CALGARY, Alberta (December 23, 2013) – No changes this week in the top six teams, but the battle for top spot is tightening in the MJHL and all three teams have moved up in the this week's rankings.
In the BCHL, the Penticton Vees ran into a hot West Kelowna Warrior team and have slid a few spots this week. The Powell River Kings had a decent week and the Victoria Grizzlies re-enter the Top 20.
The AJHL saw a battle of their top two teams on December 21st in Spruce Grove, with the hometown Saints squeaking by the Fort McMurray Oil Barons 3-2 in a shootout. In the South Division of the AJHL, watch out for the Drumheller Dragons whose recent consistent play has them within a couple of points of the Brooks Bandits, who have been struggling in the past several weeks to string more than a couple of wins together at a time.
In the SJHL, the Humboldt Broncos have now racked up 22 wins, the same number as the Kindersley Klippers, but both have played at least three games more than powerhouse Yorkton whose winning percentage is tops in the SJHL. A similar situation is occurring in the MJHL, where the Selkirk Steelers are gaining on Steinbach and Portage despite having played three and five fewer games, respectively.
The Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL, and the Fort Frances Lakers of the SIJHL remain the class of their respective leagues at the holiday break.
The latest winter blast and ice storm affected many games this past week in the OJHL, Quebec and the Maritimes, and for teams and fans alike it was a stark reminder of how our favorite winter sport can be derailed by inclement and dangerous weather. In the CCHL, the Carleton Place Canadiens continue to dominate the overall standings, while the Pembroke Lumber Kings are being pushed by the Smiths Falls Bears, Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators and Nepean Raiders.
Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome hold onto a five point lead over the Granby Inouk for top spot in the LHJAAAQ. The Weeks Crushers are in complete command of the overall lead in the MHL.
The CJHL would like to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday break. The Top 20 weekly Rankings will return on January 6, 2014.
Top 20 Rankings
1. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (1)
2. Carleton Place Canadiens (CCHL) (2)
3. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (3)
4. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (4)
5. Fort Frances Lakers (SIHL) (5)
6. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (6)
7. Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (11)
8. Humboldt Broncos (SJHL) (9)
9. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (8)
10. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (7)
11. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) (12)
12. Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL) (10)
13. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (13)
14. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOHL) (14)
15. Powell River Kings (BCHL) (16)
16. Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL) (15)
17. Weeks Crushers (MHL) (17)
18. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (18)
19. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) (HM)
20. Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome (LHJAAAQ) (20)
Honourable Mention: West Kelowna Warriors (BCHL), Drumheller Dragons (AJHL), Kindersley Klippers (SJHL), Melville Millionaires (SJHL), Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL)
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)