|OHA Junior "B"|
|Ontario Hockey Association|
The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League is a Canadian junior ice hockey league based in Southern Ontario, Canada. The league is sanctioned by the Ontario Hockey Association, Ontario Hockey Federation, and Hockey Canada. The league was created in 2007 through the merging of the Western Ontario Hockey League, Mid-Western Junior Hockey League, and Golden Horseshoe Junior Hockey League to dissuade "player raiding" from teams in the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League. The skill level of the league is regarded as comparable to Junior "A", but the league will not consider joining the Canadian Junior A Hockey League for at least a couple seasons.
In the late 1990s, the Western Ontario Junior B Hockey League began complaining about their top level players being pulled from their teams at trade deadline time by Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League clubs without permission or compensation. The view in Southern Ontario is that Junior "A" and Junior "B" are the same skill level. In fact the OPJHL was known as the Central Ontario Junior B Hockey League until 1993, as well the Metro Junior A Hockey League which folded in 1998 was a Junior "B" league until 1991. The difference between the OPJHL and the MetJHL when compared to the Western, Mid-Western, and Golden Horseshoe leagues is that the OPJHL and MetJHL are Greater Toronto Area-based teams for the most part, while the other three leagues are more rural in nature.
During the 2006-07 season, the general managers of all Ontario Hockey Association Junior "B" teams came together and voted unanimously to merge and create the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League effective for the 2007-08 season. The GOJHL will become the sole competing body of the Sutherland Cup, which once had as many as eight leagues competing for it at one time.
The 2007-08 season has started off not as planned for the GOJHL. The management of the Mid-Western league resigned and needed to be replaced, and with a lack of organization due to the short time the new management had to get organized the MWJHL had to opt out of an interlocking schedule. As a result, the entire GOJHL will go without an interlocking schedule for 2007-08. The 2008-09 season will see the complete liquidation of all three divisional managements and a single body will be put in place for all three divisions as well as an interlocking schedule between all three divisions.
In the future, the league has stated that it will pursue club expansion, a reconfiguration that will move the league from three to four divisions, and possibly a move to join the Canadian Junior A Hockey League in future years.
On September 8, 2007, the Cambridge Winterhawks and the Guelph Dominators played the first ever game since the inception of the GOJHL. Despite leading 2-0 and outshooting Guelph, the defending Sutherland Cup Champions allowed five unanswered goals to drop the game 5-2. On May 3, 2008, the Tecumseh Chiefs finished a four game sweep of the Elmira Sugar Kings to win the first ever GOJHL championship.
On September 24, 2008, the GOJHL hosted its first ever interdivisional regular season game between the Golden Horseshoe's Wheatfield Jr. Blades and the Western's London Nationals in London, Ontario. The Nationals won the game 6-2.
In April of 2014 the league had its request for reclassification to Tier II (Junior A) denied by the Ontario Hockey Association. The league has resubmitted the request in 2016 to become the second Junior A league in the province for the 2017-18 season. The denial in 2014 and other factors have the league and its members threatening to leave the OHA and Hockey Canada if the new request is denied.
- Guelph Dominators sold, renamed Guelph Hurricanes.
- Owen Sound Greys take one year leave for 2009-10.