Cochrane Crunch of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League already has its first victory of the 2018-2019 season.
The NOJHL has confirmed that the northeastern Ontario town Cochrane has been selected to play host to the 2019 Dudley-Hewitt Cup, Central Canada championship tournament.
As host team, the Crunch will gain automatic entry into the four team event, which is slated to be held from April 30 to May 4, 2019 at the Tim Horton Event Centre in Cochrane.
Cochrane was selected as the 2019 host following submissions made to a DHC steering committee which included the three commissioners of the competing leagues — Rob Mazzuca of the NOJHL, Marty Savoy of the Ontario Jr. Hockey League and Bryan Graham of the Superior International Jr. Hockey League — as well as Ontario Hockey Federation president Tony Foresi.
Now in its fourth season in Cochrane under the leadership of president, general manager and coach Ryan Leonard, the Crunch has the third-best winning percentage in the 12-team NOJHL during that span.
Along with one NOJHL East Division regular season title and one East Division playoff crown to its credit, the Crunch has also advanced the most players from within the NOJHL to National Collegiate Athletic Association and Canadian U-Sports programs over the past three years.
“We couldn’t be happier to share this event with the town of Cochrane, who opened their arms to us four years ago upon our arrival,” said Leonard, who grew up and played minor hockey in Sault Ste. Marie.
“We all are excited and ready to put it into overdrive over the next 12-plus months to make sure our team and our community is ready to host the 2019 Dudley-Hewitt Cup,” added Leonard.
Meanwhile, the 2018 DHC is slated to be hosted by the Dryden GM Ice Dogs of the SIJHL beginning on May 1.