For the past three weekends, there were sights and sounds across Ontario that we haven’t heard or seen much during the past two years of the pandemic.
Parents and grandparents packed into arenas cheering on their children. Skaters carved up the ice with huge smiles on their faces on the road to the #RedHats, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s coveted prize for its champions.
These were the biggest in person events for the OMHA in the past two years.
This year, the Championships took on an exciting new look and format that saw 713 games played with 374 teams from across the province competing in 41 championships over three weekends in five locations: Windsor, Oakville, Barrie, Whitby and Kingston.
Leading up to the OMHA Championship weekends were League championships and regional qualifying events where teams could punch their tickets to get to these OMHA Championship weekends.
The new format is designed so that every OMHA participant plays more meaningful hockey into March and beyond. In the past, tournament playdowns saw some teams knocked out and their season’s end in January.
“It makes it way more interesting,” says Noah Ahrens, who played U18 Tier 2 in Barrie for the Lucan Irish. “There’s a lot less driving all over the place. It’s a lot more fun this way,” he adds.
Joanna Ingram travelled to Barrie from Little Britain about an hour and a half away to watch her son Wes play goalie for the Mariposa U15 team told the Barrie Today media publication, it was worth it.
“It’s super exciting. I really like the way the OMHA has done it this year. It’s a really exciting opportunity for us to play some centres across Ontario that we might not ordinarily play.”
The Executive Director of the OMHA, Ian Taylor, says they plan to continue with this new format for years to come.
“We were planning this new format for the Championships for months before the pandemic. The buzz that we saw these past three weekends was just incredible and shows just how much people missed hockey and wanted to celebrate the game. We’re hoping to build on that excitement every year.”
|U10||AAA||Barrie Jr. Colts||Oakville Rangers|
|U10||AA||Halton Hills Thunder||Belle River Canadiens|
|U10||A||Centre Wellington Fusion||Orillia Terriers|
|U10||Tier 1||Hespeler Shamrocks||Milton Winterhawks|
|U11||AAA||Quinte Red Devils||Southern Tier Admirals|
|U11||AA||Oakville Rangers - Red||Niagara Falls Flyers|
|U11||A||Woolwich Wildcats||King Township|
|U11||Tier 1||Lambeth Lancers||Walkerton Capitals|
|U11||Tier 2||Lambton Shores Predators||Ayr Flames|
|U11||Tier 3||Shallow Lake Lakers||Dresden Jr. Kings|
|U12||AAA||Barrie Jr. Colts||Niagara North Stars|
|U12||AA||Whitby Wildcats - Blue||Barrie Jr. Colts|
|U12||A||Essex Ravens||Burlington Eagles|
|U12||Tier 1||Oshawa Generals||Guelph Jr. Gryphons|
|U13||AAA||Niagara North Stars||York-Simcoe Express|
|U13||AA||Aurora Tigers||Oakville Rangers - Red|
|U13||A||Woolwich Wildcats||Riverside Rangers|
|U13||Tier 1||Mooretown Flags||Penetang Flames|
|U13||Tier 2||South Huron Sabres||Huron-Bruce Blizzard|
|U13||Tier 3||Collingwood Jr. Blues||Arran-Elderslie IceDogs|
|U14||AAA||Peterborough Minor Petes||York-Simcoe Express|
|U14||AA||Burlington Eagles - Gold||Halton Hills Thunder|
|U14||A||Orillia Terriers||Centre Wellington Fusion|
|U14||Tier 1||Milton Winterhawks - White||Belleville Bulls|
|U15||AAA||Halton Hurricanes||Central Ontario Wolves|
|U15||AA||Guelph Jr. Gryphons||Newmarket Renegades|
|U15||A||Quinte West Golden Hawks||Owen Sound Jr. Attack|
|U15||Tier 1||Midland Centennials||St. Marys Rock|
|U15||Tier 2||Walkerton Capitals||Ilderton Jets|
|U15||Tier 3||Dresden Jr. Kings||Huron-Bruce Blizzard|
|U16||AAA||York-Simcoe Express||Niagara North Stars|
|U16||AA||Oakville Rangers - Red||Kingston Canadians|
|U16||A||Milton Winterhawks||Orillia Terriers|
|U16||Tier 1||Oakville Rangers||Orangeville Flyers|
|U18||AAA||Guelph Jr. Gryphons||Ajax-Pickering Raiders|
|U18||AA||Milton Winterhawks||Barrie Jr. Colts|
|U18||A||Burlington Eagles||Riverside Rangers|
|U18||Tier 1||Mitchell Meteors||Ennismore Eagles|
|U18||Tier 2||Lucan Irish||Tillsonburg Tornadoes|
|U18||Tier 3||Dresden Jr. Kings||Shallow Lake Lakers|
|U21||Thorold Blackhawks||Riverside Rangers|
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