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SIJHL playoff format

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THUNDER BAY, Ont.—The SIJHL announced last Thursday its format and timeline for the upcoming Bill Salonen Cup playoffs.

The first round of the SIJHL post-season will feature a pair of best-of-five quarterfinal 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 then will see two best-of-seven affairs taking place from March 25 through April 8.

One series will pit the No. 1 rated team against the lowest surviving quarterfinal 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 run April 10-22.

Complete playoff series game schedules will be announced by the league once they are finalized.

The SIJHL champion then will advance to the Dudley-Hewitt Cup Central Canadian Jr. 'A' Championship on April 28 through May 2, which will be hosted by the 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 junior 'A' championship on 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).

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