GOJHL Adds Fourth Team To Sutherland Cup Format
Historically a three team format featuring the the champion of each conference playing a round robin, with the top two teams advancing to a best of seven series. The new format will still feature the champions of each conference, with the addition of a new “wildcard” team.
“Adding a fourth team into the mix is something that I think really makes a lot of sense for the league,” said GOJHL Chairman Shawn McKelvie in an Ontario Hockey Association news release. “In past years we’ve found that during the round robin, attendance had diminished. A fourth team will help maintain the momentum from the Conference Finals.”
The fourth team will be selected based on their playoff winning percentage, and must be one of the conference runner ups. This team will then face the first placed team from a different conference, based on their winning percentage. If the fourth and the first place teams have already played each other in their conference final, however the fourth place team will then face the second ranked team.
With London, St. Catherines, and Cambridge playing in the Sutherland Cup round robin last season, the wildcard team would have been Welland, as they carried a winning percentage of 52.94%.
“The OHA Sutherland Cup Championship has rich history within the OHA and the format change will allow for great competition and fan excitement in communities of the Semi Final teams,” said OHA Chief Executive Officer Scott Farley in the OHA news release. “It will further enhance the excitement that top quality playoff hockey can provide to fans across the entire OHA.”
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