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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.

HOW THEY GOT TO OAKVILLE

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)

REGULAR SEASON

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)

PLAYOFFS

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

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

First appearance

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

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

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

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

Collingwood Blues win 2024 Centennial Cup

Blues become the first OJHL champion in 17 years to win Canada’s National Junior A Championship

NR.034.24
|
May 21, 2024

OAKVILLE, Ontario – The Collingwood Blues captured the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, with a 1-0 shutout of the Melfort Mustangs on Sunday. 

It was a night of redemption for the Blues, who were knocked out of the 2023 Centennial Cup in the quarterfinals, but returned to go undefeated at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex. With the win, the Blues became the first Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) team to win Canada’s National Junior A Championship since the Cobourg Cougars in 2017, and the first OJHL champions to win the national title since the Aurora Tigers in 2007 (Cobourg was the host team).

The first period had no scoring, with Collingwood holding a 13-4 edge in shots. The deadlock continued until the 4:01 mark of the second period, when Jack Silverman (Toronto, ON) tipped a shot past Melfort goaltender James Venne (Saskatoon, SK) on the power play to give his team a 1-0 lead.

“I was just trying to stay calm. The goal came halfway through the game and we still had a long way to go,” Silverman said. “We had been playing well and we got the bounce that was coming to us, I was in the right spot and Robbie [Jack Robertson] put a perfect shot right on my stick and I was happy to tip it home. The amount of people around the rink cheering us on, it’s really the best feeling in the world to have the best fans in this league.”

Goaltending would be the story for the rest of the game as both netminders would turn aside every shot that came their way. Noah Pak (Oakville, ON) turned aside all 23 shots he faced on the way to Collingwood’s first national title.

“All the work that everyone puts in—we worked so hard for this. To get it done means the world,” said head coach Andrew Campoli. “I’ll be honest, it hurt leaving last time, and [coming into this year’s tournament] we had some unfinished business and the job is done.”

Full game stats and story are available HERE.

Collingwood was undefeated through the preliminary round to win Group A with a perfect 4-0 record. The Blues posted wins over the Calgary Canucks (5-4), Greater Sudbury Cubs (10-2), Collège Français de Longueuil (8-0), Navan Grads (3-2) before a 5-2 semifinal win over the Miramichi Timberwolves.

Before the game, the tournament award winners were announced:

  • Most Valuable Player: Julien Gervais (Windsor, ON) – Calgary Canucks
  • Best Forward: Dalton Andrew (Brandon, MB) – Winkler Flyers
  • Best Defender: Leith Olafson (Wasa, BC) – Melfort Mustangs
  • Best Goaltender: Jaeden Nelson (Ottawa, ON) – Navan Grads
  • Most Sportsmanlike Player: Riley Hearn (Calgary, AB) – Calgary Canucks

 

For more information on Hockey Canada and the 2024 Centennial Cup, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

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Centennial Cup at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ontario

11 days in Oakville, by the numbers

A facts-and-figures look at the 2024 Centennial Cup, on and off the ice

Shannon Coulter
|
May 19, 2024

From 117 teams down to two, either the Collingwood Blues or the Melfort Mustangs will be lifting the Centennial Cup.

As we prepare to crown Canada’s national Junior A champions, let’s look back at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, by the numbers.

3 – Shutouts through the semifinals; Collingwood’s Noak Pak (against Longueuil), Winkler’s Malachi Klassen (against Oakville) and Greater Sudbury’s Noah Beaulne (against Longueuil) all earned clean sheets.

7 – Days between when the Miramichi Timberwolves won the MHL championship to qualify for the Centennial Cup and their first game of the tournament.

16 – Officials who worked the Centennial Cup. The crew had a wide representation from across the country, from Edmonton, Alberta, to Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia.

29 – Shootout attempts by players; the Melfort Mustangs, Calgary Canucks and Miramichi Timberwolves each earned shootout victories in the preliminary round, with none going past the required five rounds.

40 – Days between the conclusion of the host Oakville Blades’ playoff run and their first game of the tournament, the longest break of any competing team (the Calgary Canucks had the second-longest at 22 days).

49 – Power play goals scored through the semifinals. Spencer Young and Cody Pisarczyk lead the tournament with three power play goals each.

141 – Media interviews conducted through the semifinals. This includes broadcast interviews for the HockeyCanada.ca livestream, accredited media from the CJHL and Hockey Canada feature stories.

120 – Volunteers to help the tournament run behind the scenes, including off-ice officials, team services and transportation.

121 – Canadians who attended their first hockey game through the Tim Hortons Families First program. The families were treated to Hockey Canada swag and centre-ice tickets, and enjoyed Tim Hortons after the game.

150 – Members of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies who attended the preliminary-round game between the Sioux Lookout Bombers and Melfort Mustangs in honour of Children and Youth in Care Day, celebrated on May 14.

167 – Goals scored through the semifinals. Miramichi Timberwolves’ Elliot Robert had seven goals in six games for the most goals by one player.

377 – Accreditations issued for team personnel.

678 – Pucks used through the semifinals.

1,455 – Minutes of hockey played through the semifinals. Only three games went beyond 60 minutes – Melfort vs. Winkler, Calgary vs. Navan and Miramichi vs. Winkler all required shootouts to decide a winner.

1,440 – Bottles of Gatorade consumed by the 10 teams.

1,497 – Students and staff that cheered on teams during the five school-day games.

9,204 – Kilometres travelled by all teams to Oakville (according to Google Maps). The shortest distance travelled was by the Collingwood Blues, who are 124.6 km away, while the Calgary Canucks travelled 2700.5 km to compete.

39,423 – Photos taken by Hockey Canada Images photographers Heather Pollock and Lori Bolliger through the semifinals. They included on-ice action, player headshots, behind-the-scenes exclusives and partner activations.

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Molinaro gets his moment

After getting a taste of the Centennial Cup last season, albeit from the sidelines, Julian Molinaro has backstopped the Calgary Canucks to the National Junior A Championship

Jason La Rose
|
May 17, 2024

One year ago, Julian Molinaro watched every second of the Centennial Cup from the bench.

In fact, the goaltender didn’t see the ice at all in the Collingwood Blues’ run to the quarterfinals of Canada’s National Junior A Championship, serving as backup as Noah Pak played every second of the Blues’ 24 postseason games.

But this season, it’s a much different story.

One thing has remained the same, though—Molinaro is back at the national championship. He’s just got a much more active role, stopping pucks for the Calgary Canucks as they chase a national title.

And since the hockey gods work in mysterious ways, it was fitting that when Molinaro and the Canucks hit the ice for their first game on May 9, it was Pak standing in the crease at the other end.

Neither goaltender will be adding that game to their personal highlight reel—Molinaro allowed five goals on 26 shots, while Pak surrendered four for just the sixth time in 62 starts as the Canucks dropped a 5-4 decision in a game dominated by special teams.

“Before [the game], I walked into the rink and I saw the Collingwood equipment manager, Richard Judges. So it was kind of crazy,” Molinaro says of seeing familiar faces. “Once I got on the ice, it was so weird playing against Noah and [Mark] McIntosh, [Spencer] Young, all those guys. Obviously, I didn't have my best [game]. Probably one of my worst games of the year, but it's all right. We'll see them again, hopefully.”

When the 2022-23 season ended for Collingwood with its 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Jr. Senators in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, so too did Molinaro’s time as a Blue. He was terrific as a backup, fashioning a 2.33 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 20 appearances, but with Pak set to return for a final Junior A season, Molinaro was ready for a change, and an opportunity to be a starter.

Enter Canucks head coach and general manager Brad Moran, who officially acquired the goaltender on July 11.

“I know he didn't play in the playoffs, but he had been through the experience,” Moran says of Molinaro’s time in Collingwood, “and to come through a winning team in a playoffs where you don't play, but have your teammates, coaches and everyone else commending you for the attitude [and] the effort was something that definitely opened our eyes.”

The Mississauga, Ontario, native was even better than advertised, leading all Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) puck-stoppers with 27 wins and six shutouts, and finishing third with a 2.60 GAA and .916 save percentage.

He then won 12 of his 15 postseason starts with terrific numbers (2.56 GAA, .908 SV%), backstopping the Canucks to their first AJHL championship since 1999 and their first trip to the Centennial Cup since they won their lone national title in 1995.

“Deep down I knew I could [be a starter], but you don't actually know until you do it,” Molinaro says. “And once I got the chance and the opportunity to run with things and Brad gave me the ball, I think I really got in the groove and it helped me a lot. It's a great feeling, knowing you have the whole staff and team behind you.”

“He came in, he was the top goalie in our league this year in my mind, and gave us a chance to win every night,” Moran adds. “He pushed our guys on and off the ice, and that's what we want.”

Two days after the Canucks finished their sweep of the Whitecourt Wolverines to win the AJHL title, Molinaro officially committed to Northern Michigan University, where he’ll join the Wildcats this fall.

It’s been nothing but success for the 20-year-old, and no one is happier for him than his former partner.

“He's got an unreal work ethic, one of the hardest working guys I know,” Pak says. “I'm super happy for him and getting his commitment and his success this year… couldn't be happier for him.”

But there’s one more piece of the puzzle that makes this homecoming even more special for Molinaro.

He and his father, Jason, were fixtures at Blades games as Julian grew up, and when the Canucks stepped onto the ice at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex for the first time, Molinaro knew just where to look.

“I almost started crying, because my dad was in the corner where we grew up watching Blades games,” he says. “I've been at this rink since I was seven years old watching the Blades every Friday night, and me and my dad always sat in the same corner, and now to be on the ice and him to be in that corner, I think it's unbelievable. It's really full circle.”

Now all that’s left is the Hollywood ending. The Canucks face the Winkler Flyers in a Friday quarterfinal, with a semifinal date with the Melfort Mustangs awaiting the winner.

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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.

HOW THEY GOT TO OAKVILLE

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)

REGULAR SEASON

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)

PLAYOFFS

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

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

First appearance

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

Jeremy Duhamel – Nipissing University (2024-25)

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

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.

HOW THEY GOT TO OAKVILLE

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)

REGULAR SEASON

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)

PLAYOFFS

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

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

First appearance

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

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)

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

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.

HOW THEY GOT TO OAKVILLE

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)

REGULAR SEASON

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)

PLAYOFFS

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

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

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

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

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

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

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.

HOW THEY GOT TO OAKVILLE

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)

REGULAR SEASON

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)

PLAYOFFS

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

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

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

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

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)

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

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.

HOW THEY GOT TO OAKVILLE

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)

REGULAR SEASON

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)

PLAYOFFS

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

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

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

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

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

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

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.

HOW THEY GOT TO OAKVILLE

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)

REGULAR SEASON

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)

PLAYOFFS

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

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

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

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

None

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

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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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]

Videos
Photos
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, CZE 3 OT (Preliminary)
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MWC: Remembering the wild ride in Riga
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Centennial: Highlights – Collingwood 1, Melfort 0 (Championship)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 3, SUI 2 (Preliminary)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 5, FIN 3 (Preliminary)
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NMT: Evason brings passion and pride to Prague
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, NOR 1 (Preliminary)
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Miramichi Timberwolves (MHL) vs. Collingwood Blues (OJHL)| Centennial Cup
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Calgary Canucks (AJHL) vs. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)| Centennial Cup
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Centennial: From brothers to teammates
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Winkler Flyers (MJHL) vs. Calgary Canucks (AJHL) | Centennial Cup
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Navan Grads (CCHL) vs. Miramichi Timberwolves (MHL) | Centennial Cup
Schedule
HC Logo
Prague & Ostrava, Czechia
Date: May 10 to 26
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10