CALGARY, Alta. – Following another terrific week of regular season play, the Canadian Junior Hockey League is presently gearing up for the rapidly approaching World Junior A Challenge, which goes Dec. 11-17 in Bonnyville, Alta.
There are currently 100 CJHL hopefuls vying for roster spots on either Team Canada East or Team Canada West at their respective selection camps underway in Etobicoke, Ont., and Leduc, Alta.
The Penticton Vees hold down top spot in the overall BCHL standings while the Wenatchee Wild and Victoria Grizzlies remain close.
AJHL action sees the Whitecourt Wolverines solidifying their hold on first place in the Viterra North Division standings with the surging Brooks Bandits, winners of 10 straight, holding a two-point cushion and five games in hand on the Calgary Canucks in the Viterra South Division.
In the SJHL, the Battlefords North Stars are three points ahead of the Estevan Bruins and 10 clear of the Flin Flon Bombers in the quest for leadership in that 12-team league.
Action in the MJHL has the Steinbach Pistons still in first overall, but the Portage Terriers, Winkler Flyers and OCN Blizzard are also playing solid hockey.
The SIJHL sees the Thunder Bay North Stars and rival Dryden GM Ice Dogs continuing to battle for league regular season supremacy there.
Rolling right along, the red-hot Powassan Voodoos are on a CJHL-high 20-game winning streak and are 12 points ahead of the Soo Thunderbirds, who have won six in a row themselves, in the NOJHL standings.
The Georgetown Raiders are tied with the Trenton Golden Hawks for top spot overall in the OJHL standings with the 2017 RBC Cup host Cobourg Cougars just four points in arrears.
Play in the 12-team CCHL has the defending champion Carleton Place Canadians still in first place while the Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators hold down top spot in the Yzerman Division and have four games in hand on CPC.
Collège Français de Longueuil and Les Cobras de Terrebonne continue to lead the way in the LHJAAAQ, but are being chased by the Inouk de Granby.
The Pictou County Weeks Crushers have moved one point ahead of the Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners in the race for first in the MHL.
CJHL TOP 20 (As of Dec. 5, 2016)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST WEEK)
1. Collège Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (1)
2. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (4)
3. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (3)
4. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (2)
5. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (6)
6. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (7)
7. Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) (9)
8. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (11)
9. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) (5)
10. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (10)
11. Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (13)
12. Portage Terriers (MJHL) (14)
13. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (15)
14. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (18)
15. Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) (HM)
16. Estevan Bruins (SJHL) (HM)
17. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (16)
18. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (20)
19. Pictou County Weeks Crushers (MHL) (19)
20. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (NR)
Honourable Mention: Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL); Winkler Flyers (MJHL); Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL); Whitby Fury (OJHL); Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL).
ABOUT THE TOP 20 RANKINGS: The CJHL Top 20 weekly rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including the league in which the team plays, winning percentage, win-loss record, total points accumulated, goals-for versus goals-against ratio, etc.Bandit