Sutherland Cup Semi-Final Preview

And 24 teams have been whittled down to 4, Mid-Western Conference Champion Elmira Sugar Kings, Golden Horseshoe Conference Champion Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs, Western Conference Champion Leamington Flyers and Wild Card LaSalle Vipers.

And the teams have been seeded in that order, based on their play-off winning percentages.

So let’s have a look at the Final Four.

Elmira Sugar Kings

This is Elmira’s first appearance in the Sutherland Cup since 2011, which they won that year.  The team has 4 Sutherland Cups in their history.

Elmira ended the regular season in first place in the Mid-West.  Their record was 38-7-4 with 80 points.

In the play-offs, they played Brampton Bombers in the first round, sweeping them in 4 games.  In the second round they played Waterloo Siskins, sweeping them in 4 games as well.  In the Cherrey Cup finals, they took on Stratford Cullitons, defeating them in 5 games.  Their play-off record is 12-1 with a win percentage of 92.3%, they scored 60 goals and gave up 29, having a goal differential of 67.4%.

The Sugar Kings are a big team, with only 6 players on their roster under 6’0”.  They also have an older team with 15 players that are 1994 and 1995 birth years.

LaSalle Vipers

This is LaSalle’s first appearance in the Sutherland Cup since 2010.  They won the Sutherland Cup that year.  As the Vipers, they have 1 Sutherland Cup, but the team also has 1 in their history as the Tecumseh Chiefs.

LaSalle finished the regular season in 4th place in the Western Conference.  Their record was 28-20-1 with 57 points.

In the play-offs, they took on Strathroy Rockets in the first round, sweeping them in 4 games.  In the second round, they played Sarnia Legionnaires defeating them in 6 games.  In the finals, they fell to Leamington Flyers in 6 games.  Their play-off record is 10-6 with a win percentage of 62.5%, they scored 56 goals and gave up 45 for a goal differential of 55.4%.  They are in the Sutherland Cup as the wild card team having a better play-off win percentage than Stratford and St. Catharines Falcons, who were both at 60%.

The Vipers have a significantly shorter team, with 12 under 6’0”, and they only have 8 players that are 19 and 20 years old.

Prediction:  This should be a good series.  The Vipers are a resilient team and they’re not going to roll over because they’re playing a Champion.  They’ve earned their spot to be in the Sutherland Cup and they’re going to prove that they deserve to be there.  Elmira’s size and age may become a factor in this series.  LaSalle could have an edge on being used to travelling.  In the Western Conference, 6 of the 8 teams the Vipers play are approximately 2 hours away.  I’d like to pick the Vipers in this series, but I don’t think they’ll overcome Elmira’s size.  Sugar Kings in 6.

 

Caledonia Pro-Fit Corvairs

Caledonia are the defending Sutherland Cup Champions and back-to-back Golden Horseshoe Conference Champions.  The team also has a Sutherland Cup Championship as the Brantford Golden Eagles.

The Corvairs finished first in the Golden Horseshoe and the GOJHL with a record of 44-3-2 for 90 points.

In the play-offs, Caledonia took on Pelham Panthers in the first round, sweeping them in 4 games.  In the second round, they took on Ancaster Avalanche defeating them in 5 games.  In the Conference finals, they played St. Catharines Falcons and took them out in 5 games.  They have a play-off record of 12-2 for a win percentage of 85.7%.  Over 14 games they scored 79 goals and gave up 25 for a goal differential of 76%.

Their team size is more in line with LaSalle, and they have 12 that are 19 and 20 years old.  But, they have 9 players that were part of their Championship team last season.

Leamington Flyers

The Flyers are the back-to-back Bill Weir Cup Champions.  This is just their 2nd appearance in the Sutherland Cup, last year they lost to St. Catharines in the semi-finals.

Leamington finished first in the West with a record of 38-9-2 for 78 points.

In the play-offs, they played Lambton Shores Predators in the first round, sweeping them in 4 games.  In the second round, the Flyers played London Nationals, overcoming them in 6 games.  In the finals, they played LaSalle and defeated them in 6 games.  Their play-off record is 12-4 with a win percentage of 75%.  In 16 games, they scored 56 goals and only gave up 30 for a differential of 65.1%.

Leamington has just 9 players that are 6’0” or taller.  They have 13 players on their roster that are born in 1994 and 1995 and 12 players from last year’s team.

Prediction:  Caledonia is the defending Sutherland Cup Champions, they know what it takes to win it.  This is just Leamington’s second appearance in the Sutherland Cup.  It’s been known the entire season that the road to the Suthie is through Caledonia and this is going to be a tough series, for both sides.  I’d like to go with Leamington to knock off the Corvairs, but my gut is telling me otherwise.  Caledonia in 6 games.

You all know that I am a die-hard Rockets fan, but I am also a die-hard GOJHL fan, having been watching Jr. B hockey since I was 10 years old. I will only watch the GOJHL and during the hockey season, you never know what arena RG is gonna show up at.

I’m bringing you the games, news, and updates of the GOJHL.

RG is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheRocketGirl16 and you can find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheRocketGirl16

If you hear of anything about any of the teams in the GOJHL, or have questions about anything, feel free to post it. If I don’t know the answer, I know how to find it.

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