Monday , 23 May 2022
The Cold Lake Aeros celebrate after scoring a goal on Friday night.

Cold Lake Aeros win first Champions Cup

It’s history for the Cold Lake Aeros. 

The inaugural Champions Cup in the unsanctioned Can-Am Junior Hockey League was claimed by the Aeros on home ice Saturday night, after a week-long playoff tournament at the Cold Lake Energy Center. 

The Aeros defeated the Vernal Oilers 6-1 in the final, capping off a season that saw them lose just four times, going 36-4 during the regular season, and winning straight playoff games. 

In the semi-finals against the Vegreville Vipers, the Aeros again won by a wide margin of 7-2 to bring themselves to the final. 

Hinton got first in the other pool with a 2-0 round-robin but lost in the shootout to the Vernal Oilers in crossover play in the other semi-final 5-4. 

Cold Lake Aeros forward Matt Pantone scores top shelf during the semifinal Friday night.

Cold Lake’s strong season was evidenced in the CAJHL’s first awards banquet on Wednesday night.

Aeros defenceman Braden Swampy won the league’s Top Defenceman title, Aeros netminder Jaxon Taylor won Top Goaltender, and Corey Bricknell took home Coach of the Year.

Hailing from Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba, Swampy scored ten goals and 48 assists while collecting three points during the post-season.

For Taylor, the native of Plymouth, Michigan, he started 19 games in the regular season, putting together a 2.20 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. He allowed just seven goals in the post-season tournament.

Jaxon Taylor, Top Goalie, Cold Lake Aeros with league president Bryan Brown. Image credit: Brent Burden Photography.
Braden Swampy, Top Defenceman, Cold Lake Aeros with league president Bryan Brown. Image credit: Brent Burden Photography.
Corey Bricknell, Coach of the Year, Cold Lake Aeros, with owner Axel Axmann. Image credit: Brent Burden Photography.

The league hopes to expand in the future, with Calgary already committed to joining the CAJHL for the 2022-23 season.

Images: Arthur Green.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.