CALGARY, Alberta (December 16, 2013) - A ten-game winning streak has the Spruce Grove Saints firmly entrenched as the top team in the CJHL this week, with the Carleton Place Canadiens, Fort McMurray Oil Barons, Soo Thunderbirds and Fort Frances Lakers rounding out the top 5.
In the BCHL, the Powell River Kings had a tough weekend and have dropped from #5 last week to #16 this week. The Penticton Vees – on the strength of an eight game winning streak – take a firm grip on the top spot in the BCHL and jump 11 spots to #7 overall in the nation this week.
In the SJHL, the Humboldt Broncos have put together an impressive 8-1-0-1 record the past few weeks and have moved past the Yorkton Terriers atop the overall standings. Humboldt makes a big jump in the rankings this week to #9, while Yorkton drops fives spots, from #7 to #12.
The Steinbach Pistons sit just outside the top 5 rankings, while the Portage Terriers and the Selkirk Steelers both move up this week. Those three teams are in a three-way race for top spot in the MJHL.
The Fort Frances Lakers make their debut in the top 5 and the Thunder Bay North Stars move up 2 spots to sit at #13. Those teams remain on top in the SIJHL, but the Minnesota Iron Rangers are pushing both teams.
In the NOJHL, the Soo Thunderbirds remain in first place overall, with an eight point lead over second place Kirkland Lake Gold Miners. However, the Gold Miners have four games in-hand, which puts them in a great spot to challenge for top spot in the league.
The Toronto Lakeshore Patriots remain in first overall in the OJHL, while the Aurora Tigers hold a commanding nine point lead in the North Division. Both teams finished the week with two wins and a loss. The OJHL’s East Division remains close night-to-night as all five teams are separated by only six points. The lowest team winning percentage in the East is 0.641, evidence that this may be the most competitive division in the CJHL.
In the CCHL, the Carleton Place Canadiens, who have lost only five times this season, continue to dominate the overall standings and hold an 18 point lead over second place Pembroke Lumber Kings. On the heels of the Lumber Kings, however, are the Smiths Falls Bears, Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators and Nepean Raiders.
Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome, who hold their spot at #20 after a 3-0 week, have built a five point lead over the Granby Inouk for top spot in the LHJAAAQ.
The Weeks Crushers continue to hold a healthy six point lead in the overall standings in the MHL. The Crushers are joined in the Top 20 this week by the Truro Bearcats, who put together two wins on the week to take sole possession of second overall in the MHL.
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) (6)
6. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (9)
7. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (18)
8. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (10)
9. Humboldt Broncos (SJHL) (HM)
10. Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL) (8)
11. Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (14)
12. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) (7)
13. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (15)
14. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOHL) (13)
15. Pembroke Lumber Kings (CCHL) (11)
16. Powell River Kings (BCHL) (5)
17. Weeks Crushers (MHL) (12)
18. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (16)
19. Truro Bearcats (MHL) (NR)
20. Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome (LHJAAAQ) (20)
Honourable Mention: Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL), Brooks Bandits (AJHL), Okotoks Oilers (AJHL), Melville Millionaires (SJHL), Minnesota Iron Rangers (SIJHL)
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)