The Superior International Junior Hockey League is announcing its 2023-24 regular season schedule as approved by its board of governors.
The league’s 22nd season of competition will kick off on Friday, September 22, and for the first time, will include eight teams as the league welcomes the expansion Kenora Islanders.
The schedule will include 196 games, and see each team participate in 49 regular-season contests – seven against each opponent.
The Kam River Fighting Walleye, reigning SIJHL regular season and Bill Salonen Cup champions will begin defence of their title against the Red Lake Miners September 22 at NorWest Arena in Oliver-Paipoonge. This will be a meeting of the last two SIJHL playoff champions.
Other games on the opening-night slate will see a rematch of first-round playoff opponents when the Fort Frances Lakers will visit the Dryden GM Ice Dogs. The Sioux Lookout Bombers will host the Thunder Bay North Stars and the Kenora Islanders will kick off their inaugural season playing host to the Wisconsin Lumberjacks at the Moncrief Construction Sports Centre in Kenora.
The following weekend, Friday September 29, the Fort Frances Lakers will host the Kam River Fighting Walleye, the Dryden GM Ice Dogs will visit Cochenour Arena to take on the Red Lake Miners, and Sioux Lookout will visit Wisconsin, a rematch of last year’s opening-round playoff thriller that saw the U.S. side prevail in overtime in game seven.
Finally, the Thunder Bay North Stars will host the Dryden GM Ice Dogs for their home opener on Friday, October 6, at Fort William Gardens.
The regular season will conclude on Saturday March 16. All eight SIJHL teams will qualify for the playoffs. The opening round will feature the top-seeded regular season team against the 8th seed, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5 in best-of-seven series slated to open on March 21.
Once again, the SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup playoff champion will represent the SIJHL at the 2024 Centennial Cup, being held from May 9-19, 2024 in Oakville, ON.
All SIJHL regular season and playoff games will be streamed live and on-demand on SIJHL.TV.
The SIJHL Top Prospects and Future Prospects event will be held on February 17, 2024. More details on that event will follow shortly.