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Ontario Elite Hockey League (OEHL) Joins the Ontario Hockey Association

12 senior AA teams join new league under the OHA and Hockey Canada umbrella.

Cambridge, ON – In two months the Ontario Elite Hockey League (OEHL) will begin play following an agreement with the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA).

The goal: Ensuring senior double-A hockey across Ontario’s small towns thrives.

“We need to evolve our brand,” said Kyle Wynette, President of the Tavistock (pop: 3,171) Royals and defending AA champion of the former Western Ontario Athletic Association.

The Royals, going into their 41st season, are one of 12 AA senior teams in the new league under the OHA and Hockey Canada umbrella.

“We want to able to grow and bring our game to a bigger audience while preserving quality senior hockey in these smalltown communities.”

The 2023-2024 OEHL teams: Creemore (pop: 1,194) Coyotes, Durham (2,500) Thundercats, Lucknow (1,154) Lancers, Milverton (1,797) Four Wheel Drives, Minto (2,599) 81’s, Ripley (440) Wolves, Saugeen (16,268) Shores Winterhawks, Seaforth (2,673) Centenaires, Shelburne (8,989) Muskies and Tavistock Royals.

The Georgian Bay Applekings, with Thornbury (pop: 3,474) as home base, and Erin Outlaws, in Erin, ON (11,439) are expansion teams.

The local senior hockey team signifies something special within many small towns.

“To the kids in the school who show up every weekend to our home games … these guys are NHLers to them” said Wynette. “These are their local heroes that they look up to.”

The OEHL clubs will play a 22-game regular season beginning October 6, 2023.

“We want the kids to come out and parents to come with them,” said Wynette. ““We want senior hockey to continue to be a staple of weekend entertainment in these small

communities. It’s often the best ticket in town on a Friday/Saturday night and is a place where communities come together to cheer on their favourite team. We’ve often said that Senior AA is the best kept secret around, now it’s time we grow our fan base under the umbrella of the OHA and Hockey Canada.”

“We are excited to add Ontario Elite Hockey League (OEHL) to the OHA. Through this endeavor, 12 teams will be added to our Senior Hockey category bringing our total number of teams in the OHA up to 124,” said OHA Chair Marc Mercier. “In addition, this is an opportunity to grow alongside the OEHL and to give adult players in Ontario enhanced competitive opportunities to continue their playing days as a valued part of the OHA family.”

About the Ontario Hockey Association

The Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) was founded on November 27, 1890, and is the governing body for the majority of Junior and Senior hockey in the Province of Ontario.  The OHA is a Member Partner of the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) which is one of thirteen Provincial and Regional Branches of Hockey Canada. It is comprised of three Junior hockey leagues and one Senior hockey league: Junior A – Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL); Junior B – Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL); Junior C – Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL); and Sr. AAA – Allan Cup Hockey (ACH).

The objectives of the OHA are to foster and encourage the sport of amateur hockey, to conduct competition in the various categories established, to determine teams for entry into the inter-branch competitions that may be provided by Hockey Canada, and to provide for the affiliation of other hockey organizations.

The OHA provides administrative resources, coordinates programs, services and events for hockey participants and provides support to various Development Programs for coaches, officials, trainers and players, Safety and Risk Management Issues and offers resources for Harassment and Abuse education.


For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:

Chris McCleary                                                          

General Manager, Operations & Marketing                    

Ontario Hockey Association                                      

[email protected]                                          

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