u18 club nationals  bracket 960x540  apr10

Six teams set for U18 Club Nationals

From Alberta to Nova Scotia, the best from across the country will compete for Canada’s Men’s U18 National Club Championship in Saint-Hyacinthe

Jonathan Yue
April 13, 2023

There will be a new champion crowned at the 2023 Men’s U18 National Club Championship, with six teams locked in and ready to go in Saint Hyacinthe.

The Atlantic Region champion Pictou County Majors earned the first spot (other than the host Gaulois de Saint-Hyacinthe) on April 2, and watched last weekend as the field was finalized for the championship set to begin on April 24.

Joining the Majors and Gaulois will be the Blizzard du Séminaire Saint-François (Quebec), Calgary Flames (Pacific), Saskatoon Blazers (West) and Toronto Jr. Canadiens (Central).

Here is a quick look at the teams competing:


Originally scheduled to host the U18 Club Nationals in 2020, the Gaulois will finally have a chance to show what they can do against the national competition in front of their home crowd. With a 26-16-0 record that put them fifth during the LDHM18AAAQ regular season, the Gaulois survived a new playoff format, winning the Jimmy Ferrari Cup to enter the national championship as champions. Caleb Desnoyers was the scoring star for Saint-Hyacinthe, leading the team in points in the regular season and playoffs.

This will be the second time the Gaulois have played at the U18 Club Nationals; finishing fourth in 2010 and, in 2003, with Pittsburgh Penguins standout Kris Letang on the blue line, they went 5-0 in the preliminary round before settling for silver.


The Majors have overcome a lot of obstacles to get to Saint-Hyacinthe. They knocked off three teams with national pedigrees to win the Atlantic title, beating out last year’s hosts from Sydney and perennial contender Halifax to get out of Nova Scotia before ending the Moncton Flyers’ hopes of repeating as national champions in the regional final. Finishing the regular season atop the NSU18MHL with the 27-6-2 record, Pictou County’s depth shone through, led by Lane Lochead, who led the league in scoring in the regular season and playoffs.

This is the second appearance for the Majors at the national championship, but the first time they has qualified as Atlantic champs; they hosted in 1997, finishing sixth.


Following a dominant regular season, the Jr. Canadiens are headed to the Men’s U18 National Club Championship. Finishing atop the GTHL standings with 31 wins in 36 regular-season games and close to five goals per game, the Jr. Canadiens went 14-5 to claim league and regional titles. Led by Luciano Bruno in the Central Regional, Toronto outscored its opponents 31-15, capped by a 6-3 victory over the host Windsor Jr. Spitfires.

This will be the Jr. Canadiens’ second national championship appearance; with Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Alex Pietrangelo leading their back-end in 2006, they finished fourth after a shootout loss in the bronze medal game.


After finishing fourth in the AEHL during the regular season with a 23-12-2 record, the Flames turned up the heat in the playoffs, rolling through Alberta with just three losses in 11 games (finished by a sweep of St. Albert in the AEHL final), and swept Okanagan in the Pacific Regional. Joshua Wiebe was the offensive leader from start to finish, leading the Flames in scoring in the regular season (60 points in 38 games), playoffs (21 in 10) and regional (seven in two), punctuated by a hat trick and five points in the finale against the Rockets to help the Flames book their ticket to Saint-Hyacinthe.

This will be the Flames’ second appearance at the U18 national championship, 24 years after their silver medal performance in 1999. They can become the first Alberta team in 10 years to win gold; with the Red Deer Chiefs were the last in 2013.


The Blizzard will make the 140-kilometre drive south on the Trans-Canada Highway for its record-extending 17th appearance at the U18 Club Nationals. The second-best team in the LDHM18AAAQ during the regular season at 29-11-2, Saint-François earned a place at the Classique des Champions before falling 5-2 to the Gaulois in the championship game. The offence runs through Benjamin Chabot, who had 51 points in the regular season, good for sixth in the LDHM18AAAQ; only one other Blizzard skater recorded at least 40.

Last crowned as Canada’s best in 2001, the Blizzard have their sights set on a fifth national title, which would tie them with the Notre Dame Hounds for the most ever. That 2001 title was also the last won by a team from Quebec, with 10 runner-up finishes since then.


When the Blazers hit the ice in Saint-Hyacinthe, it will mark 49 years since they last appeared on the national stage. Finishing the regular season atop the SMAAAHL standings, the Blazers are no strangers to winning; they won 35 of 44 in the regular season and lost only twice (both in the Saskatchewan league final and both in overtime) in 15 playoff games on their road to nationals, outscoring their opponents 70-27 in the postseason. Cole Reschny is the name to watch for the Blazers; the third-overall pick by Victoria in the 2022 WHL Prospects Draft had 65 points (23-42—65) in the regular season, good for second in the SMAAAHL, and added 25 (12-13—25) in the playoffs.

Fourth-place finishers at the very first nationals in 1974, the Blazers will look to continue a run of success by Saskatchewan teams; nine have won national titles since the start of the 2000s with three more earning bronze.

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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2023 U18 Nationals: Thursday, November 9 (Quarterfinals)
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2023 U18 Nationals: Tuesday, November 7 (Preliminary)
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