The Perth Blue Wings and Casselman Vikings battle it out for the EOJHL championship. Four of the five games in the final series were decided in overtime. Photo: Sylvain Lauwers

With the Casselman Vikings loss to the Perth Blue Wings in the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s (EOJHL) Barkley Cup finals, the last of the local Junior hockey season is now over.

I will be taking a break from my column over the summer months and will return with local Junior hockey coverage – in particular the Vankleek Hill Cougars – when hockey season gets back underway next fall. Thank you to everyone for following my hockey updates and for all of the feedback you have given me this season!

Perth tops Casselman to win Barkley Cup

The Perth Blue Wings have won the Barkley Cup, winning four games to one over the defending champion Casselman Vikings to take home the EOJHL championship for the second time in three seasons.

Perth and Casselman have been two of the top teams in the EOJHL for several seasons, with the Vikings forging a dynasty that won the Barkley Cup five times consecutively from 2014 to 2018 and then again in 2022. Perth won in 2019 and now again in 2023. There were no EOJHL champions in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although it only took five games for the Blue Wings to come out on top over the Vikings, the series was extremely close, with four of the five games decided in overtime. Perth goaltender Brady McEwan was the deciding factor in the finals, and was named the EOJHL playoffs Most Valuable Player.

McEwan’s value in a final series in which his team was consistently outshot by the Vikings was never more evident than in Game 5, on Tuesday, April 11, when he stopped 53 of 51 shots to lead Perth to a 3-2 overtime victory that wrapped up the series.

Perth Blue Wings goaltender Brady McEwan was the deciding factor in the EOJHL finals, and was named the Most Valuable Player in the playoffs. McEwan stopped 51 of 53 shots in Perth’s series clinching 3-2 overtime win in Game 5. Photo: Sylvain Lauwers

Ottawa and Smiths Falls face off in CCHL finals

The Ottawa Junior Senators edged the Brockville Braves 3-2 in Game 5 on Saturday, April 15, to punch their ticket to the Central Canada Hockey League’s Bogart Cup Final, where they will meet the Smiths Falls Bears.

The Bears crushed the Renfrew Wolves 8-0 at the Smiths Falls Arena on Friday night (April 14) to earn their way into the finals in five games, of what had been until that point a tight series. Both Ottawa and Smiths Falls finished in first place in their respective divisions during the regular season.

The CCHL finals schedule will be released this week.