Some interesting results within the Top 20 this week – most notably the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL holding strong despite a depleted roster, the rise of the Penticton Vees and Dauphin Kings, and a small hiccup by the Brooks Bandits when goaltender Matt Tomkins and his Sherwood Park Crusaders beat the Bandits in overtime on Saturday. As playoffs approach, teams are starting to make claims as teams to be reckoned with, including AJHL clubs like the Whitecourt Wolverines, Okotoks Oilers and the Drumheller Dragons, while the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks appears to be peaking at just the right time.
In the SJHL, the Nipawin Hawks are starting to roll, and the Flin Flon Bombers seem are getting their “mojo” back. In Manitoba, the Dauphin Kings and Winnipeg Blues each remain on extended winning streaks in the MJHL.
While the Minnesota Wilderness continues to mop up in the SIJHL, the Dryden Ice Dogs, the Fort Frances Lakers, the Thunder Bay North Stars, and Minnesota Iron Rangers are separated by just 3 points. The NOJHL is shaping up to be a battle right to the end of the regular season as the Soo Thunderbirds and North Bay Trappers duke it out for top spot and the Sudbury Nickel Barons are starting to edge ahead of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners.
The Trenton Golden Hawks remain atop the overall OJHL standings but dark horses starting their climbs include the Newmarket Hurricanes, the Aurora Tigers, the Whitby Fury, the Kingston Voyageurs, and the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. Over in the CCHL, all teams have to be aware of the surging Pembroke Lumber Kings, the Cornwall Colts and Brockville Braves as they all ready themselves for the playoff push.
In Quebec, the Saint Jerome Pantheres are holding steady right behind the College Francais de Longueuil, while in the MHL the Amherst Ramblers and the Woodstock Slammers are also on a bit of tear. With
a month to go before some leagues begin their playoffs, the CJHL is seeing drama every night in its arenas across Canada, on the road to the RBC Cup in Summerside, P.E.I. May 11‐19, 2013!
Top 20 Rankings
1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (1)
2. Minnesota Wilderness (SIJHL) (2)
3. Summerside Western Capitals (MHL) (3)
4. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) (4)
5. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (5)
6. Dauphin Kings (MJHL) (10)
7. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (12)
8. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL)(11)
9. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL) (7)
10. Humboldt Broncos (SJHL) (6)
11. Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL) (9)
12. Winnipeg Blues (MJHL) (14)
13. Truro Bearcats (MHL) (8)
14. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (13)
15. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (15)
16. North Bay Trappers (NOJHL) (16)
17. Melville Millionaires (SJHL) (HM)
18. Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL) (NR)
19. Ottawa Jr. Senators (CCHL) (18)
20. College Francais de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (20)
Honourable Mention: Surrey Eagles (BCHL), OCN
Blizzard (MJHL), North York Rangers (OJHL),
Carleton Place Canadiens (CCHL), Amherst
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)