CALGARY, Alberta – With the passing of the CJHL Trade Deadline on January 10, and each team's roster essentially final, the playoffs for all 10 CJHL Leagues loom large.
In the BCHL, the Penticton Vees made some key moves and have moved up the rankings to be neck and neck with the Victoria Grizzlies. In the Mainland Division of the BCHL, the Langley Rivermen have quietly secured a playoff spot already and will be a threat to go deep into the BCHL playoffs and perhaps beyond.
In the AJHL, the Spruce Grove Saints also made roster moves and remain atop the AJHL’s North Division and the CJHL Top 20 Rankings, while the Brooks Bandits stumbled a bit this past week as the AJHL South Division tightens.
In the SJHL, the Melville Millionaires have seized the overall lead and are being chased by the Kindersley Klippers.
The Selkirk Steelers have also slipped past the Steinbach Pistons atop the MJHL.
The 17-game winning streak of the Soo Thunderbirds in the NOJHL has bumped them into #3 overall in the Top 20 CJHL Rankings.
Meanwhile, the Fort Frances Lakers of the SIJHL hit a bump in their road this past week and slip a few spots to #7 in the Top 20.
The Kingston Voyageurs of the OJHL are being pushed by the Aurora Tigers and Toronto Lakeshore Patriots for the overall lead in the OJHL, while the Whitby Fury, Wellington Dukes and Cobourg Cougars are locked in a heated battle in the East Division of the OJHL. The Carleton Place Canadians are virtually unstoppable in the CCHL, but the Smith Falls Bears are staying within striking distance of top spot and the Canadians in the Robinson Division.
Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome hold a seven-point lead ahead of the Granby Inouk for top spot in the LHJAAAQ.
The Weeks Crushers also hold onto top spot in the Eastlink Division and the overall lead in the MHL, but hot on their heels are the Miramichi Timberwolves, Truro Bearcats, Dieppe Commandos and Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners. The MHL playoff race will be spectacular for sure.
Top 20 Rankings
1. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (1)
2. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (2)
3. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (4)
4. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (3)
5. Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (6)
6. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (7)
7. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (5)
8. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) (8)
9. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (11)
10. Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL) (HM)
11. Melville Millionaires (SJHL) (16)
12. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (12)
13. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOHL) (13)
14. Powell River Kings (BCHL) (15)
15. Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (17)
16. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (NR)
17. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) (9)
18. Weeks Crushers (MHL) (19)
19. Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL) (14)
20. Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome (LHJAAAQ) (20)
Honourable Mention: Langley Rivermen (BCHL), Brooks Bandits (AJHL), Portage Terriers (MJHL), Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL), Truro Bearcats (MHL)
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)