MYHockey News

The Playoff Push Continues Around North America

Updated March 18 11:30 a.m. EDT

Let’s be clear; March Mayhem came to Minnesota several weeks ago. And the same can be said about many areas of Canada.

Between the regional youth tournaments and high-school playoffs, the State of Hockey has been knee deep in it for a little while now. 

And on Friday, Minnesota’s youth teams take it up another notch with the start of state-championship tournaments. Play in the Peewee and Bantam AA divisions (12U and 14U) gets underway at mid-day Friday and runs through Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, postseason play also has been going on in Canada for some time now, with girls’ provincial champions already having been crowned in the Atlantic Region and the Canadian School Sport Hockey League (CSSHL) and British Columbia Elite Hockey League (BCEHL) having determined some of its boys’ and girls’ champions in various age groups as well.

This weekend, Canadian postseason play marches on all over the country. And in the U.S. – in addition to the Minnesota and other state playoffs at the Tier 2 level – final USA Hockey Tier 1 National Championship berths will be determined in the 13O, 14U, 14O, 16U and 18U Youth age groups as well as the 14U, 16U and 19U Girls divisions as the remaining district champions are determined.

Check out our USA Hockey Tier 1 State and District Tournament Tracker for more information on those events.

It’s championship weekend for 16U and 18U AAA Boys in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) as teams compete for the coveted red hats that are awarded annually to the championship teams. The OMHA U16 Division features eight teams divided into two groups and includes four of Ontario’s top-10 and seven of its top-18 teams. Meanwhile, the U18 Division also has eight teams divided into two groups and includes four of the province’s top-six and seven of its top-18 teams.

The CSSHL crowned its U15 Prep Western champion Thursday as the Northern Alberta Xtreme, ranked second in Western Canada, beat top-ranked Calgary Edge School, 6-5 in overtime to capture their second-straight title. Jaggar John scored the game-winning goal for NAX.

RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna, No. 2 in Canada’s U22 Women’s rankings, also captured its third-straight Female U18 CSSHL Prep Western championship Thursday. RHA beat No. 24 Shawnigan Lake School, 5-1, in a rematch of last year’s final. Chloe Primerano scored twice for RINK and set the CSSHL Female U18 Prep Championship record with 19 points for the tournament.

CSSHL Eastern Championships get underway March 20.

Staying in Western Canada, the British Columbia Elite Hockey League Playoffs continue this weekend with the semifinals for the Female and integrated U18 AAA leagues. The BCEHL U17 AAA Boys best-of-three championship series also is on tap. The Fraser Valley Thunderbirds already captured the U15 AAA Boys title March 3.

The opening round Alberta Elite Hockey League U18 AAA Playoffs concluded the first week of March, with eight teams advancing to the division semifinals, which began March 6. The best-of-three semifinals ended March 10, and now the division finals are underway and feature Western Canada’s No. 4 Calgary Buffaloes vs. the No. 19 Calgary NWCAA Flames and the No. 24 Edmonton Jr. Oilers Orange vs. the No. 15 Sherwood Park Kings in best-of-five series.

On the girls’ side in Alberta, the AEFHL U18 Playoffs also are underway. Canada’s fifth-ranked Calgary Fire already advanced in the provincial qualifier with a 2-0 series win over the No. 83 Rocky Mountain Raiders and await the winner of the best-of-three series between the No. 11 St. Albert Slash and No. 65 Lloydminster Steelers. 

The Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League is in the midst of its best-of-five semifinals, with the Nos. 13, 56, 66 and 77 teams in Western Canada competing in best-of-five series. In the Manitoba Female U18 Hockey League, the top-four seeds advanced to the semifinals, where the Winnipeg Ice and Westman Wildcats won their best-of-three series to advance to the championship round. The best-of-three finals begin March 20

In Saskatchewan, the province’s U18 Boys AAA league semifinals include three of the top-four seeds along with one surprise, the sixth-seeded Tisdale Trojans. Ranked 52nd in Western Canada, the Trojans are taking on the No. 26 Saskatoon Blazers, while the 43rd-ranked Swift Current Legionnaires are facing the No. 16 Regina Pat Canadians.

The Girls U18 league in Manitoba also has reached the semifinals, with the top-four seeds having advanced. One best-of-five semifinal pits Canada’s second-ranked Regina Rebels vs. the No. 47 Battlefords Stars, while the fourth-ranked Saskatoon Stars face the No. 38 Notre Dame Hounds in the other semi.

On the East Coast, the Maritime Major Female Hockey League has determined two of its three U18 AAA provincial champs, and is in the midst of its U15 AAA Playoffs. Congratulations to the U18 Northern Selects, ranked 9h in Canada, and the No. 44 Eastern Stars for capturing the Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island championships, respectively. The No. 69 Moncton Stars and No. 45 Western Flames are facing off in the best-of-five New Brunswick finals, with the Flames holding a 1-0 advantage.

On the Boys’ side, the East Coast Blizzard, No. 17 in Eastern Canada, are facing the No. 11 Pinnacle Growlers in the best-of-five Newfoundland/Labrador Major U18 Hockey League finals. In the best-of-seven New Brunswick/PEI finals, the Kensington Wild lead the Charlottetown Knights, 2-0, while the New Brunswick U18 AAA League still is in the semifinals.

The OMHA isn’t the only Ontario league with playoffs in progress, as Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO), the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontariothe Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) and the Great North U18 League all will be determining their champions in the days and weeks ahead.

Below is a closer look at the Minnesota State AA Tournament and OMHA Championship Weekend.


Minnesota State Bantam and Pee Wee Tournaments

Eight teams compete in both tournaments – four regional champs and four runners up – with first-round losers dropping into a consolation bracket and semifinalists that don’t advance to the championship game playing for third place. 

The Peewee field includes eight of the top-nine teams in the most recent MHR Minn-Kota rankings, while the Bantam bracket features the six of the top eight and eight of the top-14.


Minnesota State Championship Bantam AA Field

#1 Moorhead

#2 Osseo/Maple Grove

#3 Prior Lake/Savage

#5 Rosemount

#6 Edina

#8 Wayzata

#13 Elk River

#14 Hermantown


Friday’s Opening-Round Bantam AA Matchups

Games played at Yanmar Arena in Grand Rapids 

1 p.m. EDT - #2 Osseo/Maple Grove (8), #13 Elk River (1)

3 p.m. EDT - #5 Rosemount (0), # 1 Moorhead (3)

5 p.m. EDT - #14 Hermantown (4), #6 Edina (0)

7 p.m. EDT - #8 Wayzata (4), #3 Prior Lake/Savage (5)


Saturday's Bantam AA Semifinal Matchups

#1 Moorhead (4), #2 Osseo/Maple Grove (3) - OT

Joseph Cullen netted the game-winning goal with Wyatt Cullen picking up the assist as Moorhead moved on to the championship game. Pavel Gorachev's second goal of the game with 33 seconds left in regulation forced overtime, and Hudston Ferrie picked up the win in goal with 11 saves.


#14 Hermantown (2), #3 Prior Lake/Savage (0)

Nick Martalock and Ethan Wise scored for Hermantown and Carter Nash stopped 25 shots in goal to record the shutout as Hermantown moved on with the upset win. 


Sunday's Bantam AA Championship Game

#1 Moorhead (7), Hermantown (0)

Top-ranked Moorhead scored six goals in the first two periods and never looked back in claimining the state championship. Evan Wanner recorded two goals and an assist, with Beck Thoreson adding a goal and two assists while Easton Dozark and Wyatt Cullen each contribued a goal and an assist for the winners. Finn Paulsen also handed out a pair of assists, and Hudson Ferrie recorded an 11-save shutout.

Moorhead wins the Minnesota Bantam AA championship

CLICK HERE for Bantam schedule and results 


Minnesota State Championship Peewee AA Field

#1 Minnetonka

#2 Stillwater

#3 Woodbury

#4 Moorhead

#5 East Grand Forks

#7 Edina

#8 White Bear Lake

#9 Andover


Friday’s Opening-Round Peewee AA Matchups

Games played at Shakopee Ice Arena

1:30 p.m. EDT - #8 White Bear Lake (0), #1 Minnetonka (4)

3:30 p.m. EDT - #7 Edina (6), # 4 Moorhead (3)

5 p.m. EDT - #5 East Grand Forks (3), #3 Woodbury (5)

7 p.m. EDT - #2 Stillwater (9), #9 Andover (1)


Saturday's Peewee AA Semifinal Matchups

#7 Edina (2), #1 Minnetonka (8)

Top-ranked Minnetonka scored seven times in the final two periods to break open a close game. William Stinson and Dean Stevens had three points apiece for the winners, while Gavin Coccimiglio and Colton Nash scored two goals each and Leyton Dewing handed out two assists. Leo Johnson got the win in goal with 24 saves. 


#2 Stillwater (2), #3 Woodbury (3)

Woodbury rallied from a 2-0 deficit with three third-period goals to advance to the title game despite being outshot, 37-23. Jacob Sebahar made 35 saves, including 15 in the third period to secure the win. Tristan Will, Luke Crowley and Jack Keiser scored the third-period goals. 


Sunday's Peewee AA Championship Game 

#1 Minnetonka (9), #3 Woodbury (3)

Top-ranked Minnetonka led, 6-2, after two periods and scored three more times in the final frame to capture the state title. Dean Stevens and William Stinson combined for nine points, with Stevens notching a hat trick and Stinson dishing out four assists. Leyton Dewing added a goal and three assists, while Gavin Coccimiglio and Colton Nash scored two goals each and Ozwald Ware handed out a pair of helpers. Winning goaltender Cooper Corona made 26 saves. 

CLICK HERE for Peewee schedule & results 



OMHA 16U & 18U AAA Boys Championships

The OMHA 16U and 18U Boys AAA Championships each have eight teams separated into two groups of four. Each team plays the other three teams in its group during pool play to determine who advances to Sunday’s semifinals. The top-two finishers in each group advance.


OMHA U16 AAA Group 1 

#2 Barrie Colts (3-0-0, 6 pts)

#14 Oshawa Generals (2-1-1, 4 pts)

#23 Guelph Jr. Gryphons (0-2-1, 1 pt)

#10 Halton Hurricanes (0-2-1, 1 pt)


OMHA U16 AAA Group 2

#5 Oakville Rangers (2-1-0, 4 pts)

#8 York-Simcoe Express (1-2-0, 2 pts)

#9 Peterborough Petes (2-1-0, 4 pts)

#22 Niagara North Stars (1-2-0, 2 pts)

CLICK HERE for U16 OMHA schedule, standings and results


Sunday's U16 Semifinals

Oshawa Generals (3), Peterborough Petes (5)

Oakville Rangers (0), Barrie Colts (5)


Sunday's U16 Championship Game 

Barrie Colts (5), Peterborough Petes (2)

Barrie scored twice in the first and third periods to secure the OMHA championship. James Elliott and Troy Patton scored twice for the winners, with Alex McLean recording a goal and two assists and Nathan Amidovski dishing out a pair of helpers. Jason Schaubel got the win in goal.


OMHA U18 Group 1

#1 Ajax-Pickering Raiders (1-0-1-1, 4 pts)

#16 Barrie Colts (0-3-0, 0 pts)

#17 Guelph Jr. Gryphons (2-0-1, 5 pts)

#18 Halton Hurricanes (2-1-0, 4 pts)


OMHA U18 Group 2

#2 Burlington Eagles (2-1-0, 4 pts)

#5 Oakville Rangers (1-1-0-1, 3 pts)

#6 Markham Waxers (2-1-0), 4 pts

#25 Central Ontario Wolves (1-2-0, 2 pts)


Sunday's U18 Semifinals

Burlington Eagles 3, Halton Hurricanes 2

Markham Waxers 5, Guelph Gryphons 3


Sunday's U18 Championship Game

Markham Waxers (4), Burlington Eagles (2)

Trailing 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes, Markham rallied for four goals over the final two frames, including three in the final period, to claim the championship. Four different players scored for the Waxers, with Mazon Cruzet notching a goal and an assist. Eamon Callaghan got the win in goal.

CLICK HERE for U18 OMHA schedule, standings and results


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