SIJHL announces 2019 playoff format and timeline

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday its format and timeline for the upcoming Bill Salonen Cup playoffs.

The first round of the SIJHL postseason will feature a pair of best-of-five quarter-final series, which are slated to run between March 19-26.

Those match-ups features the No. 3 seeded team taking on the No. 6 rated club, which will be the Minnesota Iron Rangers, while the other series will have the No. 4 and No. 5 ranked clubs squaring off.

Meanwhile the SIJHL’s regular season title holder and the No. 2 seeded squad will earn first round byes.

Semifinal action will then see two best-of-seven affairs taking place from March 27 through April 8.

One series will see the No. 1 rated team meeting the lowest surviving quarter-final winner with the other two remaining clubs meeting in the other match-up.

From there the two semifinal winners will square off in the Bill Salonen Cup league championship series in another best-of-seven set that is slated to go from April 10-23.

The SIJHL champion will then advance to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship, April 30 through May 4, in Cochrane, Ont., which will be hosted by the Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Joining the the SIJHL representative and the host Crunch at the five-day event will be the title holders of the NOJHL along with the winners of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Should Cochrane repeat as NOJHL champions, then the league finalist will round out the four-team field.

The Dudley-Hewitt Cup winner will then advance to represent the Central region at the Canadian national Jr. A event, May 11-19, in Brooks, Alta.

At the nationals, the host Brooks Bandits (AJHL) will go up against the Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion, the titleist from the Fred Page Cup (East) as well as the winners from both the ANAVET Cup (MJHL/SJHL) and the Doyle Cup (AJHL/BCHL).

The following is the NOJHL playoff format and timeline:


Round 1 (Quarter-finals)
March 19-26
Best-of-five series
Series A: No. 3 seed vs. No. 6 seed (Minnesota Iron Rangers)
Series B: No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 seed

Round 2 (Semifinals)
March 27-April8
Series C: Semifinal 1: No. 1 seed vs. Lowest surviving quarter-final winner
Series D: Semifinal 2: No. 2 seed vs. Highest surviving quarter-final winner

Round 3 (Bill Salonen Cup SIJHL Championship Final)
April 10-23
Best-of-seven series
Series E: Semifinal A winner vs. Semifinal B winner
SIJHL champion advances to Dudley-Hewitt Cup

Dudley-Hewitt Cup (Central Canadian Jr. A Championship)
April 30-May 4
Cochrane, Ont.
Competing teams
Cochrane Crunch (NOJHL) (Host)
NOJHL champion or finalist*
OJHL champion
SIJHL champion
DHC winner advances to Canadian National Junior A Championship
* Should Cochrane win the NOJHL championship, then the league finalist will also advance to the DHC

Canadian National Jr. A Championship
May 11-19
Brooks, Alta.
Competing teams
Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (Host)
Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion (Central)
Fred Page Cup champion (East)
ANAVET Cup champion (MJHL/SJHL)
Doyle Cup champion (AJHL/BCHL)