CALGARY, Alberta – Another competitive and tight regular season has to come to an end across the majority of the CJHL, and now the real fun starts! As the playoffs begin a number of questions remain unanswered – Will the top teams continue to dominate in their respective leagues? Who will be the “Cinderella” teams? Who will upset the champions? What teams are about to embark on magical finishes? Which players will cement their legacy in their teams’ history? Who will be the overtime heroes for 2014?
Out west, the Langley Rivermen finished atop the BCHL standings – narrowly edging out the Victoria Grizzlies. The Grizzlies now have a playoff date and a shot at redemption against the team who knocked them out of the playoffs last season – the Alberni Valley Bulldogs who narrowly squeak into the playoffs.
The Spruce Grove Saints take the overall crown in the AJHL after a season long battle with the Oil Barons of Fort McMurray, while the defending RBC Cup champions – the Brooks Bandits – enter the playoffs on a roll and another AJHL South Division crown.
In the SJHL, the Yorkton Terriers have secured the top spot in the overall standings, while the Selkirk Steelers had an MJHL season to remember.
The Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL had an extremely successful season, and their top spot in the Final Top 20 CJHL Rankings cannot be denied. The Fort Frances Lakers of the SIJHL also had a tremendous season, and will be a favorite to appear in the Dudley-Hewitt Cup play downs.
The OJHL are already into their playoffs, and the Carleton Place Canadians of the CCHL capped off a brilliant season, while Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome have earned the top spot in the LHJAAAQ,
In the MHL, the Truro Bearcats have moved ahead of the Miramichi Timberwolves with just a few games left in the regular season, and the battle for final playoff positioning will continue all week as the MHL season wraps up.
The CJHL wishes a successful playoff run for all franchises who have worked hard to make the playoffs and look forward to Vernon at the 2014 RBC Cup, May 10 – 18.
Final Top 20 Rankings
1. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (1)
2. Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (3)
3. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (2)
4. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (4)
5. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (5)
6. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (6)
7. Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL) (7)
8. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (8)
9. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (9)
10. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) (12)
11. Langley Rivermen (BCHL) (11)
12. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (14)
13. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (13)
14. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) (10)
15. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (15)
16. Dauphin Kings (MJHL) (NR)
17. Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL) (17)
18. Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome (LHJAAAQ) (19)
19. Truro Bearcats (MHL) (20)
20. Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL) (18)
Honourable Mention: Penticton Vees (BCHL), Battlefords North Stars (SJHL), Kindersley Klippers (SJHL), Whitby Fury (OJHL), Miramichi Timberwolves (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.