Ontario Youth Hockey League Set For Exciting ’22-23 campaign of league play
The Minor Hockey ALLIANCE of Ontario is set for a big season of hockey in Canada.
With 23 member associations and over 30,000 members, the ALLIANCE membership is larger than eight of Hockey Canada’s provincial governing bodies, and with that brings impressive AAA hockey talent to the organization.
Founded in 1993, ALLIANCE continues to establish itself as a premiere youth hockey organization in Canada. Twelve organizations have teams competing at the AAA level within ALLIANCE for the main youth hockey birth years and are split into two divisions. In the East Division, the Brantford 99ers, Cambridge Hawks, Hamilton Huskies, Huron-Perth Lakers, Kitchener Jr. Rangers and Waterloo Wolves are battling for positioning before the postseason begins in March.
Meanwhile in the West, the Chatham-Kent Cyclones, Elgin-Middlesex Canucks, Lambton Jr. Sting, London Jr. Knights, Sun County Panthers and Windsor Jr. Spitfires will be doing the same.
ALLIANCE champions carry with it more than just season-ending bragging rights. At the U13 and U15 age groups, it punches tickets to the Ontario Hockey Federation Championships, and to the OHL Cup in the U14 and U16 age groups.
A Look At Last Season’s Champions:
- U10 (2012) – Sun County beat Elgin-Middlesex
- U11 (’11) – Elgin-Middlesex beat Lambton
- U12 (’10) – Sun County beat Brantford
- U13 (’09) – Huron-Perth beat Sun County
- U14 (’08) – Elgin-Middlesex beat London
- U15 (’07) – Huron-Perth beat Lambton
- U16 (’06) – London beat Brantford
- U18 (’05) – Huron-Perth beat Kitchener
ALLIANCE Representation in the World Rankings
This year, there are plenty of ALLIANCE teams to watch, and the league has plenty of representation on the Canadian rankings. At the ’08 level, for instance, Elgin-Middlesex Canucks rank No. 6 in the country. One birth year younger, there two major powerbrokers at the ’09 level, as the Sun County Panthers check in at No. 1, and the Huron-Perth Lakers are close behind at No. 2. Considering Huron-Perth is the defending ALLIANCE champions after knocking off Sun County in the final last year, this only adds to the budding rivalry between the two clubs. At the 2010 birth year, the Brantford 99ers appear at No. 6, and Sun County is No. 8. Lastly, the ’11 birth year features two teams as well; Elgin-Middlesex at No. 2 and Sun County at No. 10.
One of ALLIANCE’s biggest events helps propel the season into full gear this weekend when the league hosts its U15AAA Face Off in Komoka, home of Elgin-Middlesex. The league brings its U18, U16, U15 and U14 teams together on various weekends early in the season for jam-packed showcases of hockey; great for scouts, and for teams to really get a sense of where they stand in league-play.
On Friday, the 12 members of the U15 division gather for a 24-game weekend. While there have been some league games played already, this event really serves as the kick-off event for the 2008 birth year.
The U18 division started with their own Face-Off event on Sept. 30th. Meanwhile, the U14s will get underway Oct. 21 – 23, and the U16 group will take part on Nov. 18 – 20. The latter is a major event for the 2007 birth year as they compete for the attention of scouts in their junior draft-eligible season.