By Dave Leaderhouse
It is becoming increasingly more evident that any kind of a step backwards will cost a team dramatically in the weekly Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings as both the Battlefords North Stars and Weyburn Red Wings found out when the newest list was released earlier this week.
The North Stars, who occupied the No. 3 position one week ago, dropped a 1-0 decision to the Red Wings in their lone outing last week and as a result are now the No. 8 ranked team in the 132-team CJHL.
And, that win wasn’t enough to keep Weyburn among the top clubs as they had dropped a pair of decisions in Kindersley prior to handing the North Stars their first regulation-time loss on home ice this season. As a result, the Red Wings slid off the honourable mention list and will now have to put together a string of wins to get back among the elite.
The Melfort Mustangs, who lead the entire league with 32 points, picked up an honourable mention after posting a pair of wins and an overtime loss in the last seven days. The Mustangs, who lead the Sherwood Division with a 14-4-3-1 record, are two points clear of the Olympic Buildings Division-leading Humboldt Broncos and the co-leaders of the Viterra Division – Weyburn and the Estevan Bruins.
The Battlefords have been in the weekly top 10 for several weeks despite being third in the Olympic Buildings Division. They have the best winning percentage of .833 due to the fact that they hold seven games in hand on all of the divisional leaders ahead of them in the overall standings.
CJHL 2017-18 TOP 20 (As of Nov. 13/17)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST RANKING)
1. Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (1)
2. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (2)
3. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (4)
4. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (5)
5. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (6)
6. Powassan Voodoos (NOJHL) (7)
7. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (8)
8. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (3)
9. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (16)
10. South Shore Lumberjacks (MHL) (HM)
11. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (10)
12. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (19)
13. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (14)
14. Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (9)
15. Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL) (15)
16. Winkler Flyers (MJHL) (17)
17. Oakville Blades (OJHL) (HM)
18. College Français de Longueuil (LHJAAAQ) (11)
19. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (12)
20. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL) (13)
Honourable Mention: Vernon Vipers (BCHL); Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL); Melfort Mustangs (SJHL); OCN Blizzard (MJHL); Wellington Dukes (OJHL)
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.