By Alex Gallacher
The playoff format for the 2022 Nutrafarms OJHL Championship Series has been announced. A four round playoff format will see the winner of the Buckland Cup head directly to Estevan, Saskatchewan to compete in the national tournament.
Due to the close points tally in the East division the Haliburton County Huskies will lock up either the first, second, or third seed, which will mean three possible first round matchups. Beginning on April 10, the Huskies realistically could face the four place Cobourg Cougars should they nab the first seed, or should they lock up the second or third seed a meeting with either the Trenton Golden Hawks or Wellington Dukes await. This opening round will be a best of three series, with the Huskies overall best division head-to-head record coming against the Cobourg Cougars with four wins, one loss and one tie.
Should the Huskies advance from the first round they will start the OJHL divisional finals, beginning on April 16. The higher seeded team will have home ice advantage, with a best-of-five series. Moving on from there, the Huskies will play in the OJHL conference championships, beginning on April 22. This round will be another best of five series, against the winner of the South division.
Finally, should the Huskies go all the way they will move onto the 2022 Nutrafarms OJHL Championship Series beginning on May 2. Competing with the winners of the opposing North-West conference, the Buckland Cup will be on the line in a grueling best of seven game series. With all nine league winners moving on, if the Huskies win the Buckland they will not need to compete in the regional championships which was due to be hosted by the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).
The Centennial Cup championship will feature the Estevan Bruins as the host team as well as the winners from the SIJHL, OJHL, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Maritimes Hockey League (MHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and finally the Ligue de Hockey Junior du Quebec (LHJQ). The British Columbia Hockey League withdrew their membership from the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) governing body and will not be competing at the tournament.
As the seeding is still unclear, official dates for the Huskies first round playoff games haven’t been finalized yet. The Huskies have three more games left (one home, two away), with the final two away games coming against the Mississauga Chargers and the Wellington Dukes and the final home game versus the Chargers.