New format for minor hockey playoffs

U13C-House Lions advance in playoff bracket – The South Dundas Lions advanced to the next spot in the U13C-House playoff bracket with a 2-1 win over the North Dundas Demons March 21. The Lions went on to defeat the Smiths Falls Bears 6-2 March 22. Pictured above, Daymon Julien (#23) tries to put the puck past Demons’ goalie Liam Hindle in the third period of the March 21 game. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – A six week shut down of the minor hockey regular season has not deterred getting in a full season and now a full set of playoffs. March 19 saw the start of the 2022 playoffs for the U11 level and above in the Upper Canada Minor Hockey League.

This year’s playoff format is different than past years taking the form of a tournament bracket. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams would play in a first-to-four point playoff series to advance in each round.

This year, teams must keep winning to advance through the playoffs. A team’s first lost will relocate a team from the A to the B bracket. Two losses and a team is done for the season.

“The playoff format is being really well received by players and parents,” said South Dundas Minor Hockey Association President Joyce Latulippe. “The games being the way they are take a lot of the pressure off that you’d see in a playoff series.”

All teams in a particular league play in the bracket, giving more access to teams lower in the standings.

Prior to 2020, leagues with eight or more teams would have only the top eight teams in the playoffs, leagues with seven or fewer teams would see four teams advance into the playoffs.

“Potentially a team could get more games in the playoffs depending on their result early in the playoffs,” Latulippe said explaining that while the bracket playoff format is due to the pandemic restrictions interfering with this year’s season, it could be adopted in the future.

“That will be up to the league AGM,” she said.

The South Dundas Lions have eight teams at the U11 level or higher competing in the playoffs this year. U9 level teams do not play in any playoffs.

The Lions’ took the top two spots in the U11B-House league this season. South Dundas’ U11B-House 1 won the league with a 21-0-0 record, followed by the U11B-House 2 team in second with an 18-2-1 record. The U11C-House team finished fourth in their league with an 8-12-1 record. North Dundas hosted the U11B-Rep team which finished fourth this season (12-7-2).

At the U13 level, the U13B-House Lions finished first with a 22-0-1 record. The U13C-House Lions were also in first place at the end of the regular season with an 18-2-3 record. Neither South Dundas nor North Dundas offered a U13B-Rep team this season.

The U15B-House Lions finished in third place with a record of 13 wins, six losses, three ties. North Dundas hosted the U15B-Rep team which finished fourth this season with a record of nine wins, 10 losses and four times.

At the U18 level, South Dundas’ B-Rep team finished in seventh place in the league with a record of eight wins, 12 losses and two ties. The B-House team finished sixth in its league with a record of eight wins, 15 losses, one tie.

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