NORTH STARS FINISH SEASON AS NO.5-RANKED TEAM IN CJHL; HAWKS CLAIM NO. 19 SLOT
CALGARY, Alta. – The Canadian Junior Hockey League announced its final Top 20 rankings for the 2016-17 season Monday with the Brooks Bandits (AJHL) finishing up No. 1 overall in the 132-team CJHL.
FINAL 2016-17 CJHL Top 20 rankings
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST WEEK)
1. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (1)
2. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (2)
3. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (3)
4. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (4)
5. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (5)
6. Collège Français de Longueuil (LHJQ) (6)
7. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (9)
8. Wenatchee Wild (BCHL) (8)
9. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (7)
10. Trenton Golden Hawks (OJHL) (10)
11. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (12)
12. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (11)
13. Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) (13)
14. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (14)
15. Burlington Cougars (OJHL) (15)
16. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (18)
17. Penticton Vees (BCHL) (17)
18. Pictou County Weeks Crushers (MHL) (16)
19. Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) (19)
20. Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (20)
Honourable Mention: Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL); Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL); Winkler Flyers (MJHL); Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL); Cornwall Colts (CCHL)
THE CJHL TOP 20
NO. 1: BROOKS BANDITS, AJHL – The Bandits earned the No. 1 nod in the CJHL after amassing 51 wins in 60 games in AJHL play against only five losses and four overtime setbacks.
NO. 2: GEORGETOWN RAIDERS, OJHL – With a 45-5-2-2 record, the Raiders finished first overall in the OJHL with 94 points. They are also up two games to none in their conference quarter-final playoff series vs. the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.
NO. 3: LES COBRAS DE TERREBONNE, LHJAAAQ – Terrebonne claimed the LHJAAAQ regular season championship by going a very impressive 44-5-0-0 overall. They ended up tied with Collège Français de Longueuil at 88 points each, but claimed the title on a tiebreaker.
NO. 4: STEINBACH PISTONS, MJHL – They wrapped up play in the MJHL as regular season title holders with 99 points in 60 games on a 49-10-1 record. They will be the No. 1 seed in the league entering the postseason.
NO. 5: BATTLEFORDS NORTH STARS, SJHL – Battlefords went 9-1 down the stretch and registered their second consecutive season with over 90 points, picking up 97 in total on a 48-9-1-0 run to end up first overall in the SJHL.
NO. 6: COLLÉGE FRANÇAIS DE LONGUEUIL, LHJAAAQ – With a 43-4-0-2 regular season mark they claimed the Martin St-Louis Division crown, but finished second to the Cobras for top spot overall via a tiebreaker.
NO. 7: CARLETON PLACE CANADIANS, CCHL – Having reeled off 16 straight victories, Carleton Place is in top form as they near the conclusion of the regular season. With one contest to go before entering the playoffs, the 49-12-0-0 Canadians will look to reach the 50-win and 100-point plateau in their final game, at home, Sunday against Brockville.
NO. 8: WENATCHEE WILD, BCHL – The Wild boasted the best record in the BCHL securing their first regular season crown with an impressive 45-9-4-0 campaign. They are also the No. 1 seed in the Fred Page Cup playoffs are up 2-0 on Prince George in their opening round match-up.
NO. 9: POWASSAN VOODOOS, NOJHL – With one game left, Powassan has already claimed the regular season title in the NOJHL having 93 points along with an organization-best 45 victories against seven defeats in regulation, two in overtime and one tie.
NO. 10: TRENTON GOLDEN HAWKS, OJHL – Set to host the Dudley-Hewitt Cup in under two months’ time, Trenton hopes to make a deep run into the Buckland Trophy playoffs. The Golden Hawks were second overall in the 22-team OJHL finishing with 87 points on a 42-9-2-1 record. As the top seed in their conference, they were surprised 3-2 in their first playoff game by Newmarket.
NO. 11: FORT MCMURRAY OIL BARONS, AJHL – A solid season saw the Oil Barons impress after totaling 91 points and claiming the Viterra North Division trophy while finishing with the second-best record in the AJHL at 44-13-3.
NO. 12: DRYDEN GM ICE DOGS, SIJHL – Dryden has rolled to the first place title in the SIJHL. With a franchise-record 41 triumphs to their credit, they still have four regular season games to play before entering the Bill Salonen Cup playoffs as the No. 1 seed.
NO. 13: CHILLIWACK CHIEFS, BCHL – Chilliwack improved on the 38 wins they produced a year ago to end up second overall in the BCHL with 88 points by going 41-11-6-0. They also finished second in the Mainland Division behind Wenatchee. In postseason play they are knotted at 1-1 with Langley in a best-of-seven Round 1 affair.
NO. 14: SOO THUNDERBIRDS, NOJHL – Surging Sault Ste. Marie enters the playoffs having won 12 consecutive games. They’ve also gone unbeaten in 16 with 15 wins and a draw in that span to finish 43-11-1-1. The two-time defending NOJHL champion Thunderbirds soared to the league’s West division title and will be the No. 2 seed, just behind Powassan.
NO. 15: BURLINGTON COUGARS, OJHL – Burlington had a 12-point improvement from a year ago finishing with 83 and going 40-11-3-0. The Cougars ended up second in the West Division as well as third overall in the OJHL. They are up 2-1 in their first round series vs. the Toronto Patriots.
NO. 16: WHITECOURT WOLVERINES, AJHL – Whitecourt scored the second-most goals in the 16-team AJHL at 254 and allowed the fourth fewest at 156 while wrapping up the regular season third best at 41-13-6 and posting 88 points.
NO. 17: PENTICTON VEES, BCHL – The Sun Life Financial Western Canada Cup hosts placed third overall in the BCHL while capturing the Interior Division title. The Vees had a third straight 40-plus win season going 41-13-3-1 during the 2016-17 campaign.
NO. 18: PICTOU COUNTY WEEKS CRUSHERS, MHL – With a week to go in the MHL, the defending league champions from Pictou County will finish first overall heading into the playoffs. They have two games left, but can’t be caught by the Truro Bearcats, who only has one to play and trails by three points. The Weeks Crushers presently boast a MHL-leading record of 36-9-2-1.
NO. 19: NIPAWIN HAWKS, SJHL – The Hawks have won five straight heading into their regular season finale Tuesday at Flin Flon where the Sherwood Division pennant will be on the line. Sitting with a record of 40-14-2-1 and 83 points, Nipawin needs a victory or an overtime/shootout setback vs. the Bombers to win the division and be the No. 2 seed in the SJHL postseason.
NO. 20: COBOURG COUGARS, OJHL – Cobourg hopes to continue their playoff run as long as possible before hosting the RBC Cup Canadian Jr. ‘A’ championship in May. The Cougars ended up fourth overall in the OJHL going 39-11-0-4 for 82 points. They currently lead Kingston 2-0 in best-of-seven conference quarter-final action.
HM: VICTORIA GRIZZLIES, BCHL – After going 37-12-5-4 in regular season play; the Grizzlies claimed the BCHL’s Island Division banner. Their success was good enough to place them fourth overall in the 17-team league. They are tied at one game apiece with Nanaimo in first round best-of-seven playoff competition.
HM: FLIN FLON BOMBERS, SJHL – A win in regulation Tuesday at home against Nipawin will give the Bombers the Sherwood Division crown over the Hawks as they hold the tie breaker. Flin Flon heads into that match-up with 81 points and a record of 38-14-2-3.
HM: WINKLER FLYERS, MJHL – Winkler had a solid second place finish in the 11-team MJHL during the course of the regular season. The Flyers registered 41 victories in 60 outings and concluded with 85 points after going 41-16-3.
HM: OTTAWA JR. ‘A’ SENATORS, CCHL – Ottawa has rolled to the Yzerman Division title in the CCHL by posting a 41-16-1-2 mark to date with two games remaining. They are tied with Cornwall for second overall in the 12-team league at 85 points apiece.
HM: CORNWALL COLTS, CCHL – The Colts will finish second in the Robinson Division, but will look to surpass the Jr. ‘A’ Senators to wrap-up the regular season with the second-best record in the 12-club league. Cornwall currently sits with a 39-14-4-3 mark with a pair of contests left before commencing the postseason.
ABOUT THE TOP 20 RANKINGS: The CJHL Top 20 weekly rankings were 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.