Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League

The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) is a Canadian junior ice hockey league based in Southern Ontario, Canada. The league is sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Association, Ontario Hockey Federation, and Hockey Canada. The league is considered Junior B by the OHA, although it has attempted several times to be promoted to Junior A.[1]

Greater Ontario Junior
Hockey League
SportIce hockey
Founded2007
CommissionerGreg Best
No. of teams25
CountriesCanada (24 teams)
United States (1 team)
HeadquartersCambridge, Ontario
ContinentNorth America
Most recent
champion(s)
Waterloo Siskins
(1st title)
Official websiteGOJHL.ca
OHA Junior "B"
WJBHL (1950–1968)
EJBHL (1950–1972)
MetJHL (1950–1989)
NDJBHL (1954–1979)
CJBHL (1954–1993)
BCJHL (1958–1964)
MOJBHL (1970–1978)
SWJBHL (1976–1978)
WOHL (1969–2007)
MWJHL (1973–2007)
GHL (1974–2007)
GOJHL (2007–Present)
Ontario Hockey Association
Sutherland Cup

The league was created in 2007 through the merging of the Western Ontario Hockey League, Mid-Western Junior Hockey League, and Golden Horseshoe Junior Hockey League to dissuade perceived "player raiding" from teams in the then-Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League. The twenty-seven teams of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League come from Southwestern Ontario, the Golden Horseshoe, and includes one team from Western New York.

In July 2013, TheHockeyWriters.com listed the GOJHL as the eighth best developmental league, professional or amateur, in North America. The GOJHL was the only Junior B league to make their list.[2]

History

In the late 1990s, the Western Ontario Junior B Hockey League began complaining about their top level players being pulled from their teams at trade deadline time by Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League clubs without permission or compensation. A common view in Southern Ontario Junior B circles is that Junior "A" and Junior "B" are approximately the same skill level. In fact the OPJHL was known as the Central Ontario Junior B Hockey League until 1993, as well the Metro Junior A Hockey League which folded in 1998 was a Junior "B" league until 1991.

During the 2006–07 season, the general managers of all Ontario Hockey Association Junior "B" teams came together and voted unanimously to merge and create the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League effective for the 2007-08 season. The GOJHL will become the sole competing body of the Sutherland Cup, which had as many as eight leagues competing for it at one time.

The 2007–08 season did not start off as planned. The management of the Mid-Western league resigned and needed to be replaced, and with a lack of organization due to the short time the new management had to get organized, the MWJHL had to opt out of an interlocking schedule. As a result, the entire GOJHL went without an interlocking schedule for 2007-08. The 2008-09 season saw the complete liquidation of all three divisional managements and a single governing body was put in place for the league. Additionally, inter-divisional play would also commence.

In the future, the league has stated that it will pursue club expansion, a reconfiguration that will move the league from three to four divisions, and possibly a move to join the Canadian Junior A Hockey League in future years.

On September 8, 2007, the Cambridge Winterhawks and the Guelph Dominators played the first ever game since the inception of the GOJHL. Despite leading 2-0 and outshooting Guelph, the defending Sutherland Cup Champions allowed five unanswered goals to drop the game 5-2. On May 3, 2008, the Tecumseh Chiefs finished a four-game sweep of the Elmira Sugar Kings to win the first ever GOJHL championship.

On September 24, 2008, the GOJHL hosted its first interdivisional regular season game between the Golden Horseshoe's Wheatfield Jr. Blades and the Western's London Nationals in London, Ontario. The Nationals won the game 6-2.

The LaSalle Vipers, 2010 Sutherland Cup champions, were asked to represent the Ontario Hockey Association and Hockey Canada for "Canada Day" in Mexico. On December 16, 2010, the Vipers played the Mexico Under-20 National Team and defeated them 9-2 in Mexico City. In January 2011, the GOJHL's Golden Horseshoe Conference and Midwestern Conference hosted the Russian Minor Hockey League's "Red Stars" who did not make their Under-20 Team. On January 1, the MHL Red Stars defeated the Golden Horseshoe Conference 7-4 and on January 3, the Red Stars defeated the Midwestern Conference 11-3. The MHL is Russia's top tier Junior league, while each conference of the GOJHL is a third of Southern Ontario's third-tier of Junior hockey.

On October 10, 2012, the OHA announced its intention to expand east of Guelph and form a new fourth conference for the GOJHL.[3] The announcement comes on the heels of the relocation of the Owen Sound Greys to Brampton by their sponsor, leaving the northerly city out of OHA junior hockey for the first time in ninety-nine years (not including wartime).[4] In January 2014, the OHA announced that the plan to expand was on hold due to lack of serious parties. They announced that of eleven applicants, only four were substantial enough to play in the league. A Brantford group applied for expansion none-the-less, while the other three parties are currently in limbo.[5] The Brantford group was approved for membership into the Midwestern Conference as the Brantford 99'ers.

On March 28, 2014, the GOJHL's representatives filed for promotion from Junior B to Junior A with the Ontario Hockey Association. The matter was discussed at the OHA head office on April 5, 2014.[6] A few weeks later the OHA rejected the promotion and the GOJHL's chairman was dismissed by the OHA. During the 2014–15 season, the Golden Horseshoe Conference held a vote to determine their future with the GOJHL. The teams voted to leave the GOJHL with OHA approval and govern autonomously from the league. In retaliation, the GOJHL invited no players from the Golden Horseshoe to the league's all-star game, forcing the Golden Horseshoe to play their own game in short order late in the season. The GOJHL playoff format remains unchanged for 2015 despite the shuffle. Before the playoffs began in 2015, the GOJHL announced that the Golden Horseshoe had rejoined the fold and that its annexation was averted.

In early May 2017, the Cambridge Winterhawks announced their intentions to sever ties with the OHA and would not be part of the GOJHL going forward. The GOJHL initial response was to withhold comment until further details could be established.

Teams

Golden Horseshoe Conference
Team Centre
Buffalo RegalsLockport, NY
Caledonia CorvairsCaledonia
Fort Erie MeteorsFort Erie
Hamilton Kilty B'sHamilton
Niagara Falls CanucksNiagara Falls
Pelham PanthersPelham
St. Catharines FalconsSt. Catharines
Thorold BlackhawksThorold
Welland Jr. CanadiansWelland
Midwestern Conference
Team Centre
Brampton BombersBrampton
Brantford BanditsBrantford
Cambridge RedhawksCambridge
Elmira Sugar KingsElmira
Kitchener DutchmenKitchener
Listowel CyclonesListowel
Stratford WarriorsStratford
Waterloo SiskinsWaterloo
Western Conference
Team Centre
Chatham MaroonsChatham
Komoka Kings[7]Komoka
LaSalle VipersLaSalle
Leamington FlyersLeamington
London NationalsLondon
Sarnia LegionnairesSarnia
St. Marys LincolnsSt. Marys
St. Thomas StarsSt. Thomas
Strathroy RocketsStrathroy

Team changes

2018–19 playoffs

Golden Horseshoe Conference

  QF SF Final
                           
  G1 Niagara Falls 4  
G8 Lockport 0  
  G1 Niagara Falls 4  
    G4 Pelham 0  
G4 Pelham 4
  G5 Thorold 2  
    G1 Niagara Falls 4
  G2 St. Catharines 3
  G2 St. Catharines 4  
G7 Welland 0  
G2 St. Catharines 4
    G3 Hamilton 2  
G3 Hamilton 4
  G6 Fort Erie 0  

Midwestern Conference

  QF SF Final
                           
  M1 Listowel 4  
M8 Brampton 0  
  M1 Listowel 4  
    M4 Kitchener 1  
M4 Kitchener 4
  M5 Elmira 3  
    M1 Listowel 2
  M3 Waterloo 4
  M2 Stratford 4  
M7 Brantford 1  
M2 Stratford 2
    M3 Waterloo 4  
M3 Waterloo 4
  M6 Cambridge 1  

Western Conference

  QF SF Final
                           
  W1 Leamington 4  
W8 Strathroy 1  
  W1 Leamington 4  
    W6 Komoka 3  
W3 Chatham 1
  W6 Komoka 4  
    W1 Leamington 0
  W2 London 4
  W2 London 4  
W7 St. Thomas 1  
W2 London 4
    W5 LaSalle 1  
W4 Sarnia 0
  W5 LaSalle 4  

Sutherland Cup

As part of the first structural change to the Sutherland Cup playoffs since 1993-94 season, the GOJHL and OHA have thrown out the three-team round robin that had been used for twenty seasons and opted for a more traditional playdown method. The Sutherland Cup semi-final will now have four teams squaring off in a pair of best-of-7 series to determine the finals. The champions of the three Conferences will be joined by the conference runner-up who has the best playoff record to date. This Wild Card team will play the top ranked Champion who they have not already met in the playoffs.[8]

Semi-final Sutherland Cup
      
W London Nationals 4
WC Listowel Cyclones 2
W London Nationals 3
MW Waterloo Siskins 4
GH Niagara Falls Canucks 2
MW Waterloo Siskins 4

Regular season champions

This is a list of divisional regular season champions and their point totals, bolded are the overall league regular season champions.

Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League
Year Golden Horseshoe Pts Midwestern Pts Western Pts
2007–08Thorold Blackhawks67Elmira Sugar Kings71Tecumseh Chiefs70
2008–09St. Catharines Falcons79Brantford Eagles86Sarnia Legionnaires78
2009–10St. Catharines Falcons81Brantford Eagles88London Nationals77
2010–11Niagara Falls Canucks80Guelph Hurricanes73Strathroy Rockets78
2011–12St. Catharines Falcons82Brantford Eagles85Sarnia Legionnaires69
2012–13St. Catharines Falcons82Caledonia Corvairs73Chatham Maroons74
2013–14Caledonia Corvairs91Kitchener Dutchmen77Leamington Flyers76
2014–15Caledonia Corvairs90Elmira Sugar Kings80Leamington Flyers78
2015–16Caledonia Corvairs89Kitchener Dutchmen90Leamington Flyers83
2016–17Caledonia Corvairs89Listowel Cyclones83LaSalle Vipers78
2017–18Caledonia Corvairs91Listowel Cyclones83London Nationals73
2018–19Niagara Falls Canucks83Listowel Cyclones70Leamington Flyers71

Sutherland Cup champions

For OHA Junior "B" champions prior to the 2007-08 season, please visit: Sutherland Cup.

Bold denotes Sutherland Cup Champion. Italicized denotes Sutherland Cup finalist.

Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League
Year Golden Horseshoe Midwestern Western
2008Thorold BlackhawksElmira Sugar KingsTecumseh Chiefs
2009Stoney Creek WarriorsBrantford EaglesSarnia Legionnaires
2010Stoney Creek WarriorsBrantford EaglesLaSalle Vipers
2011Niagara Falls CanucksElmira Sugar KingsSt. Thomas Stars
2012St. Catharines FalconsBrantford EaglesLondon Nationals
2013St. Catharines FalconsCambridge Winter HawksLondon Nationals
Year Golden Horseshoe Midwestern Western Wild Card
2014Caledonia CorvairsWaterloo SiskinsLeamington FlyersSt. Catharines Falcons
2015Caledonia CorvairsElmira Sugar KingsLeamington FlyersLaSalle Vipers
2016Caledonia CorvairsStratford CullitonsLondon NationalsWaterloo Siskins
2017Caledonia CorvairsListowel CyclonesLondon NationalsElmira Sugar Kings
2018Caledonia CorvairsListowel CyclonesLondon NationalsElmira Sugar Kings
2019Niagara Falls CanucksWaterloo SiskinsLondon NationalsListowel Cyclones

League championship series

Bolded is winner of Sutherland Cup as GOJHL and OHA champion.

SeasonChampionFinalistSeries (Best of 7)Scores
2008Tecumseh ChiefsElmira Sugar Kings4-05-4 OT, 3-1, 2-1 OT, 5-3
2009Brantford EaglesStoney Creek Warriors4-14-1, 3-2, 4-5 OT, 6-1, 3-2
2010LaSalle VipersBrantford Eagles4-16-4, 5-2, 5-3, 3-6, 3-2 2OT
2011Elmira Sugar KingsNiagara Falls Canucks4-14-2, 5-6 OT, 3-1, 4-3, 4-0
2012St. Catharines FalconsBrantford Eagles4-22-5, 1-4, 3-1, 3-2 OT, 2-1, 5-1
2013London NationalsCambridge Winter Hawks4-34-6, 2-3 OT, 6-0, 4-3, 1-4, 2-1 OT, 4-2
2014Caledonia CorvairsSt. Catharines Falcons4-32-7, 4-1, 3-0, 2-3 2OT, 3-1, 2-3 3OT, 3-1
2015Caledonia CorvairsLaSalle Vipers4-22-4, 6-4, 3-2, 4-3, 4-5 OT, 4-3
2016Caledonia CorvairsLondon Nationals4-09-3, 6-0, 8-1, 4-3 OT
2017Elmira Sugar KingsLondon Nationals4-13-0, 2-0, 4-1, 4-6, 4-1
2018Listowel CyclonesCaledonia Corvairs4-04-3, 6-3, 2-0, 4-1
2019Waterloo SiskinsLondon Nationals4-39-4, 5-4 OT, 2-6, 1-3, 5-3, 1-5, 3-2 OT

Records

Team

Single season records.

Player

Single season records.

Goalie

Single season records.

NHL Draft

This is a list of first round National Hockey League draft picks of players straight out of the GOJHL.

Timeline of teams

  • 2007 - Mid-Western Junior Hockey League, Western Ontario Hockey League, and Golden Horseshoe Junior Hockey League merge to form GOJHL
  • 2008 - Tecumseh Chiefs move and become LaSalle Vipers
  • 2008 - Petrolia Jets move and become Lambton Shores Predators
  • 2008 - Sarnia Blast become Sarnia Legionnaires
  • 2008 - Brantford Golden Eagles become Brantford Eagles
  • 2008 - Port Colborne Sailors become Port Colborne Pirates
  • 2009 - Guelph Dominators become Guelph Hurricanes
  • 2009 - Owen Sound Greys take one-year leave
  • 2010 - Owen Sound Greys return to league
  • 2011 - Wheatfield Jr. Blades move and become Buffalo Blades
  • 2012 - Owen Sound Greys relocate and become Brampton Bombers
  • 2012 - Brantford Eagles relocate and become Caledonia Corvairs
  • 2013 - Buffalo Blades are renamed Buffalo Regals
  • 2013 - Brantford 99'ers are granted expansion
  • 2013 - Stoney Creek Warriors relocated and become Ancaster Avalanche
  • 2013 - Caledonia Corvairs switch from Mid-Western to Golden Horseshoe Conference
  • 2013 - Round Robin eliminated after Conference finals, a Wild Card entry added to league semi-final
  • 2014 - Port Colborne Pirates relocate and become Pelham Pirates
  • 2014 - Buffalo Regals take one-year leave
  • 2014 - Pelham Pirates change name to Pelham Panthers mid-season.[9]
  • 2015 - Buffalo Regals take another one-year leave after failing to properly file paperwork for reinstatement
  • 2016 - Buffalo Regals return after two-year hiatus
  • 2017 - Cambridge Winterhawks withdraw from OHA and therefore GOJHL. Failure to have Tier 1 designated appears to be main reason.
  • 2017 - Lambton Shores Predators relocate and become Komoka Kings
  • 2018 - Ancaster Avalanche relocate to Hamilton and become Hamilton Kilty B's
  • 2018 - Guelph Hurricanes relocate to Cambridge and become Cambridge Redhawks
  • 2018 - Caledonia Corvairs take one-year leave
  • 2018 - Buffalo Regals relocate to Lockport and become Lockport Regals
  • 2019 - Caledonia Corvairs back from leave of absence, Brantford 99ers change name to Brantford Bandits

See also

References

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