Champs of the Great North

March 21, 2022

They were the no. 1 team during the regular season. And that is where they stood when the buzzer sounded to end the 2022 playoff championship tournament.

In a showdown between the no. 1 and no. 3 seeds in the Great North Under 18 Hockey League, Soo Jr. Greyhounds edged the Sudbury Under 18 Nickel Capitals 4-3 in the title tilt to emerge as tournament champions.

The Soo had finished the regular season with a league best record of 20-4-0, just ahead of third place Sudbury U18, which had a 17-6-1 mark, slightly behind the second seed North Bay Under 16 Trappers, who went 17-4-2.

Because of Covid cancellations, not all eight teams of the Great North played the same number of regular season games. But all eight gathered in Kapuskasing for the recent playing of the 2022 playoff championship tournament.

And as the Jr. Greyhounds came away as winners and as the Great North declared a playoff champion for the first time since 2019, Soo head coach Jamie Henderson relayed some of the journey to Hockey News North.

“It has been a long few years waiting to have this opportunity. We had such a great group two years ago and then again last year and it was unfortunate they didn’t have this opportunity,” Henderson began.

“These young men have been through so much with lockdowns and missing tournaments and so it was really just nice to know we would have this opportunity. It wasn’t an easy week … we dealt with injuries, we had a tough loss (in the round robin) but we remained focused and finished up with a great couple of days. I can’t say enough about their commitment to playing the right way but more importantly for us playing with class on and off the ice,” Henderson summed up.

To get to the championship game against Sudbury U18, the Soo first had to get past the upstart Timmins Majors in the semi-finals. And the Jr. Hounds were able to defeat no. 6 seed Timmins 6-2 in the semis.

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