NOJHL announces 2024 playoff format and timeline

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Sunday its format and timeline for the upcoming 2024 playoffs, in the quest for the NOJHL championship and the Copeland Cup – McNamara Trophy.

Of the league’s 12-member clubs, the top four teams, points wise, in each of its two divisions will qualify for postseason competition.

In the NOJHL West, both the front-running Blind River Beavers and the second place Greater Sudbury Cubs have secured playoff spots while each of the Soo Thunderbirds, Espanola Paper Kings and Soo Eagles remain in contention for the final two berths.

Meanwhile in the NOJHL East, the Timmins Rock, Hearst Lumberjacks and Powassan have punched their tickets to the postseason.

The Iroquois Falls Storm and Kirkland Lake Gold Miners are vying for the final place there.

Round 1 of the playoffs will feature divisional semifinal action with the No. 1 seed taking on the No. 4 side and the No. 2 squad meeting No. 3, respectively, in best-of-seven play from March 21 through April 2.

From there, Round 2 will feature the two division finals in a pair of best-of-seven affairs that are slated to run between April 4-16.

That will then lead to the NOJHL final where the two divisional winners will vie for the league championship.

The scheduled dates for the final range from April 18-30.

Awaiting the NOJHL champion will be a berth in the Centennial Cup Canadian National Jr. A Championship, presented by Tim Hortons, which goes May 11-21 at the Sixteen Miles Sports Complex, May 9-19, in Oakville, Ont.

There they will be joined by the respective champions of the other eight members of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, along with the host Oakville Blades.

Should Oakville win the Ontario Junior Hockey League crown, then the OJHL finalist will also advance to compete in the Centennial Cup.

The following is the NOJHL playoff format and timeline:

Round 1 (Divisional semifinals)
March 21 – April 2
Best-of-seven series

1 vs. 4
2 vs. 3

1 vs. 4
2 vs. 3

Round 2 (Divisional finals)
April 4-16

Divisional semifinal winners

Round 3 (Copeland Cup-McNamara Trophy NOJHL Championship Final)
April 18-30
Best-of-seven series

East Division winner vs. West Division winner

NOJHL champion advances to Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, May 9-19, in Oakville, Ont.

Centennial Cup
NOJHL round robin games
Start times ET

Friday, May 10
vs. OJHL 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 12
vs. CCHL 4 p.m.

Monday, May 13

vs. AJHL 4 p.m.

Wednesday, May 15
vs. LHJAAAQ 12 p.m.

Playoff round

Friday, May 17

T.B.A. vs. T.B.A. 4 p.m.
T.B.A. vs. T.B.A. 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 18

T.B.A. vs. T.B.A. 4 p.m.
T.B.A. vs. T.B.A. 7:30 p.m.

Championship game
Sunday, May 19

3 p.m.