. 10-March 8)

Top 3 scorers:
• Olivier Denis – 20G 38A 58P (27th in LHJAAAQ)
• Jean-Thomas Turp-Tremblay – 24G 27A 51P (35th in LHJAAAQ)
• Brandon Boudreau – 28G 20A 48P (41st in LHJAAAQ)


Record: 12-6
Goals for: 68
Goals against: 46
Power play: 14 for 95 (14.7%)
Penalty killing: 78 of 91 (85.7%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Simon Laramée – 10G 9A 19P
• Thomas Bourbonnais – 8G 10A 18P
• Jean-Thomas Turp-Tremblay – 5G 12A 17P


2022 – Collège Français de Longueuil | 4th place | 3-3 | 21GF 26GA
1990 – Sieurs de Longueuil | 4th place | 1-4 | 16GF 34GA




Oct. 2 – not ranked
Oct. 9 – not ranked
Oct. 16 – not ranked
Oct. 23 – not ranked
Oct. 30 – not ranked
Nov. 6 – not ranked
Nov. 13 – not ranked
Nov. 20 – not ranked
Nov. 27 – not ranked
Dec. 4 – not ranked
Dec. 11 – not ranked
Dec. 18 – not ranked
Jan. 8 – not ranked
Jan. 15 – not ranked
Jan. 22 – not ranked
Jan. 29 – not ranked
Feb. 5 – not ranked
Feb. 12 – not ranked
Feb. 19 – not ranked
Feb. 26 – not ranked
March 4 – not ranked
March 11 – not ranked

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Greater Sudbury Cubs
© Rob Fera / Sudbury Light Event Photography

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Greater Sudbury Cubs

After a strong season, the NOJHL champions are eager to take their first national title 400 kilometres north to Sudbury

Shannon Coulter
May 05, 2024

Over three decades ago, Sudbury hosted Canada’s National Junior A Championship and the hometown Cubs were the runners-up. Now, the latest iteration of the Greater Sudbury Cubs will travel over 400 kilometres south to Oakville to represent the Big Nickel at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons.

The Cubs had a strong season in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), boasting a43-12-3 regular-season record to finish second in the standings. They ranked in the top three in goals for (285 – first), goals against (167 – third), power play (25.5% – third) and penalty kill (85.9% – first).

The division semifinal matchup was a rematch of last year’s West Division championship, with the Cubs facing off against the Soo Thunderbirds. Last season, that series marked the end of the Cubs’ playoff journey, but this year, Greater Sudbury prevailed with a six-game series win.

A five-game victory over the Blind River Beavers led the Cubs to a showdown with the Powassan Voodoos that wrapped up on April 25 with a 5-3 Cubs win in Game 5 and an NOJHL championship.

Co-captain Oliver Smith led the offence, recording 45 goals and 102 points to sit fourth in NOJHL scoring. The Lively, Ontario, native became the first Cubs’ player to have a 100-point season since the 2011-12 season, when Sudbury had three players pass the century mark: Jordan Carrol (157), Jamie Haines (128) and Nick Esposto (115).

Another standout for the Cubs this year was rookie Hudson Chitaroni, who joined brother Mason on the Greater Sudbury roster. The 16-year-old averaged 1.4 points per game, registering 31 goals and 77 points in the regular season and adding 12 goals and 22 points in the playoffs.

An additional advantage for the Cubs? Their home rink, the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, has Olympic-sized ice, which will make playing at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville an easy transition.


Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Soo Thunderbirds 4-2 (2-1, 2-3 OT, 2-4, 4-3, 4-0, 4-0)
Semifinal: defeated Blind River Beavers 4-1 (2-1, 2-6, 5-1, 9-2, 3-1)
Final: defeated Powassan Voodoos 4-1 (2-5, 2-0, 5-0, 4-3 OT, 5-3)


Record (W-L-OTL): 43-12-3 (2nd in NOJHL)
Goals for: 285 (1st in NOJHL)
Goals against: 167 (3rd in NOJHL)
Power play: 61 for 239 (25.5% – 3rd in NOJHL)
Penalty killing: 201 of 234 (85.9% – 1st in NOJHL)
Longest winning streak: 9 (Sept. 7-Oct. 3)

Top 3 scorers:
• Oliver Smith – 45G 57A 102P (3rd in NOJHL)
• Hudson Chitaroni – 31G 46A 77P (6th in NOJHL)
• Samuel Assinewai – 21G 43A 64P (16th in NOJHL)


Record: 12-4
Goals for: 57
Goals against: 33
Power play: 14 for 53 (26.4%)
Penalty killing: 52 of 67 (77.6%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Nolan Newton – 12G 10A 22P
• Hudson Chitaroni – 12G 10A 22P
• Samuel Assinewai – 5G 9A 14P


First appearance


Ethan Larmand – Queen’s University (2024-25)


Oct. 2 – 4th
Oct. 9 – 6th
Oct. 16 – 11th
Oct. 23 – not ranked
Oct. 30 – 15th
Nov. 6 – 16th
Nov. 13 – 15th
Nov. 20 – 13th
Nov. 27 – 13th
Dec. 4 – 12th
Dec. 11 – 12th
Dec. 18 – 15th
Jan. 8 – 15th
Jan. 15 – 15th
Jan. 22 – 13th
Jan. 29 – 12th
Feb. 5 – 13th
Feb. 12 – 12th
Feb. 19 – 14th
Feb. 26 – 15th
March 4 – 14th
March 11 – 13th

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Sioux Lookout Bombers

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Sioux Lookout Bombers

Just two seasons into their existence, the SIJHL champions won their way to Oakville with a dominant playoff run

Jason La Rose
May 05, 2024

Well, that didn’t take long.

Just two years after joining the Superior International Junior Hockey Legaue (SIJHL) as an expansion franchise, the Sioux Lookout Bombers are SIJHL champions.

With that title comes a trip to the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons.

After a third-place finish in their inaugural season, which ended with a Game 7 overtime loss to the Wisconsin Lumberjacks in the first round of the playoffs, the Bombers settled in as the No. 2 team in the SIJHL in 2023-24, finishing five points back of the Kam River Fighting Walleye.

While Sioux Lookout iced the fourth-ranked offence in the regular season – led by Owen Riffel’s 67 points (36-31—67), good for third in SIJHL scoring – it was the defence that led the way. It allowed just 113 goals in 49 games, 17 less than the Fighting Walleye, and the one-two punch of Jack Osmond (2.22 GAA, .939 SV%) and Matthew Spencer-Diehl (2.15 GAA, .938 SV%) finished first and second in goals-against average and save percentage.

Winners of their final four games – and six of their last seven – to close out the regular season, the Bombers stayed hot in the playoffs. They won 12 of 13 in all, dropping an overtime decision to Thunder Bay in Game 4 of the semifinals, and played only four one-goal games.

They capped their run to the Bill Salonen Cup in style, sweeping aside Kam River, the defending league champion, when Jonah Smith scored the overtime winner in Game 4 to set off a raucous celebration at Memorial Arena.

SIJHL champions have not had a tremendous amount of success since the National Junior A Championship went to a 10-team format, missing out on the playoff round in 2022 and 2023. The last time an SIJHL team made noise at the tournament was 2013, when the Minnesota Wilderness reached the semifinals.


Superior International Junior Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Fort Frances Lakers 4-0 (7-3, 9-0, 3-0, 4-1)
Semifinal: defeated Thunder Bay North Stars 4-1 (3-2, 7-4, 4-3 OT, 5-6 OT, 4-2)
Final: defeated Kam River Fighting Walleye 4-0 (5-3, 6-2, 4-2, 3-2 OT)


Record (W-L-OTL): 35-10-4 (2nd in SIJHL)
Goals for: 200 (4th in SIJHL)
Goals against: 113 (1st in SIJHL)
Power play: 64 for 278 (23.0% - 4th in SIJHL)
Penalty killing: 186 of 220 (84.5% - 2nd in SIJHL)
Longest winning streak: 13 (Nov. 16-Jan. 12)

Top 3 scorers:
• Owen Riffel – 36G 31A 67P (3rd in SIJHL)
• Blake Burke – 19G 37A 56P (8th in SIJHL)
• Connor Burke – 28G 25A 53P (9th in SIJHL)


Record: 12-1
Goals for: 64
Goals against: 30
Power play: 21 for 62 (33.9%)
Penalty killing: 43 of 52 (82.7%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Jonah Smith – 11G 6A 17P
• Alex Lucas – 3G 13A 16P
• Owen Riffel – 6G 8A 14P


First appearance




Oct. 2 – 7th
Oct. 9 – 15th
Oct. 16 – 15th
Oct. 23 – 14th
Oct. 30 – not ranked
Nov. 6 – not ranked
Nov. 13 – not ranked
Nov. 20 – not ranked
Nov. 27 – 20th
Dec. 4 – 20th
Dec. 11 – Honourable Mention
Dec. 18 – 20th
Jan. 8 – 16th
Jan. 15 – 18th
Jan. 22 – 18th
Jan. 29 – 20th
Feb. 5 – 19th
Feb. 12 – 20th
Feb. 19 – 20th
Feb. 26 – not ranked
March 4 – not ranked
March 11 – not ranked

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For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) vs. Oakville Blades (HST) | Centennial Cup
Collingwood Blues (OJHL) vs. Navan Grads (CCHL) | Centennial Cup
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Winkler Flyers (MJHL) vs.Miramichi Timberwolves (MHL) | Centennial Cup
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Oakville, ON
Date: May 9 to 19
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Prague & Ostrava, Czechia
Date: May 10 to 26
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10