By Dave Leaderhouse
North Stars drop one spot; Red Wings get honourable mention in weekly CJHL Top 20
Two of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s top teams both lost once in regulation time during the past week and as a result they also fell in the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s weekly rankings of its 132 teams from across the country.
The Battlefords North Stars, who have reclaimed the Olympic Buildings Division lead with a 12-1-1-0 start, were the last SJHL team to lose in regulation time and that happened last Tuesday when the Kindersley Klippers posted a 4-1 victory in the first of two meetings between the close rivals.
The Battlefords got a bit of revenge on Saturday when they went back to Kindersley and escaped with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Klippers, while sandwiched between those two games was a 3-2 shootout triumph in Humboldt against the Broncos giving the North Stars a near perfect week.
Those results still weren’t good enough to keep the North Stars in the top two as the fell to third in the rankings, behind they unbeaten Thief River Falls of the Superior International Junior Hockey League and the Carleton Place Canadians from the Central Canada Hockey League.
The Weyburn Red Wings, leaders of the Viterra Division standings, were ranked 17th overall last week, but a 1-1-1-0 record in the past seven days pushed them out of the top 20 and left them with just an honourable mention.
The Estevan Bruins and Melfort Mustangs, who have both been on the list at one time or another this year, along with the Nipawin Hawks, who have been close on a couple of occasions, all need to put together a streak of some kind to get back on the list.
CJHL 2017-18 TOP 20 (As of Nov. 6/17)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST RANKING)
1. Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (1)
2. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (4)
3. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (2)
4. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ) (5)
5. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (3)
6. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (10)
7. Powassan VooDoos (NOJHL) (6)
8. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (7)
9. Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (9)
10. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (12)
11. College Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (13)
12. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (20)
13. Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners (MHL) (8)
14. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (11)
15. Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL) (NR)
16. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (14)
17. Winkler Flyers (MJHL) (15)
18. Vernon Vipers (BCHL) (HM)
19. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (NR)
20. Wellington Dukes (OJHL) (HM)
HONOURABLE MENTION: Brooks Bandits (AJHL); Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL); Rayside-Balfour Canadians (NOJHL); Oakville Blades (OJHL); South Shore Lumberjacks (MHL)