Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior A ice hockey league under Hockey Canada, a part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Open to North American-born players 20 years of age or younger, the SJHL's 12 teams play in three divisions: the Olympic Buildings, Sherwood and Viterra Divisions. A major attraction in Saskatchewan, the SJHL draws 400,000 fans each season. The winner of the SJHL playoffs continues on to play in the ANAVET Cup against the champion from the MJHL, for the right to represent the Western region at the National Junior A Championship.

Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League
FormerlySaskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League (1968-1973)
SportIce hockey
Founded1968
Inaugural season1968–69
CEOBill Chow
No. of teams12
Most recent
champion(s)
Battlefords North Stars (3rd)
Most titlesHumboldt Broncos (10)
Related
competitions
ANAVET Cup
National Junior A Championship
Official websitesjhl.ca

History

The SJHL was formed in July 1968 as a result of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) splitting away from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) and affiliating with the rival Canadian Hockey Association led by Ron Butlin. CAHA president Lloyd Pollock helped to set up meetings across Western Canada to outline the CAHA's development plan for teams which had remained within the CAHA.[1] Later that month, he approved a series of exhibition games for teams in the Ontario Hockey Association to play the Regina Pats and Weyburn Red Wings, after Regina and Weyburn had asked for assistance in forming a new Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Pollock also laid out plans to make player transfers easier between provinces to support the Saskatchewan teams.[2]

The league was originally known as the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League until 1973. They re-adopted the "Amateur" in their name in 1980 and carried it until the 1987–88 season, when they dropped the "Amateur" again. They were one of the original Tier II Junior A leagues in the realignment of 1970. Their first two seasons they were eligible for the Memorial Cup.

Humboldt Broncos bus crash

On April 6, 2018 the Humboldt Broncos team bus suffered a fatal crash on their way to the team's semi-final playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks. Ten players, two coaches, an athletic therapist, two employees of a local radio station, and the bus driver were killed in the collision. The remaining passengers were injured, some critically. The SJHL playoffs were postponed as a result (the Hawks were leading the series 3–1 and the Estevan Bruins waiting to play the winner in the finals). SJHL President Bill Chow called the incident the league's "worst nightmare".[3]

Current teams

Viterra Division
Team City Arena Joined
Estevan Bruins Estevan, Saskatchewan Affinity Place 1971
Melville Millionaires Melville, Saskatchewan Horizon Credit Union Centre 1970
Weyburn Red Wings Weyburn, Saskatchewan Crescent Point Place 1968
Yorkton Terriers Yorkton, Saskatchewan Farrell Agencies Arena 1972
Global Ag Risk Solutions Division
Team City Arena Joined
Battlefords North Stars North Battleford, Saskatchewan North Battleford Civic Centre 1973
Humboldt Broncos Humboldt, Saskatchewan Elgar Peterson Arena 1970
Kindersley Klippers Kindersley, Saskatchewan West Central Events Centre 1991
Notre Dame Hounds Wilcox, Saskatchewan Duncan McNeill Arena 1987
Sherwood Division
Team City Arena Joined
Flin Flon Bombers Flin Flon, Manitoba Whitney Forum 1984
La Ronge Ice Wolves La Ronge, Saskatchewan Mel Hegland Arena 1998
Melfort Mustangs Melfort, Saskatchewan Northern Lights Palace 1988
Nipawin Hawks Nipawin, Saskatchewan Centennial Arena 1985

Timeline of teams in the SJHL

  • 2001-Lebret Eagles fold
  • 1999-Saskatoon Rage fold
  • 1998-La Ronge Ice Wolves join league
  • 1998-Beardy's Rage relocate to Saskatoon and become Saskatoon Rage
  • 1997-Minot Top Guns relocate to Beardy's 97 aboriginal reserve and become Beardy's Rage
  • 1994-Minot Americans become Minot Top Guns
  • 1993-Lebret Eagles join league
  • 1993-Saskatoon Titans relocate to Kindersley and become the Kindersley Klippers
  • 1991-Saskatoon Titans join league
  • 1988-Melfort Mustangs join league
  • 1988-Lloydminster Lancers leave league to join Alberta Junior Hockey League and become the Lloydminster Blazers
  • 1987-Minot Americans join league
  • 1987-Notre Dame Hounds rejoin league
  • 1986-Nipawin Hawks join league
  • 1986-Creighton Bombers become the Flin Flon Bombers
  • 1986-Swift Current Indians fold to make way for the Western Hockey League franchise Swift Current Broncos
  • 1984-Flin Flon Bombers rejoin league as Creighton Bombers
  • 1984-Moose Jaw Canucks fold to make way for the Western Hockey League franchise Moose Jaw Warriors
  • 1983-Battleford Barons become North Battleford Stars
  • 1983-Swift Current Broncos become Swift Current Indians
  • 1982-Regina Pat Blues and Saskatoon J's fold
  • 1982-Lloydminster Lancers join league
  • 1982-Prince Albert Raiders leave league to join Western Hockey League
  • 1976-Notre Dame Hounds leave league
  • 1974-Swift Current Broncos join league
  • 1973-Battleford Barons join league
  • 1972-Yorkton Terriers join league
  • 1971-Prince Albert Raiders join league
  • 1971-Estevan Bruins rejoin league
  • 1970-Notre Dame Hounds join league
  • 1970-Humboldt Broncos join league
  • 1970-Melville Millionaires rejoin league
  • 1970-Regina Pat Blues replace Regina Pats who join WCHL
  • 1968-Moose Jaw Canucks, Weyburn Red Wings and Regina Pats rejoin league from WCJHL
  • 1968-Current version of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is founded

League champions

For the Western Regional playoffs, please go to the ANAVET Cup.
For the national championship, please go to the National Junior A Championship.

Please note: In chart, league champions are bolded.

Year League Champion League Runner-up
Hanbidge Cup (Memorial Cup Era)
1969Regina PatsWeyburn Red Wings
1970Weyburn Red WingsRegina Pats
Hanbidge Cup (Centennial Cup Era)
1971Weyburn Red WingsHumboldt Broncos
1972Humboldt BroncosMelville Millionaires
1973Humboldt BroncosEstevan Bruins
1974Prince Albert RaidersEstevan Bruins
1975Swift Current BroncosPrince Albert Raiders
1976Prince Albert RaidersWeyburn Red Wings
1977Prince Albert RaidersMelville Millionaires
1978Prince Albert RaidersMoose Jaw Canucks
1979Prince Albert RaidersMoose Jaw Canucks
1980Prince Albert RaidersMoose Jaw Canucks
1981Prince Albert RaidersMoose Jaw Canucks
1982Prince Albert RaidersYorkton Terriers
1983Yorkton TerriersWeyburn Red Wings
1984Weyburn Red WingsYorkton Terriers
1985Estevan BruinsWeyburn Red Wings
1986Humboldt BroncosEstevan Bruins
1987Humboldt BroncosLloydminster Lancers
1988Notre Dame HoundsYorkton Terriers
1989Humboldt BroncosNipawin Hawks
1990Nipawin HawksYorkton Terriers
1991Yorkton TerriersHumboldt Broncos
1992Melfort MustangsEstevan Bruins
1993Flin Flon BombersMelville Millionaires
1994Weyburn Red WingsMelfort Mustangs
1995Weyburn Red WingsNorth Battleford Stars
1996Melfort MustangsYorkton Terriers
1997Weyburn Red WingsNorth Battleford Stars
1998Weyburn Red WingsNipawin Hawks
Membercare Cup
1999Estevan BruinsHumboldt Broncos
2000Battlefords North StarsWeyburn Red Wings
2001Weyburn Red WingsNipawin Hawks
2002Kindersley KlippersHumboldt Broncos
2003Humboldt BroncosMelville Millionaires
2004Kindersley KlippersWeyburn Red Wings
Credential Cup
2005Yorkton TerriersBattlefords North Stars
2006Yorkton TerriersBattlefords North Stars
2007Humboldt BroncosMelville Millionaires
2008Humboldt BroncosKindersley Klippers
2009Humboldt BroncosMelville Millionaires
Credit Union Cup
2010La Ronge Ice WolvesYorkton Terriers
2011La Ronge Ice WolvesYorkton Terriers
Canalta Cup
2012Humboldt BroncosWeyburn Red Wings
2013Yorkton TerriersHumboldt Broncos
2014Yorkton TerriersMelville Millionaires
2015Melfort MustangsNotre Dame Hounds
2016Melfort MustangsFlin Flon Bombers
2017Battlefords North StarsFlin Flon Bombers
2018Nipawin HawksEstevan Bruins
2019Battlefords North StarsMelfort Mustangs

Former member teams

Media

In the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, TSN aired a national broadcast of the team's 2018-19 home opener.[4][5]

In January 2019, the league announced a broadcasting deal with SaskTel, under which a game will be carried on its television service per-month for the remainder of the season, as well as coverage of the league final.[6]

References

  1. "CAHA, Juniors Meet Sunday". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. July 5, 1968. p. 19.
  2. "CAHA Gives Special Concessions To West". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. July 13, 1968. p. 49.
  3. "15 dead in Canadian junior hockey bus crash". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  4. "Humboldt Broncos Home Opener to air live on TSN and CTV Saskatchewan". TSN.ca. 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  5. "In wake of tragic bus crash, the Humboldt Broncos' opener will be broadcast across North America". Awful Announcing. 2018-09-12. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  6. Cairns, John. "SJHL coming to SaskTel Max TV". Battlefords News-Optimist. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
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