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