By the time the OHL final begins on Thursday, the Eastern Conference champion Hamilton Bulldogs will have gone through seven days since their last game, certainly enough time to rest up and nurse any bumps or bruises.
And then there were four. This past August, 36 teams from the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Maritime Hockey League (MHL) and Ligue de Hockey Junior AAA du Quebec (LHJAAAQ) had circled the dates of May 2-6, 2018 on their calendars.
In one of the most dominant runs in recent memory, the Notre Dame Hounds won the TELUS Cup after going unbeaten in both the round robin and knockout stage.
For the first time in the Female Midget National Championship, there is a repeat champion after the St. Albert Slash beat the Saskatoon Stars 2-1 in the final.
2018 Alberta Champions Cup, 2004 Gold Medal Game, April 29, 2018: Kamloops Jr. Blazers 7 vs. Skillz Phantoms 2
Hockey in April is an interesting time. At the younger ranks, seasons are over or winding down and kids may venture into other sports or spring/summer hockey.
After four days of the TELUS Cups, contenders are starting to separate from pretenders. The Notre Dame Hounds from Saskatchewan are alone atop the standing with a perfect 4-0, including a hard-fought 2-1 win over Lethbridge. They are first in both goals scored goals allowed.
The Saskatoon Stars have soared through the field at the Esso Cup, posting a perfect 5-0 mark against their competitors. They’ve outscored opponents 23-3 in including three shutouts. The closest games they’ve played were a 4-1 win over St. Albert and 5-2 victory over the Northern Selects.
It’s fascinating to see how history or in this case, QMJHL playoff pairings, repeat themselves. Very often, hockey rivalries are born through geographic proximities like the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Val d’Or Foreurs who are separated by a mere 106 kilometres.
It comes as no surprise to Saskatoon Stars head coach Greg Slobodzian that Mackenna Parker was chosen for the Hockey Canada Isobel Gathorne-Hardy award.
A new crop of talented players is bound to hit the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) and major junior hockey, many bound to be stars in hockey for years to come.
The 2018 Alberta Cup is officially underway, with eight teams made up of Alberta top 2003-born male players competing for the provincial crown.
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