The annual OHL Cup takes place this week and features 20 of the best Minor Midget AAA teams from across the province. Organized by the Ontario Hockey League, there will be seven teams from the Ontario Minor Hockey Association competing for a gold medal.
Teams from across the OMHA that are playing include the Niagara North Stars, Greater Kingston Jr. Frontenacs, Quinte Red Devils, Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs, York-Simcoe Express, Barrie Jr. Colts and the Southern Tier Admirals. Five OMHA teams played in wild-card games to earn their spots in the tournament and three walked away with victories – Quinte, Kingston and Niagara.
To qualify for the tournament, the top four teams from the OMHA Minor Midget AAA Championships automatically earn spots. The fifth place team earns a wild card spot as does the winner of the OMHA-SCTA consolation game. In addition, three wild card teams are determined by a selection committee.
The Oakville Rangers were the last OMHA team to win the tournament, taking home the crown in the 2013 season. Since switching to the Minor Midget age group format in 2003, other OMHA teams to capture the OHL Cup include the Markham Waxers (2006) and York-Simcoe (2004). The Richmond Hill Stars took home a silver medal in 2004.
You can find more information about the OHL Cup including the schedule and standings here.
Niagara North Stars – The team boasts some of the best scorers in the OMHA in Adam McMaster and Hunter Holmes. Their defence held off a comeback attempt in the wild card game and they’ve earned their spot in the OHL Cup.
Greater Kingston Jr. Frontenacs – A strong finish to the regular season couldn’t translate in the OMHA playoffs but the Jr. Fronts have battled back, winning their wild card matchup. The team shares the load offensively.
Quinte Red Devils – Nathan Dunkley and Dawson Baker each scored a pair of goals for the Red Devils in the wild card round to punch their ticket to the OHL Cup. After finishing third in the standings during the regular season, Quinte could be finding its stride at the right time.
Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs – One of the OMHA’s best teams, the Bulldogs have a real shot at winning the OHL Cup. They are definitely using their second place finish in the OMHA Championships as motivation – they have something to prove.
York-Simcoe Express – The Champions of the OMHA Minor Midget title, the Express are riding a wave of momentum following their victory earlier in March. Like the Bulldogs, York-Simcoe has a great opportunity ahead of them to make a lot of noise.
Barrie Jr. Colts – The Jr. Colts won the bronze medal at the OMHA Minor Midget championships and have shown they can hang with the top teams in this age group. They will need to tighten up the defence to improve their chances.
Southern Tier Admirals – The Admirals carry over a strong regular season and championship performance into the OHL Cup. After being left off of the podium at the OMHA finals, Southern Tier is playing with a lot of drive.