CALGARY, Alberta - Winter has gripped the CJHL for the first time this season with numerous game cancellations this past weekend due to blizzards across Alberta and the Prairies. The Fort McMurray Oil Barons remain on top of the CJHL Top 20 Rankings, but are being pushed hard in the AJHL by the Spruce Grove Saints who pulled to within a single point of the MOB in North Division. In the BCHL, the Powell River Kings had another strong week while Penticton is holding on with a solid winning percentage and games in hand. The Victoria Grizzlies overcame a horrendous bout of illness with a 6-point weekend and the Vernon Vipers are starting to regain the consistency that lead them to be one of the top teams in the CJHL for many recent seasons.
The Fort Frances Lakers continue to dominate the SIJHL, while in Northern Ontario the Soo Thunderbirds are firmly in control of the NOJHL standings. In the SJHL, Melville and the Yorkton Terriers are joined in the rankings by the Kindersley Klippers, who have secured an Honourable Mention this week. The Portage Terriers continue their strong play and by virtue of more games played have passed the Steinbach Pistons in the MJHL's Addison Division. The
Selkirk Steelers' 4-game winning streak has boosted them too.
The Buffalo Jr. Sabres of the OJHL had another strong week, and so have the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. The Trenton Golden Hawks have jumped into the rankings while the St. Michael's Buzzers have earned an Honourable Mention. In the CCHL, the Carleton Place Canadiens have a 10-point lead in the overall standings but the Pembroke Lumber Kings and the Smiths Falls Bears are starting to separate themselves from the rest of the league.
Les Titans de Princeville remain atop the LHJAAAQ, and are being pushed hard by Les Cougars de Sherbrooke and Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome. The Weeks Crushers have remained in the 11th spot overall while Dieppe Commandoes who now lead the Roger Meek division in the MHL, have also made their first appearance this season the Top 20.
Top 20 Rankings
1. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (1)
2. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (3)
3. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (4)
4. Powell River Kings (BCHL) (5)
5. Soo Thunderbirds (NOHL) (6)
6. Carleton Place Canadiens (CCHL) (8)
7. Buffalo Jr. Sabres (OJHL) (7)
8. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (12)
9. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (2)
10. Melville Millionaires (SJHL) (9)
11. Weeks Crushers (MHL) (11)
12. Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL) (10)
13. Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (16)
14. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (13)
15. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) (18)
16. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (15)
17. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (17)
18. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (NR)
19. Dieppe Commandos (MHL) (NR)
20. Les Titans de Princeville (LHJAAAQ) (20)
Honourable Mention: Vernon Vipers (BCHL), Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL), Kindersley Klippers (SJHL), St. Michael's Buzzers (OJHL), Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)