ESTEVAN - The 10 teams have been determined for the 2022 Centennial Cup national junior A hockey championship, presented by Tim Hortons, which begins Thursday afternoon in Estevan.
The Pickering Panthers defeated the Toronto Jr. Canadiens 4-3 on Sunday night to win the Ontario Junior Hockey League final in seven games. They were the final to qualify.
The Estevan Bruins will be the host team for the tournament, and they are also the SJHL champions. Joining the Bruins in their pool will be the Panthers, the Red Lake Miners of the Superior International Junior Hockey League, the Collège Français de Longueuil of the Ligue de Hockey Junior AAA du Quebec, and the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Brooks won Centennial Cup the last time it was contested in 2019.
The other pool will feature the SJHL finalists, the Flin Flon Bombers, who qualified for nationals when they reached the league final against Estevan. Also in that pool are the Maritime Hockey League champion Summerside Western Capitals, the Ottawa Jr. A Senators of the Central Canada Hockey League, the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, and the Dauphin Kings of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
The Kings’ coach is former Estevan Bruins’ head coach Doug Hedley. Also on the team is forward Logan Calder, the brother of Bruins’ defenceman Kian Calder.
The tournament will begin at noon on Thursday when the Panthers and the Miners meet at noon. Round-robin games will be played at noon, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., from May 19-21 and May 23-25. Games on May 22 start at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Estevan will face Collège Français de Longueuil on May 20, Pickering on May 21, Red Lake on May 23 and Brooks on May 25. The game against Brooks will wrap up the round robin.
The top three teams from each pool will advance to the playoff round. The top seed gets a direct bye to the semifinal, while the second and third place teams move onto the quarter-finals.
Quarter-finals will be May 27 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and the semifinals will be at the same time each day. The final will be May 29 at 4 p.m.
SaskToday.ca will have coverage throughout the tournament.