By Dave Leaderhouse
A six-game winning streak to start the season had the defending Canalta Cup champion Nipawin Hawks as the No. 1 ranked team in the Canadian Junior Hockey League for two weeks running, but losses in two of their last three outings now has the Hawks sitting in the No. 7 position with just the Weyburn Red Wings being the only other Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League to crack the weekly list.
Nipawin’s record is good enough to lead the Sherwood Division standings, but they are now one point back of the surprising Humboldt Broncos in the overall point’s race as the surging Broncos have climbed to the top of the Global Ag Risk Solutions Division with a 7-3-1-0 record for a total of 15 points.
Humboldt was ranked No. 14 a week ago, but they aren’t even listed as an honourable mention this time around despite going 1-1-1-0 in three tough road starts during the last seven days.
Weyburn makes its first appearance on the weekly list after posting a pair of victories in their last two outings. The Red Wings have played the fewest games of all SJHL teams with just seven starts under their belt, but the 5-2-0-0 record they have posted has lifted them into sole possession of the Viterra Division lead and the second-best winning percentage of all 12 teams (Nipawin is first at .778 followed by Weyburn at .714).
Another team that is closing in on getting into the weekly listing is the Kindersley Klippers. Three straight wins have propelled the Klippers into second place in the Global Ag Risk Solution race, trailing Humboldt by just one point. Kindersley now has the same amount of points as Nipawin, but they have played one extra game resulting in a lower winning percentage (.778 to .700).
Humboldt and Weyburn return to action on Wednesday when they take on the Flin Flon Bombers and Melville Millionaires, respectively, while Nipawin and Kindersley don’t see their next action until Friday when they will face the Melfort Mustangs and Yorkton Terriers, respectively.
The CJHL Top 20 Rankings
(As of Oct. 8)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST WEEK)
1. Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) (2)
2. Inouk de Granby (LHJAAAQ) (8)
3. Brooks Bandits (AJHL) (13)
4. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (7)
5. Oakville Blades (OJHL) (16)
6. Waywayseecappo Wolverines (MJHL) (3)
7. Nipawin Hawks (SJHL) (1)
8. Thunder Bay North Stars (SIJHL) (5)
9. Brockville Braves (CCHL) (9)
10. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL) (4)
11. Cobourg Cougars (OJHL) (6)
12. Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) (NR)
13. Hawkesbury Hawks (CCHL) (15)
14. Les Titan de Princeville (LHJAAAQ) (NR)
15. Kirkland Lake Gold Miners (NOJHL) (19)
16. Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL) (11)
17. Amherst Ramblers (MHL) (HM)
18. Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL) (17)
19. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (20)
20. Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL) (NR)
HONOURABLE MENTION: Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL); Kindersley Klippers (SJHL); Red Lake Miners (SIJHL); North York Rangers (OJHL); Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ