Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the regular season schedule of games for 2021-22, kicking-off a brand new #GameON campaign in celebration of the League’s return to the ice.
The 2021-22 regular season gets underway on Thursday, October 7 with a three-game opening night schedule featuring action in North Bay (vs. Peterborough, 7:00pm), Windsor (vs. Sarnia, 7:30pm) and Barrie (vs. Niagara, 7:30pm). This marks the first of 16 home openers scheduled on an #OHLOpeningWeek Thanksgiving long weekend.
“It’s an exciting time of new beginnings for our League,” said Commissioner David Branch. “The OHL continues its tradition of developing the world’s best young student athletes and we’re very much looking forward to having players back in OHL communities as they pursue both their hockey and academic-related goals.
“We’re also looking ahead to the safe return of our great fans to OHL arenas this season,” Branch added. “The OHL benefits from a long and storied past on the ice, but the fans, billets and community partners have always played an integral role in making our League so special.”
Divisional alignment remains the same in 2021-22, with each of the League’s 20 member teams playing a 68-game unbalanced schedule predominantly consisting of intra-conference play. Cross-conference matchups will occur in select instances between opponents of close geographical proximity. The OHL’s three American-based teams – the Erie Otters, Flint Firebirds and Saginaw Spirit – will open the season facing each other exclusively through the end of October.
The OHL continues the tradition of being primarily a weekend league in order to accommodate families and the student athlete with close to 82% (586 games) of the schedule played between Thursday and Sunday. Friday night remains an OHL fixture with 206 games scheduled followed by 164 games on Saturdays and 126 on Sundays.
Following opening night action, key dates on the calendar include Sunday December 19, which marks the final day before the holiday break as well as Thursday December 28 when the schedule resumes. The final day of the regular season schedule is Sunday April 3 before teams embark on the 2021 OHL Playoffs for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.
The 2021-22 season includes a total of three Friday nights with all 20 member teams in action including November 12, December 17 and March 11. There are a total of four School Day games with special morning start times including February 8 in Mississauga, February 9 in Erie, February 23 in Ottawa and March 3 in Hamilton.
YourTV’s eighth annual Hockey Day in the OHL event is scheduled for Sunday February 6 with a broadcast tripleheader that features Kingston visiting North Bay at 1:00pm, Peterborough at Hamilton at 4:00pm and Sarnia visiting Windsor at 7:00pm.
Milestone seasons in 2021-22 include 65 years for the Peterborough Petes, the Soo Greyhounds celebrating 50 years, the 30th season for the Guelph Storm, the 25th season for the Erie Otters, the Saginaw Spirit celebrating 20 years as well as the Mississauga Steelheads saluting 10.
Day – No. of Games (Percentage)
Monday: 14 games (2.1%)
Tuesday: 20 games (2.9%)
Wednesday: 60 games (8.8%)
Thursday: 90 games (13.2%)
Friday: 206 games (30.3%)
Saturday: 164 games (24.1%)
Sunday: 126 games (18.5%)
Help promote the return of OHL action and join the conversation using #GameON on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Stay tuned for #GameON contests and great prizes throughout the summer with full details at ontariohockeyleague.com.
About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.