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CJHL 2022-23 season early glance

CALGARY, Alta. – Seven of the nine members organizations that comprise the Canadian Junior Hockey League see their years nicely underway while the remaining two leagues will commence regular season competition Friday.

Here’s an early glance at each of the nine CJHL leagues, with an updates on the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign.

MHL

President: Troy Dumville

Website: themhl.ca

First-year Maritime Hockey League President Troy Dumville has seen his initial season at the helm begin.

With each of the 12-member clubs having two played games in apiece, only three remain unbeaten in a highly-competitive MHL.

The Truro Bearcats, Miramichi Timberwolves and Summerside Western Capitals are all 2-0 early on.

Miramichi have notched a MHL-high 13 goals while Truro boasts the fewest against at four.

The forward trio of Tanner Humber-Dredge (Truro), William Schofield (Miramichi) and Cam Thomson (Fredericton Red Wings) pace the league scoring parade with six points apiece.

Meanwhile, goaltenders Jack Milner (Truro), Ryan Knight (Summerside) and Kenzie MacPhail (Miramichi) all sport 2-0 records through Week 1.

You also have netminder Jacob Leblanc sporting a MHL-best .938 save percentage, through two starts.

With files from James Faulkner, Director of Communications (MHL)

LHJAAAQ

Commissioner: Kevin Figsby

Website: lhjaaaq.com

Making an early statement in Quebec, the Princeville Titan are a tidy 4-0 to begin play in the 13-team LHJAAAQ.

Princeville also tops the league in goals-scored with 26.

The second place Granby Inouk have also yet to taste defeat to date, beginning on a 3-0 run, highlighted by stellar defensive play, which has seen them given up only three tallies against.

Louis-Charles Plourde of the Titan leads the league in offensive production with a dozen points, including six goals. He’s also No. 1 overall in plus-minus at plus-10.

Like Plourde, Dylan Reynolds (Gatineau Flames) is just 17 years of age and has produced 10 points through three goals and seven assists to sit second in the LHJAAAQ scoring race.

Granby goalkeeper Joey Allen has been solid between the pipes for the Inouk, having won all three of his starts.

Allen also sports a crisp 1.21 goals-against average to rank first and is second in save percentage at .962.

With files from Francis Dupont, Director of Communications (LHJAAAQ)

CCHL

Commissioner: Kevin Abrams

Website: thecchl.ca

The final season under long-time CCHL commissioner Kevin Abrams starts Friday night with a pair of contests, including the defending league Bogart Cup title holders, the Ottawa Jr. A Senators, hosting the Navan Grads.

The 12-team CCHL first began competition in 1961, in a year that saw the Ottawa Montagnards crowned champions.

Ryan Leonard’s Renfrew Wolves topped the league preseason table with a 7-0 mark and look to build on their exhibition success heading into the regular season.

Renfrew’s Joey Kennelly racked up 13 points in his club’s seven match-ups, eight of which were goals, to lead all CCHLers in both categories.

The Wolves’ Yacine Chemrouk had a 5-0 mark in net while Sami Molu (Brockville Braves) went 3-0, featuring a nice .932 save percentage.

With files from Sean Marcellus, Director of Operations (CCHL)

OJHL

Commissioner: Marty Savoy

Website: ojhl.ca

With the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s annual Governor’s Showcase currently underway in Cobourg, Ont., in front of a vast number of scouts from the NHL, NCAA USPORTS, etc., competition has been solid on most fronts, as part of the early start to their campaign.

In a Tuesday afternoon contest, the Collingwood Blues continued the winnings ways to remain the lone unbeaten side in the 21-team OJHL, as they improved to 5-0 overall.

Offensively, Boyd Stahlbaum (Lindsay Muskies) leads the league in scoring with 12 points on four tallies and eight helpers.

Odaro Ewere (Stouffville Spirit) and Patrick Saini (Haliburton County Huskies) were next with 11 points each.

Of note, Ewere and Collingwood’s Mark McIntosh share the early league-lead in game-winning markers, with three apiece on just five and four goals scored, respectively.

In net, goalkeeper James Norton (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) currently leads the OJHL in goals-against average, with a solid 1.33 GAA.

Norton also leads the way with an impressive save mark of .947.

With files from Jim Mason, Director of Communications (OJHL)

NOJHL

Commissioner: Robert Mazzuca

Website: nojhl.com

Five Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League clubs have begun their season playing .700 hockey, or better.

Leading that contingent are the Timmins Rock, who have just one defeat in their first five games, for a winning percentage of .800.

Close by, competing at a .750 clip are the Powassan Voodoos, Blind River Beavers and the upstart Espanola Paper Kings, as they have all gone 3-1 to begin play.

At .700, the Greater Sudbury Cubs sit second overall, points wise, with seven, one behind the Rock.

The Timmins tandem of Brady Harroun and Nicolas Pigeon top the NOJHL scoring race with a dozen points apiece, with Harroun leading in tallies (5) and Pigeon in assists (10).

Leading all league netminders in average are Jacob Brown of the Rock and Logan Raffaele (Soo Eagles) at 0.50 each, through two starts each.

Raffaele sits on top in save percentage at .983, while Brown is close by at .980.

With files from Scott Marshall, Statistician (NOJHL)

SIJHL:

Commissioner: Darrin Nicholas

Website: sijhlhockey.com

Seven clubs will take to the ice when the Superior International Junior Hockey League begins competition for the 2022-23 campaign.

This includes the expansion Sioux Lookout Bombers, whose first-ever game will be October 1 as they host the Wisconsin Lumberjacks.

The Kam River Fighting Walleye, under last season’s SIJHL Coach of the Year, Matt Valley, were the busiest of the clubs in the preseason, skating in eight exhibition games, going 3-5 in that span.

Three of the league teams will have new faces behind the bench this season.

They include Paul MacLean (Fort Frances Lakers), Kevin Walker (Red Lake Miners) and Carson Johnstone (Sioux Lookout Bombers).

With files from Darrin Nicholas, Commissioner (SIJHL)

MJHL

Commissioner: Kevin Saurette

Website: mjhlhockey.ca

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League have begun their season knowing they’ll have two of their 13 clubs that will be there at the end, to compete for a national Jr. A championship.

That is because the MJHL’s Portage Terriers will be hosting the 2023 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, in May.

With the Terriers being the host team, the MJHL Turnbull Trophy winners will also be at the nationals, or if Portage wins the league crown, then the finalists will also advance to the Centennial Cup.

Through the opening weekend of play, five sides went unbeaten, including the Terriers.

The others at 2-0 are the OCN Blizzard; Virden Oil Capitals; Steinbach Pistons and Winkler Flyers.

Of note, the Niverville Nighthawks made their MJHL and CJHL debut this past Friday, but dropped a 6-4 decision in Steinbach, with Brendan Bottem being credited with their first-ever goal.

With five points each, the Winkler duo of Mike Svenson and Jayce Legaarden have the early MJHL scoring lead, with Svenson’s four goals also tops.

Through two appearances, OCN netminder Chase Hamm has a league-best save percentage of .969 while sporting a 1.00 goals-against average.

With files from Kyle Prystupa, Manager, Programming & Communications (MJHL)

SJHL

Commissioner: Kyle McIntyre

Website: sjhl.ca

Taking over the reigns as commissioner of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is Kyle McIntyre.

He steps in for long-time SJHL executive and CJHL Life Member Bill Chow.

A highly-competitive opening weekend saw only two of the SJHL’s 12 teams come away unscathed in their initial pair of outings.

The squads who came away victorious in each of their contests with the Battlefords North Stars and the Yorkton Terriers.

You also had the Humboldt Broncos and Weyburn Red Wings earn victories in their respective first games of the season.

Bryden Kiesman (Nipawin Hawks) set the early tone offensively in league play with five points, in two outings.

Then there was Cole Duperrault (Flin Flon Bombers) notching four goals to lead the way in that department.

Battlefords’ Josh Kotai was solid in net, while collecting a pair of triumphs in two appearances.

He sits first in the league in both goals-against average and save percentage at 0.75 and .976 respectively.

With files from Jeromy Corrigan, Media Manager (SJHL)

AJHL

Commissioner: Ryan Bartoshyk

Website: ajhl.ca

Through the first weekend of action in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, just a trio of their 16 member-sides came away with 2-0 records.

They include the defending Centennial Cup-champion Brooks Bandits, along with the Olds Grizzlys and Lloydminster Bobcats.

Holding the early AJHL scoring lead is Peter Copetti (Grande Prairie Storm).

He tallied in both games he skated in, collecting three in total, while picking up one assist in each match-up.

Nine other players chipped in with four points apiece.

Veteran goalkeeper and Lindenwood University NCAA commit, Ethan Barwick won both of his starts for the Bandits.

Barwick presently leads the way in goals-against average among AJHL stoppers at 0.50.

His .977 save mark also paces the group on netminders while his 25-save shutout performance Saturday, was the first one in league action this season.

With files from Charla Flett, Executive Director (AJHL)

Photo credit: Thomas Perry / Timmins Daily Press