March 28, 2022
Thunder Bay, Ontario
For the first time in just under three years, there will be Superior International Junior Hockey League playoff hockey as the 2022 playoff season gets underway on two fronts Tuesday.
The last SIJHL playoff contest – held on Saturday April 13, 2019 – saw the Thunder Bay North Stars claim the Bill Salonen Cup in five games with a 6-1 win over the Red Lake Miners. For the record, that was 1,075 days ago.
The 2020 playoffs fell victim to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic when play was suspended and eventually cancelled on the last weekend of regular season play. The 2020-21 season saw only a handful of regular season games played before again falling victim to the continuing public health restrictions.
The two best-of-five quarter-final series will pit the third seeded Dryden GM Ice Dogs against the number 6 seed Fort Frances Lakers, and the fourth-seed Thunder Bay North Stars battling the fifth-seeded Wisconsin Lumberjacks. Series openers will be at Dryden’s Memorial Arena and Thunder Bay’s Fort William Gardens, Tuesday March 29th, 7:30pm local time.
Top-seeded Kam River Fighting Walleye and second seeded Red Lake Miners have a first-round bye. In the SIJHL semi-finals, the Fighting Walleye will face the lowest seeded team to emerge from the quarter-finals while the Miners will square off against the other quarter-final series winner.
The semi-finals and the Bill Salonen Cup championship finals will be best-of-seven affairs.
As was announced last week, the 2022 Bill Salonen Cup Champions will earn entry into the CJHL Tim Horton’s Centennial Cup National Junior A Hockey Championships taking place in Estevan, SK starting May 19.
Here is the full schedule for the opening round of the 2022 Playoffs:
|Series A – Dryden GM Ice Dogs vs. Fort Frances Lakers||Series B – Thunder Bay North Stars vs. Wisconsin Lumberjacks|
|Tuesday March 29: Fort Frances at Dryden, 7:30pm CDT, Dryden Memorial Arena||Tuesday March 29: Wisconsin at Thunder Bay, 7:30pm EDT, Fort William Gardens|
|Thursday March 31: Fort Frances at Dryden, 7:30pm CDT, Dryden Memorial Arena||Wednesday March 30: Wisconsin at Thunder Bay, 7:30pm EDT, Fort William Gardens|
|Friday April 1: Dryden at Fort Frances, 7:30pm CDT, Ice For Kids Arena||Friday April 1: Thunder Bay at Wisconsin, 7:05pm CDT, Spooner Civic Center|
|Saturday April 2: Dryden at Fort Frances, 7:30pm CDT, Ice For Kids Arena (*if necessary)||Saturday April 2: Thunder Bay at Wisconsin, 7:05pm CDT, Spooner Civic Center (*if necessary)|
|Monday April 4: Fort Frances at Dryden, 7:30pm CDT, Dryden Memorial Arena (*if necessary)||Monday April 4: Wisconsin at Thunder Bay, 7:30pm EDT, Fort William Gardens (*if necessary)|
Visit the SIJHL website to follow along. All games will be live-streamed on HockeyTV.
Darrin Nicholas, SIJHL Commissioner,