CALGARY, Alta. – With another World Junior A Challenge in the books that saw Canada East mine a silver medal following a setback to the United States in the title game in Bonnyville, Alta., the 10 leagues and 132 clubs that comprise the Canadian Junior Hockey League have just a few more games this week before heading into the holiday break.
Action in the BCHL has seen the Wenatchee Wild overtake the Penticton Vees for first in the overall standings as thye hold a narrow one-point lead while the Victoria Grizzlies also remain in contention.
Winning five straight has allowed the Brooks Bandits to maintain their hold among the AJHL elite. The Whitecourt Wolverines, Bonnyville Pontiacs and Okotoks Oilers are also near the top of the leaderboard.
In the SJHL, the Battlefords North Stars under first-year head coach Nate Bedford, are starting to separate themselves from the Estevan Bruins and Flin Flon Bombers in the quest for first.
The Steinbach Pistons continue to play over .800 hockey in the MJHL to lead the way there, but the Winkler Flyers are also among five clubs in the league with 20-plus wins to their credit in the 11-team loop.
SIJHL play has seen the Dryden GM Ice Dogs win four in a row and move into top spot over the rival Thunder Bay North Stars.
As the hottest side in the entire CJHL, the NOJHL’s Powassan Voodoos have reeled off an impressive 22-game winning streak while the defending champion Soo Thunderbirds have only lost once in their past 10 outings.
It’s still a very close race in the OJHL with the Trenton Golden Hawks having the most points while the Georgetown Raiders boast the best winning percentage.
Meanwhile, the Carleton Place Canadians are still atop the standings in the ultra-competitive CCHL with the Ottawa Jr. A Senators joining them as the two 50-point sides in the league to date. The Hawkesbury Hawks are also moving in on that mark as well.
Collège Français de Longueuil is still No. 1 in both the LHJQ and CJHL while the 2017 Fred Page Cup host Les Cobras de Terrebonne are just five points in arrears in the league standings there with two games in hand as well.
Pictou County Weeks Crushers and Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners are in a close race for the MHL lead.
After the Christmas break the CJHL Top 20 will return Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. Season’s Greetings from CJHL Top 20 scouting staff.
CJHL TOP 20 (As of Dec. 19, 2016)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST WEEK)
1. Collège Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (1)
2. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (3)
3. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (2)
4. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (4)
5. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (5)
6. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (7)
7. Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) (8)
8. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (6)
9. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (9)
10. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (18)
11. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (13)
12. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (11)
13. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (12)
14. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (15)
15. Winkler Flyers (MJHL) (16)
16. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (19)
17. Whitby Fury (OJHL) (10)
18. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (14)
19. Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) (HM)
20. Pictou County Weeks Crushers (MHL) (20)
Honourable Mention: Okotoks Oilers (AJHL); Estevan Bruins (SJHL); Portage Terriers (MJHL); Cobourg Cougars (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.