CAMBRIDGE, ON – The Ontario Hockey Association and its Board of Directors, based on the recommendation of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL), announced yesterday that the OHA had approved the GOJHL proposal to include a fourth team into this year’s Sutherland Cup Semi Final.
The three conference league has historically run a round robin with the winners of the three conferences playing each other twice. The top two from the round robin would play a best of seven series to establish the winner of the Sutherland Cup.
“Adding a fourth team into the mix is something that I think really makes a lot of sense for the league,” said GOJHL Chairman Shawn McKelvie. “In past years we’ve found that during the round robin, attendance had diminished. A fourth team will help maintain the momentum from the Conference Finals.”
The fourth team changes the look of how the GOJHL playoffs run this year. A fourth or “wildcard” team will be determined based on playoff winning percentage only. The runner up from the Conference Final with the best playoff winning percentage will become the wild card team. They will automatically face off against the first placed team from a different conference, based on their winning percentage. However, if the fourth and the first place teams have already played each other in their conference final, then the fourth place team will automatically face the second ranked team.
For example if this process was in place last season the Welland Canadians would have been the final seed (see below).
Seed 1 – London – 16 games played / 12 wins / 4 losses = 75%
Seed 2 – St. Catharines – 17 games played / 12 wins / 5 losses = 70.59%
Seed 3 – Cambridge – 18 games played / 12 wins / 6 losses = 66.67%
Seed 4 – WILD CARD Welland – 19 games played / 11 wins / 8 losses = 52.94%
“The OHA Sutherland Cup Championship has rich history within the OHA and the format change will allow for great competition and fan excitement in communities of the Semi Final teams,” said OHA Chief Executive Officer Scott Farley. “It will further enhance the excitement that top quality playoff hockey can provide to fans across the entire OHA.”
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)