CALGARY, Alberta - After a tough road trip into the AJHL's South Division, the Fort McMurray Oil Barons have relinquished top spot in this week's rankings to their archrival Spruce Grove Saints. With the Saints taking over #1, the Oil Baron's drop to #3, while the Carleton Place Canadiens jump to #2 after winning twice this week. The Soo Thunderbirds and Powell River Kings round out the top 5.
In the BCHL, the Powell River Kings move up two spots to #5 after a couple of convincing victories. The Vernon Vipers are starting to roll in preparation to host the 2014 RBC Cup this coming May and enter the Top 20 at #17 on a 2-1 week. The Penticton Vees jump into the Top 20 at #18 after 3 strong wins.
In the AJHL, Spruce Grove takes over the top national ranking after a 2-0 week while the Fort McMurray Oil Barons drop to #3 after a tough 1-2 road trip to Southern Alberta. The Brooks Bandits slip out of the Top 20 after dropping both their games this week.
In Saskatchewan, the Yorkton Terriers move up to #7 and continue to have a strong grip on top spot in the SJHL. The Humboldt Broncos have racked up the second most wins in Saskatchewan, and after a 2-1 week, hold tight as an Honourable Mention.
The Steinbach Pistons had a tough week in the MJHL, going 1-3 and dropping three spots in the rankings to sit at #9. The Portage Terriers win twice and move up three places to #10.
The Fort Frances Lakers had a slight stumble this past week in the SIJHL - winning once and losing once - and drop to #6 in the rankings. The Lakers have a stranglehold on first place in the league, with the Thunder Bay North Stars being pushed by the Minnesota Iron Rangers for second overall in SIJHL standings.
In the NOJHL, the Soo Thunderbirds remain in complete control of the NOJHL standings and move up to #4 this week after an impressive 4-0 week. Kirkland Lake is firmly entrenched in second place and comes in this week at #13.
The Toronto Lakeshore Patriots of the OJHL continue to move up in the national rankings and break into the top 10 at #9 this week. Meanwhile, the Aurora Tigers, who have a commanding nine point lead in the North Division, shoot into the rankings to #16 after a couple of solid weeks.
In the CCHL, the Carleton Place Canadiens continue to dominate the overall CCHL standings and this week they take over #2 in the national rankings. The Pembroke Lumber Kings hold steady at #12 after a 1-1 week. Pembroke, Smiths Falls Bears, Ottawa Jr. 'A' Senators and Nepean Raiders are in the hunt for second place in the CCHL.
Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome have climbed into top spot in the LHJAAAQ and re-enter the rankings at #20. They face stiff competition from the Granby Inouk and Les Titan de Princeville, who are just one point behind in league standings.
In the MHL, the Weeks Crushers drop two places to #12 in this week's rankings while the Dieppe Commandos hold the #19 spot. Both teams remain neck-and-neck for top spot in the MHL, but they are closely chased by the Truro Bearcats, Yarmouth Jr. 'A' Mariners and Miramichi Timberwolves.
Top 20 Rankings
1. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (2)
2. Carleton Place Canadiens (CCHL) (3)
3. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (1)
4. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (5)
5. Powell River Kings (BCHL) (7)
6. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (4)
7. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) (8)
8. Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL) (9)
9. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (6)
10. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (13)
11. Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL) (11)
12. Weeks Crushers (MHL) (10)
13. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (14)
14. Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (12)
15. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (15)
16. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (NR)
17. Vernon Vipers (BCHL) (NR)
18. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (HM)
19. Dieppe Commandos (MHL) (19)
20. Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome (LHJAAAQ) (NR)
Honourable Mention: Brooks Bandits (AJHL), Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL), Drumheller Dragons (AJHL), Okotoks Oilers (AJHL), Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)