U14 OHL Cup Preview

Apr 13, 2023 | World Hockey Hub

Photo by Raine Hernandez | OHL Images
Photo by Raine Hernandez | OHL Images

A Favorite and an Underdog to win from each of the four divisions

The OHL Cup is a season-ending tournament that features some of the top youth hockey teams in Ontario. Established in 1968, the event regularly showcases the best players in the province at the U16 age group. Last season, the OHL decided to expand its impact on the local youth hockey space by expanding the tournament to the U14 age group as well. 

Following a similar format to the U16 tournament, twelve 2009-born teams qualified for this year’s U14 OHL Cup. Those teams include members of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), ALLIANCE Hockey, Hockey Eastern Ontario (HE) and Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA). Below is the list of 12 teams, plus how they qualified for the tournament:

Halton Hurricanes (OMHA Champion)
Barrie Jr. Colts (OMHA Finalist)
York-Simcoe Express (OMHA 3rd Place)
Don Mills Flyers (GTHL Champion)
Toronto Titans (GTHL Finalist)
Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL 3rd Place)
Sun County Panthers (ALLIANCE Champion)
Huron-Perth Lakers (ALLIANCE Finalist)
Ottawa Myers Automotive (HEO Champion)
Ottawa Valley Titans (HEO Finalist)
Soo Jr. Greyhounds (NOHA Champion)
North Bay Trappers (NOHA Finalist)

Of the 12 participating teams, six are currently ranked in the Top 10 in the country. According to the OHL, the event is meant to provide players and parents with an introduction to the junior league. Additionally, it serves as an exciting experience to end their seasons with a provincial championship.

Tournament Favorites to win U14 OHL Cup

The field is split up into four divisions of three teams. We examine each of the four divisions to give you one team from each that has a viable chance of winning the entire tournament.

Stamkos Division – Ottawa Myers Automotive

This division could prove to be very close, actually. While Ottawa Myers Automotive is the only ranked one in the bunch, there isn’t a huge drop-off between the Barrie Jr. Colts and Soo Jr. Greyhounds either. As close as all three seem to stack up, I’ll go with Ottawa as the best odds to make a championship run. They may not even come out of pool play as the top seed, but they have shown an ability this season to play with top teams. In five games against Top-10 teams, Ottawa has a 1-2-2 record. It’s not great, but it is better than their counterparts and proves they can compete come playoff time in the tournament.

Duchene Division – Toronto Jr. Canadiens

They’re the No. 1 ranked team in the country, despite finishing third in the GTHL Playoffs. Aside from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens’ impressive 49-14-1 record, they allow just 1.38 goals against per game. Additionally, JRC has already played fellow division member Halton earlier in the season. That game back in November was a 7-0 final in favor of the Jr. Canadiens. I don’t see North Bay providing much more resistance either, so JRC is the obvious favorite here.

Byfield Division – Sun County Panthers

Sun County Panthers and Toronto Titans are back-to-back in our Top 10. That’s been the case since Dec. 7th, as the margin between these two is razor thin. In games against shared opponents, the results are almost identical. They did go head-to-head once back in November, and Toronto had the edge 3-0. However, Sun County has been a much different team since then. After all, they did upset the Toronto Jr. Canadiens in the semifinals of the GTHL Playoffs. So I’m going with the Panthers as the best odds to win the championship out of this group.

Perfetti Division – Don Mills Flyers

I’d argue nobody in Ontario is playing better hockey right now than the Don Mills Flyers. They come into the tournament as champions of the GTHL; a huge notch on their belt. Plus, they’ve only lost once in regulation since January 15th. DMF maintains a plus-170 goal differential, and hasn’t allowed more than three goals against in 52 consecutive games. Offense is tough to come by against this squad. In a tournament environment like this, I think low-scoring games bode well for Don Mills.

Underdogs with a chance to surprise at U14 OHL Cup

Showcases like the OHL Cup are always full of surprises. A team that no one expects that goes on an unthinkable run. Look no further than the unranked Vaughan Kingsrun at the U16 tournament where they made a push to the championship game. Here’s one unsuspecting team from each division with a chance to make some noise.

Stamkos Division – Barrie Jr. Colts

They might actually come out of the division as the top seed come Saturday. I like the Barrie Jr. Colts to make a splash because their offense is so dynamic; 316 goals this season is more than any other team in the tournament. They’ve also already played seven of the 11 other participants this season. Nobody else has played more than five, so Barrie has more familiarity with its opponents than anyone else. A dynamic offense that’s battle tested and plays up to their competition? Scary combination.

Duchene Division – Halton Hurricanes

They’ve had a tendency to be nuclear at times. They lost to fellow OHL Cup participants Ottawa Myers Automotive 5-0 and Toronto Jr. Canadiens 7-0 this season. When things go bad, there’s potential for it to go awful. However, this is a Halton Hurricanes squad that went unbeaten for 23 games at one point this season. They can be just as white hot as they can be ice cold. It’s possible they could harness that into a playoff run this weekend.

Byfield Division – Toronto Titans

Referring to them as an underdog is a bit of a stretch. After all, the Toronto Titans are the No. 4 ranked team in the country. But I don’t have them winning the division outright, which means they’ll come into the playoffs as a lower seed. That puts Toronto in a position to spoil someone’s weekend. They already have wins over Sun County, Barrie, YSE, DMF and the Jr. Canadiens. It’s just a matter of stringing them all together this week.

Perfetti Division – Ottawa Valley Titans

They may end up being third out of three teams in their division when pool play is over. However, the Ottawa Valley Titans have wins over four of the 11 teams in the field this season. Plus, they’ve seen both Don Mills and JRC earlier in the year. Those games didn’t go their way, but the Titans have invaluable experience knowing they can skate with the top teams in the tournament. They’re the ultimate wild card in this field of teams, capable of being the No. 1 seed out of the Perfetti Division, but also a sneaky dark horse as a lower seed come playoff time as well.

Want more coverage of the U14 OHL Cup? Follow WWH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Discord and YouTube for the latest news, updates and more! 


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