THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Monday its format and timeline for the upcoming playoffs.
All six SIJHL member clubs will qualify for the postseason with the opening round of the postseason running from March 14-26.
The Fort Frances Lakers, who are one win away from wrapping up the league’s regular season title, will take on the No. 2 seed in a 1 vs. 2 Showdown, which will feature a pair of two-game, total-goal mini-series with the overall winner earning the right to choose their opponent in semifinal play.
Should the total goals after games two and four be even, a shootout will be used to determine the particular series winner.
If each side has won one series apiece, yet another shootout will take place after game four, which will be used to determine the overall winner.
The Thunder Bay North Stars require just two points gained by them or lost by the Minnesota Iron Rangers to secure the No. 2 overall seed.
Meanwhile the four remaining clubs will compete in a pair of best-of-seven quarter-final series with, in all likelihood, Minnesota being No. 3 and will take on sixth place Wisconsin.
The English River Miners and Dryden Ice Dogs are guaranteed to finish fourth and fifth, with only the seeding and home ice advantage yet to be determined.
English River currently leads Dryden by just one point in the overall standings with the Miners also holding two games in hand.
Semifinal action will then feature the 1 vs. 2 Showdown winner choosing their opponent in the second round while the other match-up will feature the showdown finalist taking on the remaining team.
Both semifinal series will be best-of-seven affairs and will run from March 27 to April 9.
From there two semifinal winners will take to the ice to compete in the best-of-seven SIJHL championship series for the Bill Salonen Cup, which goes from April 10-23.
The Bill Salonen Cup champion will then advance to represent the SIJHL at the 2014 Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A championship April 29 through May 3 in Wellington, Ont.
Joining the SIJHL winner will be the title holders of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Junior Hockey League along with the host Wellington Dukes of the OJHL.
The Dudley-Hewitt titleist moves on to represent the region at the RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship May 10-18 in Vernon, B.C.
The opening round schedule of the SIJHL playoffs will be announced when dates, times and opponents are finalized.
1st Round of Playoffs
Series A: 1 vs. 2 Showdown (Two, 2-game total goal series with the winner picking their 2nd round opponent)
Series B: Quarter-final – 3rd vs. 6th (Best-of-seven)
Series C: Quart-final – 4th vs. 5th (Best-of-seven)
March 27 – April 9
Series D: Showdown Winner vs. Opponent (Best-of-seven)
Series F: Showdown Final vs. Opponent (Best-of-seven)
Bill Salonen Cup Final
Series G: Semifinal winners (Best-of-seven)
Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canada Jr. A Championship
April 29 – May 3
Wellington Dukes (Host – OJHL)
RBC Cup Canadian Jr. A Championship
Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion
Fred Page Cup champion
Western Canada Cup champion
Western Canada Cup finalist
Vernon Vipers (Host – BCHL)