NOJHL announces playoff format/timeline

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Wednesday its format and timeline for the upcoming 2022 playoffs and the competition for the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy.

Of the 12 league teams, the top five clubs in each of the NOJHL’s East and West Divisions will qualify for postseason play.

Round 1 action will run from April 3-6 and features the No. 4 and No. 5 seeded squads in each division competing in a best-of-three play-in survivor series with the winners of each moving on to the divisional semifinals.

In the NOJHL East, the play-in match-up will feature the No. 4 French River Rapids taking on the No. 5 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners in that best-of-three affair.

That will get underway Sunday, April 3 in a 4 p.m. start at Noelville Arena before heading to Joe Mavrinac Community Complex the following day from Game 2 at 7 p.m.

The Rapids would host a Game 3, if necessary, on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

Over in the NOJHL West, the opponents in the mini-series there have yet to be determined, with multiple clubs vying for playoff seeding.

Next up in Round 2, which is slated to be held from April 7-17, features four best-of-seven series.

In the East, the No. 1 seed there will take on that division’s survivor series winner while the second and third place clubs will also meet.

It will be the same format in the NOJHL West with the No. 1 side taking on the opening round divisional winner with the second and third place sides squaring off in the other series.

From there the two surviving teams, in each division, will face-off in a pair of best-of-seven sets from April 19-29 with the East and West winners advancing to the league championship series.

The NOJHL’s Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy championship series is also a best-of-seven affair and will be held from May 1-12.

The NOJHL champion will then advance directly to the Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, May 19-29 in Estevan, Sask.

At the nationals, the host Estevan Bruins, along with the winners from each of the other leagues that comprise the Canadian Junior Hockey League, will vie for the Canadian Jr. A championship.

Remaining playoff series schedules will be announced by the NOJHL, once they become finalized.

The following is the NOJHL playoff format and timeline:

Round 1 (Divisional Quarter-finals)
April 3-6

Best-of-three series
No. 4 East (French River Rapids) vs. No. 5 East (Kirkland Lake Gold Miners)
Game 1: Sunday, April 3 @ French River 4 p.m. (Noelville Arena)
Game 2: Monday, April 4 @ Kirkland Lake 7 p.m. (Joe Mavrinac Community Complex)
Game 3*: Wednesday, April 6 @ French River 7 p.m. (Noelville Arena)
*-if necessary

No. 4 West vs. No. 5 West
April 3-6

Best-of-three series

Round 2 (Divisional Semifinals)
April 7-17

No. 1 East vs. East 1st Round Winner
No. 2 East vs. No. 3 East
No. 1 West vs. West 1st Round Winner
No. 2 West vs. No. 3 West

Round 3 (Divisional Finals)
April 19-29

Best-of-seven series
East Division semifinal winners
West Division semifinal winners

Round 4 (Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy NOJHL Championship Final)
May 1-12

Best-of-seven series
East Division winner vs. West Division winner
NOJHL champion advances to Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, May 19-29 in Estevan, Sask.