Niagara Region hockey update across leagues

It’s the final week of regular season for local Jr. A. and Jr. B hockey teams; Jr. C play-ins begin this week; and the last month of OHL regular season gets underway. Pictured: Niagara IceDog players. Photo Credit: Meridian Centre. 

The Niagara IceDogs, who play out of the Ontario Hockey League, are officially in the final month of their regular season.

Barring a huge final 11 games, the IceDogs will be on the outside looking in on the eight playoff spots up for grabs in the OHL Eastern Conference.

The OHL falls under the category of Major Junior hockey.

The Niagara Falls Canucks played their first season in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), after leaving the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). 

The OJHL is called Junior A hockey. 

The Canucks wrap up their regular season Sunday at home, are currently sitting in tenth place in the 12-team Western Conference and will also miss the postseason.

To the GOJHL, also playing in its final week of its regular season, which features no fewer than five teams from the Niagara Region – all playing out of the Golden Horseshoe Conference. 

The Fort Erie Meteors, St. Catharines Falcons, Welland Jr. Canadians, Pelham Panthers and Port Colborne Sailors make up the seven-team conference which also includes the Caledonia Corvairs and Hamilton Kilty B’s.  

Fort Erie is the top ‘local’ team and still has a chance to finish first overall. 

St. Catharines will finish second or third, Welland and Pelham fifth or sixth and Port Colborne seventh. 

The first-place team here will receive a first-round playoff bye, while No. 2 takes on No. 7, then three vs. six, and four vs. five.

Two teams that call Niagara home play in the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL), or Junior C hockey loop. 

The post-season (play-ins) here begins this week. 

The perennial powerhouse Grimsby Peach Kings sported a (37-7-3) record, good for first overall in the South Bloomfield Division, and received a first-round playoff bye. 

The Niagara RiverHawks, who play out of the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls, finished fourth and open their playoffs Tuesday night in Hagersville. 

This best-of-three set is being called the ‘Survivor Series’ with the winner officially earning the No. 4 seed and a first-round playoff matchup against Grimsby.

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