Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Power Rankings Feb 27th

The SJHL Power Rankings are decided every week by a group of SJHL broadcasters and will be released each Tuesday.

1. Flin Flon Bombers 41-6-2-0 (Last Week 1st): 

Facing some adversity is never a bad thing and the Flin Flon Bombers got their first dose of it this past week as they dropped the first two games of their three-game in three-night road trip, resulting in a three-game losing streak. However, in their third game in as many nights, the Bombers came together and bounced back by earning a 4-2 win in Kindersley against a Klippers team battling for playoff positioning. Flin Flon will now return to the friendly confines of the Whitney Forum for a pair of games this weekend against the Estevan Bruins.

2. Melfort Mustangs 32-14-3-0 (Last Week 3rd):

The race for 2nd in the SJHL is heating up as the Melfort Mustangs, Humboldt Broncos, and Battlefords North Stars are only separated by three points. The Mustangs took care of business this past week in their lone game as they shellacked the Melville Millionaires 7-0 at the Northern Lights Palace. Winners of three straight, the Mustangs will be back on the ice Wednesday when they host the Estevan Bruins in their final meeting of the regular season. The club will then be off to Battlefords for a crucial pair of games this weekend against the Stars.

3. Humboldt Broncos 32-14-3-1 (Last Week 4th):

After suffering a pair of losses at home to the Kindersley Klippers, the Humboldt Broncos got back to playing their game and got back in the win column with victories over the Flin Flon Bombers and La Ronge Ice Wolves this past week. Travis Bryson led the charge with five goals and three assists and as a result, was named Directwest Rookie of the Week. Humboldt enters the week in 3rd place in the standings but will be idle until March 6th when they return to the ice for a battle with the Estevan Bruins at the EPA.

4. Battlefords North Stars 33-13-3-1 (Last Week 2nd):

It’s a weekend many didn’t see coming for the Battlefords North Stars. A three-game in three-night trip that saw the Stars lose all three contests in regulation, allowing both the Humboldt Broncos and Melfort Mustangs to inch closer to them in the SJHL standings. In total, the Stars were outscored 17-6 in their three contests this past weekend and they will be looking to clean up their defensive play ahead of this weekend as they host the Melfort Mustangs for a pair of contests at the ACC in North Battlefords.

5. Kindersley Klippers 22-22-4-2 (Last Week 5th):

The Kindersley Klippers continue to play some of their best hockey of the season at the right time. After two road wins in Humboldt against the Broncos, the Klippers earned a split against the 1st-place Flin Flon Bombers at the West Central Events Centre and were close to winning both. Kindersley goes into an extremely busy week currently 6th in the standings, but can potentially move up to 5th Tuesday night with a win in Melville. Tuesday’s game also kicks off four games in five nights for the Klippers who will play the Millionaires twice and the Terriers twice. Following this week Kindersley will have just two games remaining in the regular season.

6. Estevan Bruins 23-22-2-2 (Last Week 6th):

The Estevan Bruins split their two games this weekend, as they fell at home to the Nipawin Hawks, and picked up the two points on the road in Yorkton Saturday. Head coach/GM Jason Tatarnic’s team is sitting in seventh this week, looking up from the bottom of the epic battle for fifth place behind Melville and Kindersley, though a single point separates those three. Estevan’s road ahead this week could not be tougher with three away games: Wednesday at No. 4 Melfort, and then Friday and Saturday for their only visit of the year to No. 1 Flin Flon’s Whitney Forum.

7. Melville Millionaires 25-22-0-1 (Last Week 7th):

Head Coach/GM Doug Johnson’s men showed tremendous character this past week, as they followed thumping shutout defeats on the road in Weyburn and Melfort with a solid 4-1 victory at the CN Community Centre Saturday over the Battlefords North Stars. Jadon Iyogun continued his impressive season with his first career hat trick in the win, to help the Mils maintain their precarious hold on fifth, one point ahead of both Estevan and Kindersley. Drama looms very soon as the Mils host those same Klippers Tuesday and Friday for what is sure to be a playoff-style atmosphere in Melville.

8. Weyburn Red Wings 20-21-0-6 (Last Week 8th):

It was a terrific week for the Wings as they picked up two massive victories to close out their four-game homestand. A 5-0 Family-Day romp over a road-weary Melville Millionaires club was followed up by a come-from-behind win over a Nipawin Hawks team hot on their heels for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Wings are four points behind Estevan for seventh with two games in hand and extended their hold on eighth to four points on the Hawks with two fewer games played. Another epic showdown with Nipawin looms, this time at the Centennial Arena Wednesday, followed by a trip to La Ronge on the weekend. Weyburn has points in its last five contests, four of them wins.

9. Notre Dame Hounds 15-33-2-0 (Last Week 12th):

The Hounds were eliminated officially from playoff contention with Weyburn’s win over Nipawin this past week, but that did not deter Brett Pilkington’s team from playing some of their best hockey of the year. They started with a lacklustre performance in Estevan Monday, but successive quality victories over Yorkton on the road, and then vs. Nipawin and Battlefords at home, launched ND up these power rankings. Cole Wirun’s seven points, and six-game point streak earned him Forward of the Week in the league, while Davis Sato has a career-high 8-game point streak going to end his SJHL career. The Hounds close out February on Tuesday at home vs Yorkton in their only contest of the week.

10. Nipawin Hawks 19-26-0-4 (Last Week 9th):

Nipawin’s performance on their three-game-in-three-days southern road trip did not earn the results they were hoping for as a dramatic win Estevan Friday was sandwiched between tough losses at Notre Dame and Weyburn. The playoffs are not out of the realm of possibility for the Hawks as they are four points back of Weyburn for the final spot with seven games left. That being said, their home clashes with those Wings Wednesday and 10th-placed Yorkton Friday at the Cage are likely in the ‘must-win’ category.

11. Yorkton Terriers 18-27-2-2 (Last Week 10th):

Friday night’s emphatic 8-3 win over the Battlefords North Stars breathed a bit of life into the Terriers’ playoff hopes but defeats at the hands of the Notre Dame Hounds Tuesday and Estevan Bruins Saturday have those hopes on life support. Yorkton is six points back of the playoff line with two more games played than No. 8 Weyburn, so a minimum of three wins out of their four games in five days coming up starting Tuesday in Wilcox is a must.

12. La Ronge Ice Wolves 15-30-3-2 (Last Week 11th):

A five-game losing streak, all on the road, was capped off this relatively quiet week with a 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Humboldt Broncos. Weyburn needs a single point or La Ronge needs to drop a single point for the Wolves to become the second team after Notre Dame to be eliminated from post-season contention. Still, with a solid collection of 19-year-olds and younger on La Ronge’s roster, Coach Kevin Kaminski has to be optimistic for the future of the franchise.  Two of the Ice Wolves’ three final home games of the season come Friday and Saturday with a set against Weyburn.