Connor Hughes has already backstopped his squad to a championship in his final season of junior hockey. But the Carleton Place Canadians’ 20-year-old puckstopper is now hoping to lead his club to one, and even better, two more championships.
A glimpse into the Central Canada Hockey League’s future was on display in early April. The league’s Bantam Protected Draft was staged on April 10 at the Navan Memorial Arena, the home rink of the Cumberland Grads.
The Carleton Place Canadians have advanced to the CCHL finals for the fourth consecutive season, and for the second year in a row, are facing the Ottawa Jr. Senators for the Bogart Cup Championship.
For members of the Ottawa Jr. Senators, it was a rather painful experience to watch. Flashback to late April of 2016. The Jr. Senators had come as close as they could get to winning a league title.
The Ottawa Jr. Sens have taken a 2-0 series lead on the Cornwall Colts, who went into the playoffs as the league’s second seeded team. The Jr. Sens surprised the Colts with a 5-1 victory on Thursday, March 30th, and followed it up with a hard-fought 2-1 win on Saturday.
Though he is still one of the youngest members of the Ottawa Jr. Senators, defenceman Merrick Rippon is receiving plenty of rave reviews. In fact, the 16-year-old had such an amazing season that he was selected as the Rookie of the Year in the Central Canada Hockey League.
The CCHL’s runaway scoring champion was also selected as the league’s most valuable player. Cumberland Grads star forward Grant Hebert ended up atop the CCHL scoring race, racking up 91 points (27 goals and 64 assists) in 60 regular season outings.
The 2016-17 CCHL Playoffs kicked off on March 15th, and for the fourth year in a row, the Carleton Place Canadians are the clear favourites. With the Cornwall Colts and Ottawa Jr. Sens also playing terrific hockey, the Canadians could face their biggest challenge of the year—provided they get past Nepean Raiders in the first round.
An agonizing two-day wait finally came to an end for members of the Nepean Raiders on late Sunday afternoon. The Raiders concluded their Central Canada Hockey League regular season action this past Friday with a 3-2 overtime road victory against the Pembroke Lumber Kings.
Paul Dyck has had his share of successes since taking over the Steinbach Pistons’ head coaching and managerial duties in 2012. Dyck led the Pistons to a Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) championship in 2013. And his squad advanced to the league finals in each of the past two seasons.
Liam Lascelle has proven that he can be a rather reliable goalkeeper in the Central Canada Hockey League. But it remains to be seen whether the Cornwall Colts’ 19-year-old puckstopper can also get the job done in the playoffs.
Paul Vella has bounced around to various teams and leagues during his junior career. But the Kanata Lasers are glad the 20-year-old forward, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., has spent the entire 2016-17 campaign on their roster.
If the Central Canada Hockey League playoffs were to begin today, the Hawkesbury Hawks would have home-ice advantage in the opening round.
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