CALGARY, Alberta – As the final few weeks of the regular season approach in all ten leagues within the CJHL, two championship host teams are catching fire at the right time. This year’s RBC Cup Host, the Vernon Vipers, are finally playing some consistent winning hockey, while in Manitoba, the Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup host, the Dauphin Kings, are on a solid three-game winning streak and have a nine-point lead atop the Sher-Wood Division.
In the BCHL, the Victoria Grizzlies who made the biggest jump on to the Top 20 Rankings, and Langley Rivermen continue their winning ways, while the Interior Division is a true battlefield as the Penticton Vees, West Kelowna Warriors and the Merritt Centennials all jockey for final playoff positioning.
In the AJHL, the Spruce Grove Saints, Fort McMurray Oil Barons and Brooks Bandits all had tough weeks, and are being pushed hard by the Okotoks Oilers and the Drumheller Dragons. In the SJHL, the Yorkton Terriers continue atop the overall standings, while the Melville Millionaires, Kindersley Klippers and the Battlefords North Stars are in hot pursuit of the top team.
In the MJHL, the Selkirk Steelers are running away with the overall lead, and the fight for second place overall is now firmly between the Steinbach Pistons, Portage Terriers and the Dauphin Kings.
Meanwhile, the Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL, the hottest team in the entire CJHL and number one in the Top 20 Rankings, had their 25-game winning streak halted by their nearest rival, the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners. The Fort Frances Lakers of the SIJHL continue their dominance with a solid 11-point lead over the second place Thunder Bay North Stars.
The Aurora Tigers and Kingston Voyageurs of the OJHL are locked atop the overall standings in the OJHL with 37 regulation wins, and have opened a three-point lead over the third place Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. The Whitby Fury, Cobourg Cougars, Wellington Dukes and the Trenton Golden Hawks all remain in an intense battle for playoff positioning in the OJHL’s East Division with only four points separating all four teams. The Carleton Place Canadians, who are having a spectacular season, continue to roll along on top of the CCHL, leading the second place Smiths Falls Bears by a whopping 18 points.
The LHJAAAQ’s Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome, still have a comfortable hold in the top spot, while in the Maritimes – more severe winter weather caused the postponement of several key games this weekend. The Truro Bearcats and Miramichi Timberwolves are tied for top spot overall in the MHL, but both teams were affected by the inclement weather during this past week.
Top 20 Rankings
1. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (1)
2. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (5)
3. Selkirk Steelers (MJHL) (3)
4. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (2)
5. Fort Frances Lakers (SIJHL) (6)
6. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (4)
7. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (12)
8. Aurora Tigers (OJHL) (7)
9. Kingston Voyageurs (OJHL) (10)
10. Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) (HM)
11. Langley Rivermen (BCHL) (8)
12. Yorkton Terriers (SJHL) (9)
13. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (13)
14. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (11)
15. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (14)
16. Kindersley Klippers (SJHL) (17)
17. Melville Millionaires (SJHL) (NR)
18. Dauphin Kings (MJHL) (NR)
19. Les Pantheres de Saint Jerome (LHJAAAQ) (18)
20. Truro Bearcats (MJHL) (20)
Honourable Mention: Vernon Vipers (BCHL), Drumheller Dragons (AJHL), Battlefords North Stars (SJHL), Toronto Lakeshore Patriots (OJHL), Smiths Falls Bears (CCHL),
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.