GOJHL playoffs set to go

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All six Niagara based teams qualify for the postseason. Photo credit: Twitter/Fort Erie Meteors 

 

It’s playoff time in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.

A slightly shortened 48-game regular season ended Sunday night with all six Niagara based teams in the Golden Horseshoe Conference set for the post-season. 

The St. Catharines Falcons were the top local team, finishing second in the eight-team league with 36 wins and 74 points, and also featured the best goals against allowing a measly 78 goals on the campaign. 

The Falcons are led defensively by former Ontario Hockey League, and Niagara IceDogs, goaltender Andrew MacLean who posted 10 shutouts on the season. 

“Great individual, a really good teammate to the players, he’s a pro,” said St. Catharines General Manager Frank Girhiny when asked about MacLean. 

Girhiny, who also helped the Falcons celebrate their final regular season game at historic Jack Gatecliff Arena last Friday night, feels the Fort Erie Meteors and Welland Jr. Canadians are the other Niagara based teams that could show well in the playoffs. 
Although, the fourth ranked Meteors will face the number five Jr. Canadians in the first round. 

“I would say Fort Erie for sure,” Girhiny explained. “They’re really well coached. They play with great structure. I would look to them to make some noise.”

The second seeded Falcons will meet the seventh seeded Pelham Panthers beginning Thursday night in Pelham. 

“Hard-working team for sure. They have a couple of players up front as well, they’re going to play real hard,” said Girhiny about the Falcons first-round playoff opponent. 

“Our depth, we should be fine, but we’ll take nothing for granted, Pelham always plays us hard. We look forward to them being a formidable opponent.”

The other series see the top ranked Hamilton Kilty B’s taking on the eighth ranked Niagara Falls Canucks, while the sixth seeded Thorold Blackhawks meet the number three Caledonia Corvairs. 

Girhiny feels Hamilton lives up to its top billing.

“Similar to our team – really good goaltending, strong defence and very fast.

I think we match up very well. 

Hamilton would be the front-runner for sure, but I like our chances if we get a chance to play them in the finals.”

Here’s a look at the Golden Horseshoe first round playoff matchups:

(1) Hamilton vs.  (8) Niagara Falls

Wed. Apr 06, 2022 – 7:00PM
NFC  @  HAM
Fri. Apr 08, 2022 – 7:00PM
HAM  @  NFC
Sun. Apr 10, 2022 – 7:00PM
NFC  @  HAM
Tue. Apr 12, 2022 – 7:00PM
HAM  @  NFC
Thu. Apr 14, 2022 – 7:00PM
NFC  @  HAM
Sat. Apr 16, 2022 – 7:00PM
HAM  @  NFC
Sun. Apr 17, 2022 – 7:00PM
NFC  @  HAM

(2) St. Catharines vs. (7) Pelham

Thu. Apr 07, 2022 – 7:00PM
SCF  @  PEL
Fri. Apr 08, 2022 – 7:00PM
PEL  @  SCF
Sun. Apr 10, 2022 – 2:45PM
SCF  @  PEL
Tue. Apr 12, 2022 – 7:00PM
PEL  @  SCF
Fri. Apr 15, 2022 – 7:00PM
PEL  @  SCF
Sat. Apr 16, 2022 – 7:00PM
SCF  @  PEL
Sun. Apr 17, 2022 – 7:00PM
PEL  @  SCF

(3) Caledonia vs. (6) Thorold

Wed. Apr 06, 2022 – 7:30PM
THB  @  CAL
Thu. Apr 07, 2022 – 7:00PM
CAL  @  THB
Sat. Apr 09, 2022 – 7:30PM
THB  @  CAL
Mon. Apr 11, 2022 – 7:00PM
CAL  @  THB
Tue. Apr 12, 2022 – 7:30PM
THB  @  CAL
Thu. Apr 14, 2022 – 7:00PM
CAL  @  THB
Sat. Apr 16, 2022 – 7:30PM
THB  @  CAL

(4) Fort Erie vs. (5) Welland 

Wed. Apr 06, 2022 – 7:15PM
WEL  @  FEM
Thu. Apr 07, 2022 – 7:30PM
FEM  @  WEL
Sat. Apr 09, 2022 – 7:15PM
WEL  @  FEM
Sun. Apr 10, 2022 – 7:05PM
FEM  @  WEL
Wed. Apr 13, 2022 – 7:15PM
WEL  @  FEM
Thu. Apr 14, 2022 – 7:30PM
FEM  @  WEL
Sat. Apr 16, 2022 – 7:15PM
WEL  @  FEM

More on the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League can be found at gojhl.ca

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