GOJHL Playoff Preview – Round 1

GOJHL Playoff Preview by Jacques Teasdale


Western Conference

London Nationals vs Komoka Kings

First Game: March 6th, 7:00pm @Western Fair District Sports Centre
Season Series: 6-0 For London Nationals

London Nationals: Led by dynamic forward Lucas Chard, The Nationals are looking to bounce back from what many thought was an early second exit last year. With the second-highest goals in the entire league, that is their strong point throughout this series. They are one of the hottest teams coming into the playoffs with a current winning streak of 6 wins at about 5.5 goals per game. Watch out for other scoring threats such as Talan Palmer and Nolan Milne.

Komoka Kings: Led by rookie goalie Matthew Koprowski who had a stellar rookie year with one of the highest in the league total saves per game at about 30 saves. Komoka is a fairly young team, with puck-moving defenseman Owen Van de Van quarterbacking the Kings from the back end, and Jack Jarvis scoring most of the goals.


St.Marys Lincolns vs Sarnia Legionnaires

First Game: March 8th, 7:30pm @ Pyramid Recreation Complex
Season Series: 5-1 For St. Marys Lincolns

St. Marys Lincolns: A team with a variety of weapons there is not just one player to look out for on the Lincolns. As they have, 5 players with above 17 goals on the season. After a deep run to the conference finals, likely starter Colby Booth-Housego is looking to continue his regular-season success and help push the Lincolns over the hump.

Sarnia Legionnaires: Sarnia is looking to upset a robust Lincolns team, as they have a variety of veteran players that consist of a great mix of goal-scoring and fearful playmaking. Top point producer, Austin Harper has been getting points in bunches this year, watch for him as he can help the Legionnaires steal some games.


Strathroy Rockets vs St.Thomas Stars

First Game: March 9th, 7:30pm @West Middlesex Memorial Arena
Season Series: 3-3 Series Tie

Strathroy Rockets: Many argue one of the most exciting matchups in the bracket as both teams are young and fast. The Rockets are spread with youth all over the lineup as 7 of their top 10 point producers are rookies. Nothing is more deadly than the triple-scoring threat of Ethan Facchina, Matthew Souliere, and Mason Landry making up a total of 79 goals between them. As the 4th Round London Knights Draft pick Noah Jenken could be an X-Factor for them as the smooth reliable defenseman to compliment their high-flying offensive.

St.Thomas Stars: Led by rookie Briir Long, the Rockets aim to shut him down as he has 34 goals in 48 games on the season, putting him second in scoring in the league. He is most effective on the powerplay with a league-leading 13 powerplay goals this season. St.Thomas had lost their last 3 games, nonetheless with great coaching and two solid goaltenders St.Thomas posed a strong threat to the Rockets.

LaSalle Vipers vs Chatham Maroons

First Game: March 6th, 7:00pm @Vollmer Culture & Recreation Complex
Season Series: 4-2 For Chatham Maroons

LaSalle Vipers: Another 4 Seed and 5 Seed matchup between the Vipers and Maroons. Vipers are looking to get another series win, nonetheless, this is a revenge series game for star goalie Tre Aliman. Altiman has posted a .927 save percentage and a league-leading 38 games played. LaSalle has a great defensive structure with strong defensemen like Owen Findlay and Adrian Manzo.

Chatham Maroons: Another fairly young team in the mix, with only two 2004 skaters on the roster. However, the Maroons offer a plethora of scoring threats from point-per-game players Josh Cleary, David Brown, and Sagniaw second-rounder Jacob Cloutier. Keep an eye out for Brown as is known to up his game in the playoffs with 26 points in 27 playoff games.


Mid-Western Conference

Listowel Cyclones vs Caledon Bombers

First Game: March 8th, 7:30pm @Steve Kerr Memorial Complex
Season Series: 6-0 For Listowel Cyclones

Listowel Cyclones: The Cyclones with a league-leading staggering 103 goals against have placed them handily in first place. With parallel amazing regular season performance stats dual-threat goaltenders Riley Arts and Dixon Grimes have mopped the competition. Listowel has had one of the most memorable jumps from last year’s 6th place to a dominant regular season champion. A more veteran team with 5 players with 45+ points on the season should help for a deep playoff push.

Caledon Bombers: Caledon is a much younger team, with a variety of talent on the lineup. They will be looking to possibly steal a game or two throughout this 7 game series. Brady Hunter remains to be the bright spot on the team, as he looks to help the Bombers in his last year.


Stratford Warriors vs Brantford Bandits

First Game: March 8th, 7:30pm @William Allman Memorial Arena
Season Series: 4-2 For Stratford Warriors

Stratford Warriors: The Warriors have young stars all over the place. Fast-paced defenseman Casey Bridgewater should be an X-Factor in this series as he has been setting up stars such as Michael Denney and Brayden Stumpf all season. However, Carson Harmer still remains the power behind this youthful team with 65 points all season with 6 game-winning goals. His clutch ability will surely be needed in this first matchup.

Brantford Bandits: New addition Tyron Fevry has been great for the Bandits as he has 26 points since joining the Bandits. His hands remain the best part of his game, as he has been the main play driver for all the lines he has been playing on. North American Central Scouting-ranked goalie Lennart Neisse has the potential to take over a series if starting.


Elmira Sugar Kings vs Cambridge Redhawks

First Game: March 6th, 7:15pm @Dan Snyder Memorial Arena
Season Series: 4-2 Elmira Sugar Kings

Elmira Sugar Kings: The Sugar Kings are no strangers to deep playoff runs, however, as they are looking to make a deeper run than last year’s second-round exit. They will need big help from their power forward Joey Martin who has been a strong force for them all season. Their X-Factor however is Liam Eveleigh a two-way defenseman who leads the league points by a defenseman, who will pose a major threat to the Redhawks.

Cambridge Redhawks: Another team on the list that was stunted by an early second-round exit last year looking for redemption. Owen Yagar will be looking to be a threat on the power play as he has a tied league high of 9 power-play goals for the Redhawks. Additionally, star forward Matt Fries has tied for second place of 6 game-winning goals in the league for the team.


Kitchener-Waterloo Siskins vs AYR Centennials

First Game: March 6th, 7:30pm @Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex
Season Series: 4-2 For AYR Centennials

Kitchener-Waterloo Siskins: With the Siskins winning 4 of their last 6, the team’s 4th place finish isn’t a reflection of the team’s ability, as they are in a three-way tie for second with 66 points. They are second in their conference in goals for and goals against. They are a team of veterans as the top scorers on the team Jake DaSilva and Mateo Amaral are both 2003 born.

Ayr Centennials: Notable goaltender Ethan Kowatsch is coming off a scorching hot month of 8 wins in 9 games, 2 shutouts and a .942 save percentage. Players such as Owen Parsons are skaters to look out for in this series as he is their top goal scorer with 26 goals on the season.


Golden Horseshoe Conference

Fort Erie Meteors vs Port Colborne Sailors

First Game: March 9th, 7:00pm @ Fort Erie Leisureplex
Season Series: 6-1 For Erie Meteors

Fort Erie Meteors: A well-coached team by Nik Passero makes the Meteors a matchup nightmare for any team. The true definition of positionless hockey as their forwards are great at defense and their defensemen can jump in on the rush at any moment. With two great additions of Sam Tonelli and Chaka-Benjamin Ntumba-Muntu, the two have had a combined 32 points in 37 games since joining the Metors. Penn State Commit Liam Beamish and veteran forward Kyle Adamo remain the driving force behind this team.

Port Colborne Sailors: Coming off a last-home game win against Pelham, the Sailors look to cause more problems for the Meteors. These two teams have battled it out all season. With the Sailors having the most recent notable win in the season series. Oshawa Generals second-rounder Isaac Gravelle may be able to steal a game or two in this series. The X-Factor for this team however has been Gabriel Trozzo a puck-moving defenseman that plays up to 25 minutes a night, which you can expect to go up during the playoffs.


St.Catharines Falcons vs Pelham Panthers

First Game: March 8th, 7:00pm @ Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre
Season Series: 7-0 For St.Catharines Falcons

St.Catharines Falcons: Coming off a 4-game winning streak the Falcons have arguably the deepest forward group in the entire league. Every line poses a threat, making their matchups explosive at all times. With 6 players above 7 powerplay goals on the season, the Falcon’s powerplay poses as their X-Factor for this series. Expect their fans to give them a massive home advantage as well.

Pelham Panthers: A revenge matchup for the Panthers as they look to upset the Falcons. With a notable performance uptick from last season. The Panthers look to continue with this year’s growth with a potential round 1 upset led by new additions Brendan Grenville and Aiden Cupelli. Carter Vincent remains a major bright spot for the team as he has a .913 save percentage owning 10 of the Panthers’ 14 wins.


Hamilton Kilty B’s vs Welland Jr. Canadiens

First Game: March 7th, 7:00pm @Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena
Season Series: 4-3 For Welland Jr. Canadiens

Hamilton Kilty B’s: Coming off an extraordinary 2022-2023 season, this year Kilty B’s are the perfect mix of offence and defence. They are 4th in their conference in goals for and goals against. A very young team led by Dean Deligeorgis with 42 points, they look to continue their playoff success from last year.

Welland Jr. Canadiens: After having a brutal start to the season the Canadiens have found themselves battling for a playoff win in 5th place. Goaltender Andrew Welch has played steller posting a .918 save percentage giving his team a chance to win every night. A notable X-Factor in this series would be Jack Ryan with the most goals between the two teams at 23 goals this season.