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2024 centennial cup greater sudbury cubs
© Rob Fera / Sudbury Light Event Photography

Road to the 2024 Centennial Cup: Greater Sudbury Cubs

After a strong season, the NOJHL champions are eager to take their first national title 400 kilometres north to Sudbury

Shannon Coulter
|
May 5, 2024
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Over three decades ago, Sudbury hosted Canada’s National Junior A Championship and the hometown Cubs were the runners-up. Now, the latest iteration of the Greater Sudbury Cubs will travel over 400 kilometres south to Oakville to represent the Big Nickel at the 2024 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons.

The Cubs had a strong season in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), boasting a43-12-3 regular-season record to finish second in the standings. They ranked in the top three in goals for (285 – first), goals against (167 – third), power play (25.5% – third) and penalty kill (85.9% – first).

The division semifinal matchup was a rematch of last year’s West Division championship, with the Cubs facing off against the Soo Thunderbirds. Last season, that series marked the end of the Cubs’ playoff journey, but this year, Greater Sudbury prevailed with a six-game series win.

A five-game victory over the Blind River Beavers led the Cubs to a showdown with the Powassan Voodoos that wrapped up on April 25 with a 5-3 Cubs win in Game 5 and an NOJHL championship.

Co-captain Oliver Smith led the offence, recording 45 goals and 102 points to sit fourth in NOJHL scoring. The Lively, Ontario, native became the first Cubs��� player to have a 100-point season since the 2011-12 season, when Sudbury had three players pass the century mark: Jordan Carrol (157), Jamie Haines (128) and Nick Esposto (115).

Another standout for the Cubs this year was rookie Hudson Chitaroni, who joined brother Mason on the Greater Sudbury roster. The 16-year-old averaged 1.4 points per game, registering 31 goals and 77 points in the regular season and adding 12 goals and 22 points in the playoffs.

An additional advantage for the Cubs? Their home rink, the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, has Olympic-sized ice, which will make playing at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville an easy transition.

HOW THEY GOT TO OAKVILLE

Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Soo Thunderbirds 4-2 (2-1, 2-3 OT, 2-4, 4-3, 4-0, 4-0)
Semifinal: defeated Blind River Beavers 4-1 (2-1, 2-6, 5-1, 9-2, 3-1)
Final: defeated Powassan Voodoos 4-1 (2-5, 2-0, 5-0, 4-3 OT, 5-3)

REGULAR SEASON

Record (W-L-OTL): 43-12-3 (2nd in NOJHL)
Goals for: 285 (1st in NOJHL)
Goals against: 167 (3rd in NOJHL)
Power play: 61 for 239 (25.5% – 3rd in NOJHL)
Penalty killing: 201 of 234 (85.9% – 1st in NOJHL)
Longest winning streak: 9 (Sept. 7-Oct. 3)

Top 3 scorers:
• Oliver Smith – 45G 57A 102P (3rd in NOJHL)
• Hudson Chitaroni – 31G 46A 77P (6th in NOJHL)
• Samuel Assinewai – 21G 43A 64P (16th in NOJHL)

PLAYOFFS

Record: 12-4
Goals for: 57
Goals against: 33
Power play: 14 for 53 (26.4%)
Penalty killing: 52 of 67 (77.6%)

Top 3 scorers:
• Nolan Newton – 12G 10A 22P
• Hudson Chitaroni – 12G 10A 22P
• Samuel Assinewai – 5G 9A 14P

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

First appearance

COLLEGE & UNIVERSITY COMMITMENTS

Ethan Larmand – Queen’s University (2024-25)

CJHL TOP 20 RANKINGS

Oct. 2 – 4th
Oct. 9 – 6th
Oct. 16 – 11th
Oct. 23 – not ranked
Oct. 30 – 15th
Nov. 6 – 16th
Nov. 13 – 15th
Nov. 20 – 13th
Nov. 27 – 13th
Dec. 4 – 12th
Dec. 11 – 12th
Dec. 18 – 15th
Jan. 8 – 15th
Jan. 15 – 15th
Jan. 22 – 13th
Jan. 29 – 12th
Feb. 5 – 13th
Feb. 12 – 12th
Feb. 19 – 14th
Feb. 26 – 15th
March 4 – 14th
March 11 – 13th

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

emadziya@hockeycanada.ca 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

ssharkey@hockeycanada.ca

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

jknight@hockeycanada.ca

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