Jr. Canadiens and Kings meet in 2023 OHL Cup Championship Final
The 2023 OHL Cup has come down to the last dance as GTHL opponents the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and Vaughan Kings hit the ice tonight at the Mattamy Athletic Centre tonight at 7:00pm.
Tickets to tonight’s game are $12.00 and can only be purchased online by visiting Ticketmaster. The game will air live for free on OHL Live and across the province on OHL Action Pak channel 466. Victor Findlay will provide tonight’s play-by-play call alongside Lauren Kelly on colour.
Here’s a look at tonight’s matchup, with some pre-game notes on each team.
Toronto Jr. Canadiens (6-0-0) – GTHL Finalists
- Jr. Canadiens finished season as the third-ranked team in the OHL Cup Top-10 Rankings. They were included on the rankings in all 15 weeks this past season. They played to a regular season mark of 30-6-0 for second place in the GTHL standings, reaching the GTHL Championship Final before falling 4-2 in points to the Toronto Marlboros.
- Jr. Canadiens enjoyed success in tournament play this season, losing the Championship Final of the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament to the Bishop Kearney Selects. They were Whitby Silver Stick Semi-Finalists, losing to Bishop Kearney in that tournament as well.
- Jr. Canadiens have won three of four meetings this season, defeating Vaughan in round robin opener by a score of 5-1 on Wednesday, March 29th.
- Jr. Canadiens are into the OHL Cup Final for the fifth time; they’ve won championships in 2018 and 2008.
- Jr. Canadiens have surrendered just three goals over six games; OHL Cup record is four goals allowed over seven games by the 2012 champion Mississauga Rebels. JRC is anchored in the crease by the twin tandem of Alexander and Nico Armellin.
- Jr. Canadiens are most penalized team in the showcase thus far, being shorthanded 37 times; they’ve killed off 36 of those opportunities while scoring three shorthanded goals.
- Jr. Canadiens captain Jake O’Brien enters tonight’s game leading the showcase with 15 points (6-9–15), the second-most by a Jr. Canadiens player in OHL Cup history, following Michael Hage who recorded 16 (7-9–16) last year.
- Jr. Canadiens forward Nico Addy won a gold medal with Team Ontario at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island in February. He recorded five points (4-1–5) in six tournament games.
Assistant coach Steve Mercer says:
“We’re peaking at the right time. It’s going to be an emotional game for the kids. There’s a fine balance there, you don’t want to get too pumped up but you want to be ready to play. We’re going to be at the top of our game.”
Vaughan Kings (4-2-0) – Wild Card Entry
- Vaughan Kings finished the season as an honourable mention on the OHL Cup Top-10 Rankings. They were included on the rankings in 12 of 15 editions this season. They played to regular season record of 23-10-3 for fifth in the GTHL standings. Vaughan was eliminated in the first round of the GTHL Playoffs by the Mississauga Rebels, falling 6-2 in points before being selected by the OHL Cup wild card selection committee, defeating the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs 4-0 to gain entry to the showcase.
- Vaughan Kings are preparing for their second OHL Cup Final appearance; a rematch of 2018 when the Jr. Canadiens prevailed by a score of 5-1.
- Vaughan Kings become the fifth wild card entry to reach the Championship Final, joining the 2022 champion Mississauga Senators, 2017 champion Mississauga Reps, 2010 champion Mississauga Rebels and 2017 finalist Toronto Nationals.
- Vaughan Kings are first team to reach the OHL Cup Championship Final after starting the showcase with an 0-2 record.
- Leading the Kings with 11 points (6-5–11), Carter Kostuch enters tonight’s game tied with Michael Dal Colle (4-7–11) in 2012 for the most points by a Vaughan Kings player in OHL Cup history. Cole Perfetti and Ty Tullio each recorded 10 points as Vaughan reached the Championship Final in 2018.
Head coach Steve McSwain says:
“I’m super proud of this team. They’ve been resilient all the way through. We never have an easy game, but this team really battles through challenges. We’ll be ready to go on Monday night.”
Dates to Circle:
- The 2023 OHL Development Combine presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario takes place at the Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Ont. on April 15-16. A total of 76 prospects eligible for the 2023 OHL Priority Selection will be in attendance.
- The 2023 U14 OHL Cup presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario and hosted by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association will take place from April 14-16 at Joshua’s Creek Arena in Oakville, Ont. The event will comprise of 12 U14 AAA teams from across the province. Last year’s inaugural event saw the Vaughan Kings crowned champions.
- The 2023 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore is set for Friday, April 21st, with Rounds 1-3 beginning at 7:00pm. Friday’s coverage will be produced by YourTV and be aired across the province on OHL Action Pak channel 463. Check local listings for more viewing options. Saturday, April 22nd’s coverage of Rounds 4-15 begins at 9:00am. Both days of the OHL Priority Selection will stream for free on OHL Live.
- The 2023 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection will take place on Wednesday, April 26th, beginning at 7:00pm. Tune in to live coverage on OHL Live.