By Dave Leaderhouse
Hawks get honourable mention with Mustangs and North Stars remaining on Top 20 list
All teams at the top of the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s weekly Top 20 rankings had perfect weeks resulting in no changes from one week ago and leaving the Battleford North Stars in the sixth spot overall.
The North Stars reeled off three wins in the last seven days and with that have run their current winning streak to six games. The recent roll has the Battlefords now three points clear of the Notre Dame Hounds for top spot in the Olympic Buildings Division standings, but they have also crept to within three points of the Melfort Mustangs for first place overall. The North Stars also have five games in hand on the Mustangs.
Melfort had a little hiccup last week when they dropped a 3-2 decision in Yorkton against the Terriers, but they bounced back with victories over the Viterra Division-leading Estevan Bruins and the Flin Flon Bombers and with those results moved from 17th to 14th in the weekly rankings.
The Mustangs, with just two regulation-time losses in their last 10 games, have a five-point lead over the Nipawin Hawks in the Sherwood Division race, but the Hawks still hold three games in hand adding extra fuel to that already heated rivalry.
Nipawin also has just two regulation-time losses in their last 10 games, including five straight wins, and as a result they received an honourable mention this week from the CJHL. Should the Hawks have a strong week, one that includes a showdown with the Mustangs in Melfort, they will likely move into the Top 20 next week for the first time this season.
CJHL 2017-18 TOP 20 (As of Nov. 27/17)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST RANKING)
1. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (1)
2. Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (2)
3. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (3)
4. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (4)
5. Powassan VooDoos (NOJHL) (5)
6. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (6)
7. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (8)
8. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (9)
9. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) 11)
10. South Shore Lumberjacks (MHL) (10)
11. College Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ)
12. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (7)
13. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (NR)
14. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (17)
15. Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (12)
16. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (18)
17. OCN Blizzard (MJHL) (16)
18. Vernon Vipers (BCHL (HM)
19. Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL) (13)
20. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (14)
Honourable Mention: Penticton Vees (BCHL); Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL); Nipawin Hawks (SJHL); Oakville Blades (OJHL); Wellington Dukes (OJHL)
ABOUT THE CJHL
The Canadian Junior Hockey League is made up of the 10 Junior ‘A’ leagues across Canada.
Representing 132 teams and over 3,000 players, the CJHL also boast over 2,800 alumni furthering their hockey careers at the professional, major junior and college level across North America.
ABOUT THE CJHL RANKINGS
Selected by an independent scouting service, the rankings are based upon a variety of factors, including winning percentage; win-loss record; point totals; goals-for versus goals-against ratio, etc., and the league they compete in.