SIJHL announces 2020 playoff format & timeline

THUNDER BAY, Ont. – The Superior International Junior Hockey League announced Thursday its format and timeline for the upcoming Bill Salonen Cup playoffs.

The first round of the SIJHL postseason will feature a pair of best-of-five quarter-final series, which are slated to run between March 17-24.

Those match-ups features the No. 3 seeded team taking on the No. 6 rated club while the other series will have the No. 4 and No. 5 ranked clubs squaring off.

Meanwhile the SIJHL’s regular season title holder and the No. 2 seeded squad will earn first round byes.

Semifinal action will then see two best-of-seven affairs taking place from March 25 through April 8.

One series will see the No. 1 rated team meeting the lowest surviving quarter-final winner with the other two remaining clubs meeting in the other match-up.

From there the two semifinal winners will square off in the Bill Salonen Cup league championship series in another best-of-seven set that is slated to go from April 10-22.

The SIJHL champion will then advance to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. A Championship, April 28 through May 2, which will be hosted by the SIJHL’s Fort Frances Lakers.

Should Fort Frances go on to win the Bill Salonen Cup, then the SIJHL finalist will also compete in the four-team event.

Joining the two SIJHL sides at the five-day event will be the title holders of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League along with the champions of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

The Dudley-Hewitt Cup winner will then advance to represent the Central region at the Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, Canadian National Jr. A Championship, May 9-17, in Portage la Prairie, Man.

At the nationals, the host Portage Terriers (MJHL) will go up against the Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion, the titleist from the Fred Page Cup (East) as well as the winners from both the ANAVET Cup (MJHL/SJHL) and the Doyle Cup (AJHL/BCHL).

The following is the SIJHL playoff format and timeline:

Round 1 (Quarter-finals)
March 17-24
Best-of-five series
Series A: No. 3 seed vs. No. 6 seed
Series B: No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 seed

Round 2 (Semifinals)
March 25-April 8
Series C: Semifinal 1: No. 1 seed vs. Lowest surviving quarter-final winner
Series D: Semifinal 2: No. 2 seed vs. Highest surviving quarter-final winner

Round 3 (Bill Salonen Cup SIJHL Championship Final)
April 10-22
Best-of-seven series
Series E: Semifinal A winner vs. Semifinal B winner
SIJHL champion advances to Dudley-Hewitt Cup in Fort Frances
Should the Lakers win the Bill Salonen Cup, then the SIJHL finalist will also compete in the DHC

DHC winner advances to Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, Canadian National Junior A Championship

Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, Canadian National Jr. A Championship
May 9-17
Portage la Prairie, Man.
Competing teams
Dudley-Hewitt Cup champion (Central)
Fred Page Cup champion (East)
ANAVET Cup champion (MJHL/SJHL)
Doyle Cup champion (AJHL/BCHL)
Portage Terriers (MJHL) (Host)