Junior B rivalries getting underway
Last season’s No. 1 conference in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League playoffs also topped the standings when the 2017-18 junior B season got underway.
Eight teams in the Midwestern Conference combined, which made up half of the final four at the Sutherland Cup playdowns, combined to go 10-6 at the Showcase tournament on the weekend in Brantford.
All 26 teams took part and the Midwest’s .625 winning percentage was better than those compiled by the Golden Horseshoe, 8-8, .500; and Western, 7-9, .438; conferences.
A tournament-high three teams from the Midwest went St. Catharines Falcons head coach Dan Fitzgerald undefeated and, surprisingly, the Elmira Sugar Kings were not among them. The Sutherland Cup champions opened the 50-game regular season with losses to the four-time defending Golden Horseshoe champion Caledonia Corvairs, 4-3; and the reigning Western Conference champion London Nationals, 5-2.