The four-team field for this week’s Dudley-Hewitt Cup, which kicked off yesterday and runs through Saturday in Cochrane, has been finalized.
Rounding out the field is the Hearst Lumberjacks, who captured their first-ever Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League championship last Wednesday evening in Sault Ste. Marie as they claimed the Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy with a thrilling 6-3 Game 7 victory over the Soo Thunderbirds.
With Hearst punching their ticket to the Dudley-Hewitt, they’ll be joined by fellow NOJHL side and event host Cochrane Crunch along with the Ontario Junior Hockey League title holders, the Oakville Blades, along with the Superior International Junior Hockey League champion Thunder Bay North Stars.
Cochrane and Thunder Bay are making their second-straight trip to the DHC.
The Blades are making their first visit to the Central Region Jr. ‘A’ Championship since back in 2010 when they defeated the North Stars in the title game that year.
As for the second-year Lumberjacks, this marks their first appearance at the event.
Hearst head coach Marc Lafleur is no stranger to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup, appearing twice while serving as head coach for the NOJHL’s Kirkland Lake Gold Miners, as well as winning one as a player back in 1995 while as a member of the Thunder Bay Flyers.
Awaiting the Dudley-Hewitt winner will be a trip to Brooks, Alta., for the Canadian National Jr. ‘A’ Championship on May 11-19.
Yesterday’s games, the results of which weren’t known as of press time, pitted Oakville against Hearst in the afternoon while Thunder Bay and Cochrane were to tangle last night.
Today’s games will see Hearst taking on Thunder Bay this afternoon while Cochrane and Oakville will do battle tonight.
Then tomorrow, Thunder Bay will square off against Oakville in the afternoon followed by Hearst taking on the hosts that night.
The top team will get a bye to Saturday’s final while the second- and third-place teams will square off in a semi-final showdown on Friday night.
All Dudley-Hewitt Cup games will be streamed live and on-demand via HockeyTV.com