Ottawa has won all of the first three games, but the Central Canada Hockey League finals between the Hawkesbury Hawks and Ottawa Junior Senators has featured exciting back and forth hockey between two highly skilled and evenly matched teams. I’ve literally been on the edge of my seat every game.

The Hawks were full value in Game 1 on the road, before dropping at heartbreaking double-overtime 5-4 loss. Then they were up 3-1 in the third period last Friday night before Ottawa came back to tie the game. In both losses Ottawa forward Phillip Jacques was the overtime hero, including a spectacular individual effort in Game 2 in Hawkesbury.

Sunday’s game 3 was also a heartbreaker for Hawkesbury, who led 2-0 early in the game, but then saw Ottawa come back with four straight goals on their way to an eventual 4-3 win. That could be the dagger in the heart, but the Hawks have a chance to rebound and get some life in the series at home on Tuesday evening (May 10).

I still believe.

Cooper commits to Umass Lowell for 2022-2023

Hawks defenseman Mark Cooper has committed to NCAA UMass Lowell for the 2022-23 season. Photo: Sylvain Lauwers

The Central Canada Hockey League and Hawkesbury Hawks have announced that defenseman Mark Cooper has committed to NCAA UMass Lowell for the 2022-23 season.

The 2001-born native of Cambridge, Ontario, is currently suiting up for the Hawks in his third and final season in the CCHL and has totaled 94 points (21G, 73A) in 126 career games between the Hawks and Carleton Place Canadians. This season, Cooper was named both the CCHL Defenseman of the Year and CCHL Top Graduating Player.

Prior to his time in the CCHL, the two-way defenseman suited up with his hometown Cambridge Redhawks of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). Cooper is a product of the Cambridge Hawks AAA Minor Hockey Program.

Cooper has also been outstanding throughout the playoffs for Hawkesbury, but has been forced to sit out the Bogart Cup finals after suffering a shoulder injury in Game 6 of the semi final series against the Brockville Braves and is out for the rest of the playoffs. He has been a huge loss for the Hawks in the finals and it is unfortunate he won’t be able to finish his career in Hawkesbury on the ice.

Thanks Mark for all you have done for the Hawks!

CCHL champions will play in Centennial Cup May 19-29

As the Hawks battle with the Ottawa Junior Senators for the CCHL’s Bogart Cup, the winning team will also represent the league at the 2022 Centennial Cup playoffs, which will be held in Estevan, Saskatchewan, from May 19-29.

Presented by Tim Hortons, the event is a partnership between Hockey Canada, the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Hockey Saskatchewan and the City of Estevan. The 2022 tournament, the 50th edition, will be a 10-team tournament, with the host Estevan Bruins welcoming the champions of the nine CJHL leagues.

The following teams have already qualified for the tournament: Ligue de Hockey Junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ) – French College of Longueuil; Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) – Summerside Western Capitals; Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) – Red Lake Miners; Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) – Flin Flon Bombers and Estevan Bruins (Hosts); Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) – Brooks Bandits.