Lakehead Junior Hockey League

Wikipedia open wikipedia design.

Lakehead Junior Hockey League
Lakehead Junior Hockey League logo.png
Head Office Thunder Bay, Ontario
President Ron Whitehead
Vice President Josh Gribben
Founded 1993
Recent Champions Thunder Bay Northern Hawks (2019)
Website Lakehead Junior Hockey League

The Lakehead Junior Hockey League is a Canadian Junior ice hockey league in Northwestern Ontario, sanctioned by Hockey Northwestern Ontario[1] and Hockey Canada. An earlier edition of this league existed in the 1970s.

The Thunder Bay-based league has produced three Keystone Cup Western Canada Junior "B" champion and six Brewers Cup Western Canada Junior "C" champions.


Formerly referred to as the Thunder Bay Junior B/Juvenile/AAA Hockey League, the LJHL league has, in the past, mixed itself with Juvenile and Midget "AAA" teams in the Thunder Bay region for regular season games. In those seasons, only the Junior teams are eligible for the playoffs. The league playoff champions earn the right to compete for the Keystone Cup, the Western Canadian Junior "B" championship. Hockey Canada does not offer a Junior "B" National championship therefore regional (Southern Ontario-Sutherland Cup, Ottawa District-Carson Trophy, Quebec-Coupe Dodge, Atlantic Canada-Don Johnson Memorial Cup) winners lay claim as top teams at the level.

From 1996 until 2004, the TBJBHL competed against the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League in the Northwestern Ontario Regionals for the right to compete at the Keystone Cup. After the 2003–04 season, the NSHL folded with their last champion, the Wawa Travellers, losing the league's final game in the regionals to the TBJBHL's Thunder Bay Northern Hawks.

1993–94 Hurricanes[edit]

The Fort William Hurricanes did not manage to win the league championship in its first season, but it won the league's first National medal. The Westfort Maroons won the league championship while the Hurricanes played host to the Keystone Cup. The Hurricanes finished the round robin with a 3–1–1 record, losing a tiebreaker for second place to the Kinistino Tigers (North Saskatchewan Junior B Hockey League) due to a head-to-head 4-1 loss. The Hurricanes defeated the North Okanagan Kings of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League 8-7 to win the Keystone Cup Bronze medal game.

1998–99 Hurricanes[edit]

At the Northern Ontario regionals, the Fort William Hurricanes were dropped by the Hearst Elans of the North of Superior Junior B Hockey League. The Herks hosted the 1999 Keystone Cup regardless of regional qualifying. The Hurricanes finished the Keystone Cup round robin in a three-way tie for second place and a berth into the gold medal game with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League's Campbell River Storm and the South Saskatchewan Junior B Hockey League's Assiniboia Southern Rebels. During the robin, the Herks defeated Assiniboia 7–5 and Campbell River 6–4, thus winning the tie breaker. In the final they met the Edmonton Royals of the Capital Junior Hockey League and defeated them 5–3 to win the Keystone Cup. This championship marked the first and so far only Western Canada Jr. B championship since the leagues inception in 1993.

2003–04 Northern Hawks[edit]

In the 2003–04 season, the Thunder Bay Northern Hawks were a dominant champion, sporting a 22–0–2 perfect record and a Thunder Bay Junior B championship. In the Northern Ontario Regional Junior B Hockey Championship, the Northern Hawks defeated the Wawa Travellers four-games-straight to advance to the Keystone Cup tournament in Schreiber, Ontario. At the Keystone Cup, the Northern Hawks finished with 2 wins, 1 loss, and 2 ties, which earned them a spot in the tournament's bronze medal game. The Hawks fell in the Bronze Medal Game 7–5 to the Heritage Junior B Hockey League's Red Deer Vipers.

2008–09 Wolverines[edit]

The K&A Wolverines were awarded the right to host the 2009 Keystone Cup. For the first time in over ten years, a Thunder Bay Junior B team finished the Keystone Cup round robin with a perfect record. The Wolverines (5–0) went into the final against the Pacific International Junior Hockey League's Richmond Sockeyes, but fell 6–5 in double overtime to take the Silver Medal. The finish was the best performance by a Thunder Bay Junior B club since the 1999 Fort William Hurricanes, who won the Keystone Cup. At the end of the season, the Wolverines jumped to Junior A, joining the Superior International Junior Hockey League.

2011–12 Northern Hawks[edit]

The Northern Hawks finished first in the league with a 30–2–0 record. They blasted the Schreiber Falcons 3-games-to-none in a lopsided semifinal playoff series and then defeated the Nipigon Elks 4-games-to-1 to win the Thunder Bay championship in a very hard-fought series. The Northern Hawks shipped out to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for the 2012 Keystone Cup. Despite leading 3–1 at one point, the Northern Hawks lost their opening game to the Abbotsford Pilots of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League, 7–4. The Northern Hawks then went on a tear, defeating the Host Saskatoon Royals 6–3, Keystone Junior Hockey League's Arborg Ice Dawgs 7–5, North West Junior Hockey League's Whitecourt Wolverines 7–4, and the Prairie Junior Hockey League's Pilot Butte Storm 3–1 to earn a berth into the gold medal game with a 4–1–0 record. After four victories in a row, the Northern Hawks fell to the Pilots in the gold medal game, 9–1.[2] The Northern Hawks' silver medal is the league's second in four seasons after being shut out from 2000 until the Wolverines won silver in 2009.


Playoff Champions[edit]

Team Centre Arena Joined
Nipigon Elks Nipigon Nipigon Community Centre 1993
Schreiber Falcons Schreiber Schreiber Community Centre 2011
Thunder Bay Fighting Walleye Thunder Bay Thunder Bay Tournament Centre 2009
Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Thunder Bay Tournament Centre 1999

Former teams[edit]

Playoff Champions[edit]

Year Champion Finalist Keystone Cup
1994 Westfort Maroons Hurricanes – Bronze
Maroons – 5th
1995 Fort William Hurricanes
1996 Northwestern Wildcats
1997 Northwestern Wildcats
1998 Fort William Hurricanes DNQ
1999 Fort William Hurricanes Gold
2000 Fort William Hurricanes 4th
2001 Westfort Maroons 5th
2002 Westfort Maroons DNQ
2003 Nipigon Elks 6th
2004 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 4th
2005 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Aguasabon River Rats 6th
2006 K&A Wolverines Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 6th
2007 K&A Wolverines Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 5th
2008 K&A Wolverines Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 6th
2009 K&A Wolverines Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Wolverines – Silver
Northern Hawks – 6th
2010 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Stars 6th
2011 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Stars 6th
2012 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Nipigon Elks Silver
2013 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Nipigon Elks 5th
2014 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks[6] Thunder Bay Stars 4th of 6
2015 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Stars 4th of 6
2016 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Stars 6th of 6
2017 Nipigon Elks Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 6th of 6
2018 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Fighting Walleye Northern Hawks – Gold
Fighting Walleye – Bronze
2019 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks Thunder Bay Fighting Walleye Northern Hawks – Gold
Fighting Walleye – Silver

2019 Playoffs[edit]

Playoffs are best-of seven series. Winner advances to the Keystone Cup
Semifinals LJHL Finals
Seed 1 Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 4
Seed 4 Schrieber Falcons 0
Thunder Bay Northern Hawks 4
Thunder Bay Fighting Walleye 1
Seed 2 Thunder Bay Fighting Walleye 4
Seed 3 Nipigon Elks 0


  1. ^ "Junior & Senior Teams". Hockey Northwestern Ontario. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Local hockey players enjoy northern exposure". Brantford Expositor. 5 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Junior B hockey coming to Dryden". Kenora Daily Miner and News. 4 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Renegades host home opener at Eagle Lake rink". The Dryden Observer. 1 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Thunder Bay a Great Hockey Town (Part 1: Minor Hockey)". Hockey's Future. 8 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Northern Hawks capture 6th straight title". The Chronicle-Journal. 4 April 2014.

External links[edit]

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by contributors (read/edit).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.