2024 CSSHL Eastern Championships U17 & U18 Finals Preview

After a jam-packed four days of action from Saint-Roch-de-l’Achigan, QC, the 2024 Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL) Eastern Division finals are prepped as Bishop’s College School will be featured in each matchup, facing off against Champions Hockey Academy and Ontario Hockey Academy Prep in the U17 and U18 divisions, respectively.

In each of their first seasons in the CSSHL, Bishop’s College and Champions Hockey Academy will faceoff in the Eastern U17 final.

Based out of Sherbrooke, QC, Bishop’s College will play host after going 4-0-0 in the round robin, sending them to the finals as the top seed. Head coach Kyle Hood was behind the helm of this potent Bishop’s College squad as they steamrolled their way through the round robin, outscoring their opposition 29-5 across their four contests.

During the regular season, Bishop’s College was led in scoring by Gavin Rusenstrom, who picked up 14-points in 8-games played. However, with Rusenstrom unavailable for the postseason, Candiac, QC native Emanuel Di Paolo stepped up his role, picking up 5-goals and 7-points over the tenure of the round robin. Alongside Di Paolo, Zach Jockers (1G, 6A), Adam Straka (5G, 1A), Taitt Dobbin (3G, 3A), and Logan Charby (3G, 2A) all played considerable roles in Bishop’s College’s offensive dominance.

On the other side of the coin, Bishop’s defence and goaltending has also been top notch. Along with their production on the offensive side of things, Nate Ostridge (3G, 2A) and Zachary Roussy (2G, 2A) have been a formidable force in the defensive end and neutral zone, making their goaltender’s job a whole lot easier. In the crease, Felix-Antoine Émond and Timofey Williams have split the work to average a 1.25 GAA and a 0.914 SV%. Émond himself has picked up two shutouts and has yet to allow a single goal past him so far this postseason.

As for Champions Hockey Academy, coached by Jonathan Harty and based out of Fredericton, NB. They will enter these finals with a chip on their shoulders, having lost to Bishop’s 6-1 in the round robin. However, following their loss to Bishop’s, Champions has yet to surrender a single goal against since.

Martin Hackenberg and Scott LeBlanc have combined for three shutouts, blanking OHA White, Ulysse Academie and Mount Academy en route to the Eastern U17 finals. In terms of offence, Newfoundland’s Declan Kennedy (4G, 3A) has been the relied upon source, potting 4-goals across the round robin. Jackson Shaddick (2G, 3A) reigns in at number two in team scoring after coming off a two goal effort in their final round robin win over OHA White. Charlie Morrison (1G, 2A) has remained consistent on the blueline after coming into the postseason as the highest scoring defenceman in the Eastern U17 division.

The puck will drop early at the Complexe JC Perreault as the Eastern U17 final will commence at 9:00 AM EST.

In the Eastern U18 division, Bishop’s College will once again take the spotlight as the top seeded team through the round robin and semi-finals. Coached by Brodie Dupont, Bishop’s has centred their U18 squad around an extremely potent offensive core with the likes of Gabriel Le Houillier (6G, 6A) and Leo Adam (6G, 2A) who both led the Eastern U18 regular season in PPG. Le Houillier’s 12-points are enough for pole position in points during the playoffs while Adams sits at third behind fellow teammate Dylan Rud (1G, 8A) who has found his knack as a playmaker during these playoffs.

In goal, Bishop’s has split the crease between their three goaltenders as Sky Willer, Carlo Giordani and DJ Patriss have split the load and combined for a 1.67 GAA and a 0.933 SV%.

As for Ontario Hockey Academy Prep, the Cornwall, ON academy coached by Brent Loney, carved their path to the finals after failing to secure a bye to the semis, forcing them into an early morning quarter-final. They took their quarter-final matchup over Ulysse Academie with a score of 4-3 and would later cling on to victory over Bourget College in the afternoon after a potent three goal first period.

Oliver Kiraly played a huge role in each of OHA Prep’s elimination game victories, stopping 40/43 shots in their match vs. Ulysse and sticking out a lengthy 6-on-4 penalty kill scenario late in the semis. Kiraly’s experience will be looked upon in the finals, having lost in the Eastern U17 finals last season with Mount Academy, falling to OHA Maroon by a score of 5-3.

OHA Prep’s offence has seen many avenues of success during the playoffs, as Cole Shepherdson (6G, 2A) ran the show in the round robin with 5-goals, while Norwegian imports, Marcus Fjeld (4G, 3A) and Oliver Nilsgaard (3G, 2A) each came up big in their quarter and semi final games respectively. Team captain Adam Racine (1G, 3A) has also been a two way force on each end of the ice while the rest of the forward core is also finding ways to chip in where they can.

The Eastern U18 final will commence after the Eastern U17 final at 11:30 AM EST.