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Need to Know: The 2016 OHL Cup

By Nicholas Carafa on March 15, 2016

Quinte Red Devil Nathan Dunkley is mobbed by his linemates after he scored in the Devils' wildcard game against the Vaughan Kings. The win for the Red Devils meant they would move on to round-robin play in the 2016 OHL Cup at Scotiabank Pond in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Max Lewis)

Once the bantam division was switched over to 14-year-olds and the minor-midget division became the official representation of the 15-year-old age group in 2002, GTHL President John Gardner and OHL Commissioner David Branch came together to establish a tournament that would showcase the best players of this age group across Ontario. 

The OHL Cup is a best-on-best tournament, showcasing the 20 finest teams across Canada and the United States. 

This year’s rendition of the tournament went through a couple changes from years past. Fifteen teams (originally 17) will have secured a tournament spot through the likes of their respective league play.

It breaks down as follows. Four spots will be given to Scotiabank GTHL Playoffs semi-finalists. Another four are handed out to the four teams that place from first to fourth at the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) Championship.

The tournament will also see three clubs from the ALLIANCE, including the champion and finalist, as well as the winner of a best-of-three Wildcard Series to be played between the two semifinal losers. 

Finally, two spots will be awarded to United States entries, one to a Hockey Northwestern Ontario (HNO) club and another to the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA).

The 15 teams that have secured a spot have already been divided into four divisions, with the wildcard winners added in once Tuesday’s results were finalized. 

Nash Division:  
    Toronto Marlboros
    Southern Tier Admirals
    Team NOHA
    TPH Thunder
    Quinte Red Devils  

Subban Division:
    Toronto Red Wings
    York Simcoe Express
    Windsor Junior Spitfires
    Mississauga Senators
    Kingston Jr. Frontenacs

Shanahan Division:
    Mississauga Rebels
    Barrie Jr. Colts
    Elite Hockey Group
    London Jr. Knights
    Don Mills Flyers

Lindros Division:
    Toronto Jr. Canadiens
    Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
    Waterloo Wolves
    Thunder Bay Kings
    Niagara North Stars

“It's important for them to have the opportunity to have as close to a provincial championship [as possible],” said GTHL Executive Director Scott Oakman. “It's a tournament of champions in a lot of different ways and it's a great way to finish off their minor-hockey careers because they’ll have the opportunity to be on a stage where it's best-on-best while demonstrating their skills and abilities leading up to the OHL Priority Selection.”

The Don Mills Flyers were finalists in last year’s event. They need a wildcard win against the Kitchener Jr. Rangers to have a shot at making the finals for a second year in a row. They managed to steal a spot in round-robin play after they were able to overcome a 3-1 deficit to force overtime. Jack McBain was able to jam in the rebound off a Sam Rhodes shot to push the Flyers into the OHL Cup. McBain suffered an injury in the Scotiabank GTHL Top Prospects Game back in December. 

Round-robin play begins tonight evening with a quartet of match-ups. In one rink at Scotiabank Pond, the Marlies will take on the Admirals at 7:00 p.m. while the Spitfires dance with the Jr. Red Wings at 8:45 p.m.

Over at Rink 2, the Jr. Canadiens square off against the Jr. Bulldogs at 7:15 p.m. while 9:00 p.m. is spotlighted by the Rebels and Jr. Colts.

For a complete tournament schedule, please visit:   

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By Nicholas Carafa| March 15, 2016
Categories:  Minor Hockey
Keywords:  GTHLOHL Cup ShowcaseOMHA

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