By Dave Leaderhouse
The Battlefords North Stars opened their first extended road trip of the season with a resounding 5-1 loss in Wilcox against the Notre Dame Hounds, but they bounced back with three wins in three nights on the weekend and with that performance climbed a pair of spots in the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s weekly Top 20 rankings.
The North Stars, who are now 15-3-1-0 on the season, are ranked sixth overall with the league-leading Melfort Mustangs getting back on the list following a perfect week where they picked up a pair of home-ice wins over the Kindersley Klippers and La Ronge Ice Wolves. Melfort, which has points in its last six games to sit with a 16-4-3-1 record overall, moved from being an honourable mention last week to No. 17 this time around.
Notre Dame has points in its last seven games to maintain its slim one-point lead over the North Stars in the tight Olympic Buildings Division, but with the Battlefords holding four games in hand on the Hounds they possess the better winning percentage and therefore made the weekly list. Notre Dame, however, is in a position to make its first appearance of the season on the elite list and would undoubtedly accomplish that should they have a strong week in their games against Weyburn, Kindersley and the Battlefords.
CJHL 2017-18 TOP 20 (As of Nov. 20/17)
RANK TEAM (LEAGUE) (LAST RANKING)
1. Carleton Place Canadians (CCHL) (2)
2. Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL) (1)
3. Okotoks Oilers (AJHL) (4)
4. Les Cobras de Terrebonne (LHJQ) (3)
5. Powassan VooDoos (NOJHL) (6)
6. Battlefords North Stars (SJHL) (8)
7. Georgetown Raiders (OJHL) (9)
8. Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators (CCHL) (13)
9. Dryden GM Ice Dogs (SIJHL) (11)
10. South Shore Lumberjacks (MHL) (10)
11. Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) (7)
12. Toronto Patriots (OJHL) (14)
13. Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL) (15)
14. Edmundston Blizzard (MHL) (19)
15. College Francais de Longueuil (LHJQ) (18)
16. OCN Blizzard (MJHL) (HM)
17. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL) (HM)
18. Steinbach Pistons (MJHL) (5)
19. Yarmouth Jr. ‘A’ Mariners (MHL) (20)
20. Whitecourt Wolverines (AJHL) (12)
Honourable Mention: Penticton Vees (BCHL); Vernon Vipers (BCHL); Winkler Flyers (MJHL); Oakville Blades OJHL); Wellington Dukes (OJHL)
ABOUT THE CJHL RANKINGS: Picked 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.
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.