Connor Hughes has already backstopped his squad to a championship in his final season of junior hockey.
But the Carleton Place Canadians’ 20-year-old puckstopper is now hoping to lead his club to one, and even better, two more championships.
Hughes played an instrumental role for the Canadians during the 2016-17 season. The Carleton Place team captured its fourth consecutive Central Canada Hockey League championship on the weekend.
Thanks to a 4-3 overtime victory on home ice on Sunday afternoon, the Canadians defeated the Ottawa Jr. Senators 4-1 in their best-of-seven CCHL championship final series.
Hughes, who was credited with all 12 of the Canadians’ postseason victories and had a 2.27 goals-against average in 16 appearances, was selected as the most valuable player in the league playoffs.
“I thought I had a couple of ups and downs in the playoffs and I didn’t really expect it,” Hughes said of his MVP accolade.
Hughes, however, is no doubt honoured for being singled out for his playoff performances.
“It felt good,” said Hughes, who joined the Canadians this season after starring the past couple of years at the Junior B level with the London Nationals, members of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. “I think a lot of it had to do with the depth of our team. There wasn’t one guy that stood out. I’m glad I won it. But I was a lot happier about winning the (league championship) Bogart Cup.”
Surprisingly, the Canadians’ four consecutive CCHL titles is not a record. The Pembroke Lumber Kings managed to win five straight championships, from 2007 through 2011.
With their latest triumph, however, Hughes and his teammates ensured themselves of a chance for some possible future glory.
Carleton Place is now one of the four clubs that will compete in the Fred Page Cup, which is scheduled for May 3-7 in Terrebonne, Que.
As hosts, the Terrebonne Cobras had already been guaranteed a spot into the tournament. The Cobras ended up winning the Quebec Junior Hockey League title.
Thus, the QJHL finalists, Collège Français de Longueuil, will also participate in the Fred Page Cup.
The Maritime Hockey League champs will also take part. The Mirachimi Timberwolves are leading the Truro Bearcats 3-2 in the MHL best-of-seven final, with Game 6 set for Wednesday.
The eventual Fred Page Cup champs qualify for the national Junior A championship, the RBC Cup. The Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Cobourg Cougars are hosting the Canadian tournament, which begins May 13.
Hughes said members of the Canadians have been talking about advancing to the nationals again, as they have in the past three years.
“That’s been going on throughout the year because it is such a special tournament,” he said. “But right now our focus is just on the Fred Page Cup.”Back to Top
1) The New Age of Hockey Training and Development
2) Jack Hughes wins 2017 Hockey Player of the Year Award for Ontario
3) 4 Takeaways from the 2017 WHL Cup
4) Kids Share Love of Hockey with Taste of Fame at 2017 BT Hockey Classic
5) Team Canada Roster Named for 2017 Women’s Worlds